Author Topic: How SBC 'leverages' capacity, and costs, from 3rd Sector volunteers  (Read 4490 times)

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Offline Geoff Reid

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A real-time Lamplighters report from tonights full council meeting.

Buried deep within in SBC's Revenue Budget Management 2009/10 wossname - on page 37 of the public document pack to be precise,  are several large hints of Roderick Bluh's plans for services, and expectations of 3rd sector workers, or as they are known to the likes of you and me, volunteers.


3.4 Drawing these issues together, while recognising that the grant position in particular is likely to change, we are likely to face a gap of at least 30% over the next 3 years against our net budget, which will need to be bridged by a combination of:

• Reducing expenditure (efficiencies plus service reductions).

• Raising additional income (i.e. fees and charges).

• Increasingly working as a commissioners of services, leveraging capacity from our communities and the voluntary sector, in response to customer needs.

• Managing demand.



If the question Richard Symonds has just presented to Rod Bluh at tonights full Council tonight is an indicator of the way Bluh & his merry band of Bluhligans intend to 'leverage capacity from communities and the voluntary sector', I think the idiocracy will find volunteers turning their backs on them and voting with their feet.


Quote from: Richard Symonds
Does the leader of the council agree with David Cameron when he says Councils must save money by engaging volunteers in places such as libraries and community shops?.

In September 2008 I was elected Treasurer of the Walcot Community shop, which is run by Councillor Peter Mallinson from Walcot Library which is, as the leader will know, is council premises.

To keep costs down the shop telephone account had usually been registered in the names of previous shop managers although the Walcot Community Shop always settled the account when due.

Councillor Mallinson instructed me to address the high level of the shops phone bill which was, at that point, £85 per quarter, and I did so using the established practice.


I therefore set up the telephone account in my own name at the address of the shop, 7 Sussex Square, and for the next 20 months each bill was paid promptly and without question by the community shop.


I stopped volunteering at the community shop in April 2009 and the shop continued to use the telephone and settle the accounts promptly, and without question, when they became due.

This continued to be the case until I removed my name from the telephone account April 2010.  The Community shop then refused to settle the final account which is an amount of £20.55


I was recently pursued by solicitors seeking to recover the amount unpaid by the community shop which had, by then, risen to £25.69

Worried that my credit rating would be adversely affected by legal action I settled the account immediately, although this was not my responsibility.  

As a willing volunteer and friend of the Walcot Community shop I feel poorly treated and therefore ask the leader what he is prepared to do to resolve this matter and refund the £25.69 I am owed.


I think this is appalling, even lower than the usual low standard we've come to expect from Bluh's idiocracy. 


The amount may be quite small but the principle is huge.


I haven't heard what Bluh's response was yet

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: How SBC 'leverages' capacity, and costs, from 3rd Sector volunteers
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2010, 07:49:56 pm »

I think this may have turned ugly.

More later.

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: How SBC 'leverages' capacity, and costs, from 3rd Sector volunteers
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2010, 08:22:11 pm »

Lamplighter Rex says:

Quote from: Rexh
"...chap asked his question very well, he was speakly clearly and dealt with interuptions from the Mayor two or three times.  He tried to carry on but they seemed determined to shut him up.

I thinked they turned his microphone off or someone took it off him, but I think but he was not allowed to finish


I'm sure Richard will say his piece here later, but if this is how Bluh & Co treat volunteers who ask why they've been badly treated then I don't think Bluh's cut-price impersonation of Kennedy, 'ask not what your council can do for you, but what you can do for your council' is going to fall on stoney-deaf ears.

Offline Chris Watts

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Re: How SBC 'leverages' capacity, and costs, from 3rd Sector volunteers
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2010, 08:36:23 pm »
Mr Mayor was on a role, not only did he cut Richard down but he also gave a pensioner short shift half way through a legitimate question on libraries after 30 seconds. She never got heard fully. Disgrace.

Offline Chris Watts

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Re: How SBC 'leverages' capacity, and costs, from 3rd Sector volunteers
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2010, 08:50:00 pm »
Got to be the most shambolic council meeting I have attended. The chair has lost the plot and the room.

