Talkswindon Archive - 2005 to 2010

Politics: Swindon & Westminster => Conservative Budget Cuts In Swindon => Topic started by: Chris Watts on August 30, 2010, 07:07:53 pm

Title: Has Rod shown his budgetary hand?
Post by: Chris Watts on August 30, 2010, 07:07:53 pm
I have been away a few weeks so sorry if this has been covered:

I received my copy of Swindon News yesterday. Below in blue is an extract from page 6.

From Swindon News, issue 86 -

"The Council budget brought to life

So what are the services that the Council provides and what do they cost? Here are just a few examples:

1. The cost of providing care for older people and vulnerable adults is £40 million per year; of which £18 million is spent on providing residential and nursing care for 660 people.

2. Swindon's 12 leisure centres and recreation sites cost £11 million a year to run, with an income of £9 million. This means that it costs £7.88 per person in Swindon to provide these facilities each year,  with an average subsidy for each visit of 55p.

3. There are 246 children from Swindon in care, costing an average of £39,000 for each child each year, or more than £9.5 million in total.

4. Waste collection and disposal, recycling, and operating the Household Waste Recycling Centre costs £9.5 million a year or £108 a year for each household.

5. Street cleaning, graffiti removal, litter picking, clearing abandoned vehicles and emptying dog excrement bins costs £2.6 million a year, or £30 a year per household.

6. The council receives around 1,300 planning applications a year, which cost £600,000 to determine."

The line "So what are the services that the Council provides and what do they cost? Here are just a few examples" I find quite humorous. It conjures up the image that SBC had a half page to fill and just pulled these example from out of the ether purely at random. It could not possibly be that these are the areas that are going to bare the brunt and therefore a little highlighting and demonising the atrocious spending of these departments will soften the blow. Particularly point 1 where in Cllr Bluh's bit on page 3 says that "Adult social care has made a major shift from being a 'residential' service to one which promotes independent living." I fear the word "promotes" will be replaced by the word "dictates" in the near future.

Title: Re: Has Rod shown his budgetary hand?
Post by: Drone on August 31, 2010, 06:37:50 am
It is a rather odd selection of examples. Rather brutal to put the costs of a child in care next to street cleaning and bin emptying.

Also, seems very strange to print however many full-colour copies of Swindon News and distribute them to a random assortment of all Swindon homes to tell people, 'we have a budget problem'. We know! Couldn't you start by saving money on Swindon News, guys?
Title: Re: Has Rod shown his budgetary hand?
Post by: Tea Boy on August 31, 2010, 07:07:28 am
It is a rather odd selection of examples. Rather brutal to put the costs of a child in care next to street cleaning and bin emptying.

Also, seems very strange to print however many full-colour copies of Swindon News and distribute them to a random assortment of all Swindon homes to tell people, 'we have a budget problem'. We know! Couldn't you start by saving money on Swindon News, guys?

Yes it is rather curious that they don't price up the Swindon News costs!
Title: Re: Has Rod shown his budgetary hand?
Post by: Richard Symonds on August 31, 2010, 08:04:16 am
It is a rather odd selection of examples. Rather brutal to put the costs of a child in care next to street cleaning and bin emptying.

Also, seems very strange to print however many full-colour copies of Swindon News and distribute them to a random assortment of all Swindon homes to tell people, 'we have a budget problem'. We know! Couldn't you start by saving money on Swindon News, guys?

Yes it is rather curious that they don't price up the Swindon News costs!

So should we be asking that very question?

I personally did even know of its existence until very recently.

A complete waste of money.

Are they getting their priorities right?

Swindon News or looking after the old and infirm?
Title: Re: Has Rod shown his budgetary hand?
Post by: Muggins on August 31, 2010, 08:44:42 am
Ah ah, now I get why only 18 people responded to SBC consultation on the budget - they only put it out via Swindon News and only  half of Swindon get it.
Title: Re: Has Rod shown his budgetary hand?
Post by: Chris Watts on August 31, 2010, 10:00:31 am
Ah ah, now I get why only 18 people responded to SBC consultation on the budget - they only put it out via Swindon News and only  half of Swindon get it.

Swindon News proudly proclaims that it has a "circulation of 84,000 and is distributed throughout the borough by Crunch Media".  :-\

Companies pay for advertising on the back of this claim.  :-X
Title: Re: Has Rod shown his budgetary hand?
Post by: Steve Wakefield on August 31, 2010, 11:38:22 am
Ah ah, now I get why only 18 people responded to SBC consultation on the budget - they only put it out via Swindon News and only  half of Swindon get it.