Offline Chris Watts

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Re: How SBC 'leverages' capacity, and costs, from 3rd Sector volunteers
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2010, 09:00:56 pm »
Member of the public has given the chamber an almighty bollocking about the behavior. Huge round of applause. Shameful.

Offline Chris Watts

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Re: How SBC 'leverages' capacity, and costs, from 3rd Sector volunteers
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2010, 09:09:59 pm »
Cllr Bluh has made a public apology and considers this the worst council meeting he has attended. Cllr Foley asks public to continue to engage despite tonights display by the council.

Offline Tea Boy

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Re: How SBC 'leverages' capacity, and costs, from 3rd Sector volunteers
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2010, 10:11:12 pm »
Cllr Bluh has made a public apology and considers this the worst council meeting he has attended. Cllr Foley asks public to continue to engage despite tonights display by the council.

Why because he and this council can be seen for what it is?

Perhaps they should recognise the coming storm, that has been set in motion by the actions of this morally bankrupt, dishonest, secretive and discredited administration.

As for volunteers, surely the thing you ought to do is listen to them, its only good manners after all.
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Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: How SBC 'leverages' capacity, and costs, from 3rd Sector volunteers
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2010, 10:59:27 pm »

All in all a good night for local democracy because, as Tea Boy says, a few more members of the public have seen the administration for what it is.

I doubt anyone was taken in by Bluh's use of the 'Good Catholic' approach - repent and your sins will be forgiven - because he's over-used it.  Same thing for touchy-feel Foley.

None of tonights petitioners will forget that the Tory grouped slapped down dealing with their agenda items early, (which they could easily have done as ex-cllr Steph Excell's motion was quietly ignored), and made them wait until the end of the meeting.

And I bet not one member of the public will forget seeing the Mayor pretend to be talking to the Borough Solicitor so he could 'not be aware of' Gary Perkins having one of his regular spittle-flecked rants at a Labour councillor.  I understand Perkins victim de-jour listened politely to Perkins diatribe before continuing unperturbed. (Perhaps cllr Dempsey will be worth watching afterall).

Monty, pre-programmed by his mate Mallinson,  did his usual stunt and snatched defeat from the jaws of erm, defeat.  Monty's time has come I think. About six months ago, if truth were told.

So, yes. A good night for democracy...

Offline Chris Watts

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Re: How SBC 'leverages' capacity, and costs, from 3rd Sector volunteers
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2010, 11:25:46 pm »

All in all a good night for local democracy because, as Tea Boy says, a few more members of the public have seen the administration for what it is.

I doubt anyone was taken in by Bluh's use of the 'Good Catholic' approach - repent and your sins will be forgiven - because he's over-used it.  Same thing for touchy-feel Foley.

None of tonights petitioners will forget that the Tory grouped slapped down dealing with their agenda items early, (which they could easily have done as ex-cllr Steph Excell's motion was quietly ignored), and made them wait until the end of the meeting.

And I bet not one member of the public will forget seeing the Mayor pretend to be talking to the Borough Solicitor so he could 'not be aware of' Gary Perkins having one of his regular spittle-flecked rants at a Labour councillor.  I understand Perkins victim de-jour listened politely to Perkins diatribe before continuing unperturbed. (Perhaps cllr Dempsey will be worth watching afterall).

Monty, pre-programmed by his mate Mallinson,  did his usual stunt and snatched defeat from the jaws of erm, defeat.  Monty's time has come I think. About six months ago, if truth were told.

So, yes. A good night for democracy...

Tonight was a disgrace for many reasons. I am trying to collect my thought for a diatribe. (there's that word again). But for now I will just have to be content with rolling out my old mate Private Fraser. He once again says it all.

http://home.btconnect.com/rdi/frazer.jpg

Offline Drone

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Re: How SBC 'leverages' capacity, and costs, from 3rd Sector volunteers
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2010, 06:59:43 am »
Cllr Bluh has made a public apology and considers this the worst council meeting he has attended. Cllr Foley asks public to continue to engage despite tonights display by the council.

Why because he and this council can be seen for what it is?

Perhaps they should recognise the coming storm, that has been set in motion by the actions of this morally bankrupt, dishonest, secretive and discredited administration.

As for volunteers, surely the thing you ought to do is listen to them, its only good manners after all.

Volunteers actually require more mangement and support than paid employees and have to feel genuinely valued for the contribution they make. They aren't just a free pool of labour! Really hard, as a council bod, to know how we start engaging the community now when we've repeatedly treated them so sh*ttily in the past.

The description of the council meeting is embarrassing. I can't believe that councillors (and the worshipful mayor of Swindon himself) could treat the public with such disdain, disrespect and contempt. They should issue a formal apology immediately.
derp derp herp herp derp

Offline Rochelle

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Re: How SBC 'leverages' capacity, and costs, from 3rd Sector volunteers
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2010, 08:26:35 am »
Thank you Chris for sticking it out paying such close attention and delivering a very accurate report.
As I stated elsewhere on TS I apologised to as many people as I could last night and I offer an unreserved and genuine apology here.

Offline Muggins

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Re: How SBC 'leverages' capacity, and costs, from 3rd Sector volunteers
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2010, 08:39:39 am »
I can beleive they would treat the public with such distain, the 'public' there last night are also volunteers, and believe me, we've been treated with the unmost distain and arrogance in the past ten years.

Add to this that we heard, in a recent minuted meeting that the reason the Swindon Strategic Partnership*  reduced itself from it's intended ' all equal partners including the voluntary and commmunity sector' to an 'Executive Board' is because they 'could not get any progress with us there'  Too disruptive apparenty, always complaining etc. This may not be the council but this appalling attitude runs right through every thing looking at Swindon future plans for development and services.

We are after all 'specialist interest' groups and Groups of 'private people'

The last government brought in Local Strategic Partnerships - to try to ensure that councils were working with partners, not working top down, and not replicating services etc, but in fact working at all levels of partnership.  If I remember rightly, Councils were not compelled to have an LSP, or a community plan, but preference for funding would go to councils that had these things in place.  So having a LSP that  did not include the Voluntary and Community sector, was not an LSP and defeated the object of them.
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Offline moley

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Re: How SBC 'leverages' capacity, and costs, from 3rd Sector volunteers
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2010, 09:31:20 pm »

And one last thing I suggest that no volunteer put their name on the telephone account for any organisation that they volunteer for to ensure they do not get saddled with paying the bill as a means for that organisation to avoid the cost of business line charges.

Arguably this goes against the terms of service anyway..... so if anyone suggests doing this they are actually encouraging breeches of terms of service. 

Of course maybe this problem will get solved by Signal + Voice over IP....

Moley

Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: How SBC 'leverages' capacity, and costs, from 3rd Sector volunteers
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2010, 11:10:02 am »

Arguably this goes against the terms of service anyway..... so if anyone suggests doing this they are actually encouraging breeches of terms of service. 

Moley

No Moley in the case of the Walcot Community Shop the telephone acount had tradionally been in the name of individuals and I was only perpetuating that practice following discussion and agreement with BT.  I could have left Ellen Aldred's name on the account but as she had left that would have been wrong.  I also needed to issue new instructions to take control of it and so had a simple choice - put it in my name or pay more and have it with the name of the shop which from BT's perspective was a business and attracted business charges.  I never for one moment thought that this decision would be used against me personally and for me to find my name still accountable for this account TWELVE MONTHS after I had left and then EIGHTEEN MONTHS  later find myself in receipt of a SOLICITORS THREAT OF COURT ACTION IF I DID NOT SETTLE AN ACCOUNT THAT HAD BEEN ALTERED IN MY NAME AND OVER WHICH I HAD NO CONTROL.

This sad episode indicates what can happen and that is why I have highlighted it on Talk Swindon. Doing the right thing can hurt your wallet and affect your reputation.

Offline moley

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Re: How SBC 'leverages' capacity, and costs, from 3rd Sector volunteers
« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2010, 11:12:39 am »


No Moley in the case of the Walcot Community Shop the telephone acount had tradionally been in the name of individuals and I was only perpetuating that practice following discussion and agreement with BT. 

This sad episode indicates what can happen and that is why I have highlighted it on Talk Swindon. Doing the right thing can hurt your wallet and affect your reputation.

You've added the key part of information that I didn't know (by agreement with BT).  I agree that this treatment seems disgraceful.