Swindon News proudly proclaims that it has a "circulation of 84,000 and is distributed throughout the borough by Crunch Media".  :-\

Companies pay for advertising on the back of this claim.  :-X

You forgot to mention that  a further 2000 copies are available at a number of council owned buildings, including libraries and social centres.   ;)

Title: Re: Has Rod shown his budgetary hand?
Post by: Muggins on August 31, 2010, 03:10:10 pm
Either way and whatever they say ,and despite chasing it up on several occasions, we STILL don't get a regular copy. It would be better if it was less flashy and more attetion paid to distribution - or scrap it altogether in the circumstances.
Title: Re: Has Rod shown his budgetary hand?
Post by: Chav on August 31, 2010, 05:48:43 pm
Either way and whatever they say ,and despite chasing it up on several occasions, we STILL don't get a regular copy. It would be better if it was less flashy and more attetion paid to distribution - or scrap it altogether in the circumstances.

Thats because we have been bulldozed by Brissley - in his fickle little mind we don't exist !  ;)
Title: Re: Has Rod shown his budgetary hand?
Post by: Tobes on August 31, 2010, 06:56:14 pm
Council communication has always been poor. Its partly as a result of the town's limited and fractured local media - and partly because their supposed 'state organ' is so poorly distributed (in terms of content, frequency and geographically).

Instead of whining at the local populace for the low response, they should be looking to themselves or be speaking to someone with some PR expertise. I'll happily forgo my normal daily rate and offer them an in depth analysis for free if they want it.
Title: Re: Has Rod shown his budgetary hand?
Post by: Richard Symonds on August 31, 2010, 07:13:46 pm
Either way and whatever they say ,and despite chasing it up on several occasions, we STILL don't get a regular copy. It would be better if it was less flashy and more attetion paid to distribution - or scrap it altogether in the circumstances.

Thats because we have been bulldozed by Brissley - in his fickle little mind we don't exist !  ;)

Hey Chav have you got it in for our Brissley?
Title: Re: Has Rod shown his budgetary hand?
Post by: Bobby Bingo on August 31, 2010, 08:12:54 pm
If Chav has'nt I have. Brissley will not deliver the Swindon News to all of Penhill because he believes half of "the peasants" , his words not mine, cannot read.
Title: Re: Has Rod shown his budgetary hand?
Post by: Richard Symonds on August 31, 2010, 09:03:53 pm
If Chav has'nt I have. Brissley will not deliver the Swindon News to all of Penhill because he believes half of "the peasants" , his words not mine, cannot read.
If Chav has'nt I have. Brissley will not deliver the Swindon News to all of Penhill because he believes half of "the peasants" , his words not mine, cannot read.

quote author=Bobby Bingo link=topic=6294.msg41486#msg41486 date=1283281974]

[/quote]

Are we talking about the same person Bobby?
Title: Re: Has Rod shown his budgetary hand?
Post by: Bobby Bingo on August 31, 2010, 09:48:58 pm
I have let my tongue run away from me but fortunately there are NO speed cameras!!
Title: Re: Has Rod shown his budgetary hand?
Post by: Drone on September 01, 2010, 07:07:55 am
From the Swindon Borough Council website...

Quote
Packed full of interesting articles and important information, the council magazine, Swindon News is our way of connecting directly with you.

Swindon News aims to:

1.Make it easier to access council services
2.let local people know how the council is performing.
Swindon News also brings you a list of events and activities for all the family. These are organised by Swindon Borough Council or its partner organisations. The magazine has plenty of ideas for things to do, from art exhibitions and suggestions for days and evenings out, to activities and concerts.

http://swindon.gov.uk/swindonnews86web.pdf (http://swindon.gov.uk/swindonnews86web.pdf)

Regardless of the aims, it seems fairly ineffective if it's the council's main way of 'connecting' directly with us.
Title: Re: Has Rod shown his budgetary hand?
Post by: Muggins on September 01, 2010, 08:22:59 am
Tobes said " I'll happily forgo my normal daily rate and offer them an in depth analysis for free if they want it."

Don't waste your time, goodness knows I've (and others like me) have tried to tell them often enough.  They won't listen - no! Put another way,
even if they hear what you say, they won't take it in, because it comes free and from practiced experience - not a costly consultant.
Title: Re: Has Rod shown his budgetary hand?
Post by: James on September 01, 2010, 06:31:12 pm
Charge a rate of £1,000 a day and they might listen...
Title: Re: Has Rod shown his budgetary hand?
Post by: Drone on September 01, 2010, 06:59:02 pm
But surely this is why so few people have responded to Cllr Bluh's budget challenge. I'm so angry at the idea that everyone is so apathetic that they can't be bothered to email in.

Some people are apathetic, some people don't know about the challenge and a significant number are tired of offering considered, sensible and practical ideas and repeatedly being ignored, patronised or dismissed.

--------------------------

I'm just looking at some consultancy websites now. It seems really easy to set up your own firm - all you need is bad clip art, a quote from Rudi Giuliani and absolutely no moral compass!
Title: Re: Has Rod shown his budgetary hand?
Post by: Outoftowner on September 01, 2010, 07:09:53 pm
Drone said:

I'm just looking at some consultancy websites now. It seems really easy to set up your own firm - all you need is bad clip art, a quote from Rudi Giuliani and absolutely no moral compass!