Moley

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Re: How SBC 'leverages' capacity, and costs, from 3rd Sector volunteers
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2010, 03:03:58 pm »
 

[admin]Some posts regarding Shirley Burnham's Libraries Petition have been used to form a new thread here: Community Libraries Petition - Full Council Meeting : 23rd Sept 2011[/admin]
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Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: How SBC 'leverages' capacity, and costs, from 3rd Sector volunteers
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2010, 09:27:34 pm »

I had hoped that, by now, an SBC cabinet member would have phoned Richard to discuss the way he's been treated.

They haven't done so.

Phase II starts on Monday.

Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: How SBC 'leverages' capacity, and costs, from 3rd Sector volunteers
« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2010, 10:13:01 am »

I had hoped that, by now, an SBC cabinet member would have phoned Richard to discuss the way he's been treated.

They haven't done so.

Phase II starts on Monday.

Don't be so silly Geoff they regard me as a maverick who cannot be controlled and this is why I was never offered the opportunity to stand for Council for them.  They knew I would not lie down and take 'instructions'.  I strongly relate to ex Councillor Steph Exell on this one!!

The Mayor had a golden opportunity to deal with my issue regarding a telephone account for Walcot Library and he blew it.  I think he also upset some other people on Thursday night, far more influential and significant than I.

Offline Menrva

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Re: How SBC 'leverages' capacity, and costs, from 3rd Sector volunteers
« Reply #19 on: September 26, 2010, 06:32:52 pm »
Cllr Bluh has made a public apology and considers this the worst council meeting he has attended. Cllr Foley asks public to continue to engage despite tonights display by the council.

Why because he and this council can be seen for what it is?

Perhaps they should recognise the coming storm, that has been set in motion by the actions of this morally bankrupt, dishonest, secretive and discredited administration.

As for volunteers, surely the thing you ought to do is listen to them, its only good manners after all.

Volunteers actually require more mangement and support than paid employees and have to feel genuinely valued for the contribution they make. They aren't just a free pool of labour! Really hard, as a council bod, to know how we start engaging the community now when we've repeatedly treated them so sh*ttily in the past.

The description of the council meeting is embarrassing. I can't believe that councillors (and the worshipful mayor of Swindon himself) could treat the public with such disdain, disrespect and contempt. They should issue a formal apology immediately.

Offline Menrva

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Re: How SBC 'leverages' capacity, and costs, from 3rd Sector volunteers
« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2010, 06:44:17 pm »
Cllr Bluh has made a public apology and considers this the worst council meeting he has attended. Cllr Foley asks public to continue to engage despite tonights display by the council.

Why because he and this council can be seen for what it is?

Perhaps they should recognise the coming storm, that has been set in motion by the actions of this morally bankrupt, dishonest, secretive and discredited administration.

As for volunteers, surely the thing you ought to do is listen to them, its only good manners after all.

Volunteers actually require more mangement and support than paid employees and have to feel genuinely valued for the contribution they make. They aren't just a free pool of labour! Really hard, as a council bod, to know how we start engaging the community now when we've repeatedly treated them so sh*ttily in the past.

The description of the council meeting is embarrassing. I can't believe that councillors (and the worshipful mayor of Swindon himself) could treat the public with such disdain, disrespect and contempt. They should issue a formal apology immediately.
Cllr Bluh has made a public apology and considers this the worst council meeting he has attended. Cllr Foley asks public to continue to engage despite tonights display by the council.

Why because he and this council can be seen for what it is?

Perhaps they should recognise the coming storm, that has been set in motion by the actions of this morally bankrupt, dishonest, secretive and discredited administration.

As for volunteers, surely the thing you ought to do is listen to them, its only good manners after all.

Volunteers actually require more mangement and support than paid employees and have to feel genuinely valued for the contribution they make. They aren't just a free pool of labour! Really hard, as a council bod, to know how we start engaging the community now when we've repeatedly treated them so sh*ttily in the past.

The description of the council meeting is embarrassing. I can't believe that councillors (and the worshipful mayor of Swindon himself) could treat the public with such disdain, disrespect and contempt. They should issue a formal apology immediately.
I am bemused that you are suprised as they have always treated the opposition and their own backbenchers in the same way.So no change there then

 

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