Spot on Drone!
Title: Re: Has Rod shown his budgetary hand?
Post by: Muggins on September 02, 2010, 08:06:46 am
And we might find it's easy enough to leave SBC as an redundant employee, set up a consultancy and find yourself re-employed by SBC at an highly inflated fee.
Title: Re: Has Rod shown his budgetary hand?
Post by: Drone on September 02, 2010, 05:22:40 pm
What's the Latin for "bleeding obvious ideas, expensively provided"? I want to start getting my business cards printed!

If you haven't read it, there's a good piece on the consultancy scam here:http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-the-management-consultancy-scam-2057127.html (http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-the-management-consultancy-scam-2057127.html)
Title: Re: Has Rod Got A Secret Consultant?
Post by: Ringer on September 03, 2010, 08:34:53 am
A consultant is someone you ask what time is it? They look at your watch and then tell you..... after which they bill you for the service  ;)
Title: Re: Has Rod shown his budgetary hand?
Post by: Geoff Reid on September 03, 2010, 07:17:07 pm
 
Quote
there is a growing body of academic research showing that the strategies pushed by these consultancies are in fact disastrous – and hasten the collapse of a company or service.

Just out of interest, has Rikki Hunt, (or any of the multiple companies he has started), every 'consulted' - paid or otherwise - for SBC?

I seem to remember him recently boasting on Twitter that he had:

Quote from: Rikki Hunt
RT @koma_dori Sad you think me helping SCS prepare for arms length for free for 3 years and creating wifi suspicious.



Come to think of it, I think I started a thread on that very topic.... When did de-coupling SCS start exactly? (http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?topic=4918.msg31039#msg31039)

 :popcorn:

Title: Re: Has Rod shown his budgetary hand?
Post by: Geoff Reid on September 03, 2010, 07:57:56 pm
Okey dokey, 5 minutes on t'net and we find:

Rikki (just one of his LinkedIn profiles): http://www.linkedin.com/profile?key=46029112&authToken=boJE&authType=name&viewProfile=&locale= (http://www.linkedin.com/profile?key=46029112&authToken=boJE&authType=name&viewProfile=&locale=) 

* you may need to join linkedin to see this profile


Rikki  Hunt

Entrepreneur

Location:    Swindon, United Kingdom
Industry :   Wireless

Current

        * CEO at Digital City (UK) Ltd
        * Director at Cardio Consulting Ltd
        * MD at Avidity Consulting Ltd

        * Non Exec Director at Forward Swindon Ltd
        * Non Exec Chairman at Swindon PropertyGroup Ltd
        * Chair at Swindon Strategic Economic Partnership
        * Council Member and Deputy County President North at St John Ambulance Wiltshire & Swindon
        * Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Mitchemp Trust

 
http://www.linkedin.com/companies/613321 (http://www.linkedin.com/companies/613321)

Cardio Ltd Headquarters
9 Wood Street Old Town
Swindon, Wiltshire SN1 4AN
United Kingdom

Quote
Cardio is a Corporate Culture Consultancy which specialises in providing business insight for Public and Private sector organisations that need expert help to broker and embed a sustainable value-based culture model.

The Cardio team works at all levels to effect ‘phase changes’, coaching people and organisations to transition from an existing fragmented cultural state to a more joined-up local collaborative network. less


One 'oddity' about Mr Hunts profile is that a link/url is situated next to Avidity Consulting. When clicked it brings up a Swindon Commercial Services page.


Does Mr Hunt 'consult' for SBC? - my own opinion can be summarised thus:

As Mr Hunt seems to be intimately involved with, and party to, many of the 'key decisions' that Cllr Rod Bluh takes, (often without consulting full council), I think it is reasonable for me to think that Mr Hunt enjoys considerable 'consulting' influence with Cllr Bluh & his cabinet of Bluhligans.


Do 'Cardio Consulting' consult for SBC?  do tell us: leaks@talkswindon.org  (your privacy is assured)
Title: Re: Has Rod shown his budgetary hand?
Post by: Drone on September 04, 2010, 12:14:37 pm
To quote from that Indie article:

Matthew Stewart, another former consultant, summarises his high-flying years in the industry by saying: "I felt like a snake oil salesman without snake oil."  (http://Matthew Stewart, another former consultant, summarises his high-flying years in the industry by saying: "I felt like a snake oil salesman without snake oil.")

Hunt seems to be at the bottom of every misguided, expensive and overdue project SBc has embraked upon in the last 10 years. As Hari says, "you almost have to admire the rancid chutzpah of it."
Title: Re: Has Rod shown his budgetary hand?
Post by: komadori on September 06, 2010, 09:09:59 pm
I note from the Companies House record that Cardio Ltd was created as an off-the-shelf company at the same time as Digital City (UK) Ltd and Avidity Consulting Ltd and seems to have passed to Mr Hunt at the same time as the other two. You could be forgiven for thinking that its business might be in some way related to Mr Hunt's rather moribund wifi activities.
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