Its not just Newcastle Borough Council who like to waste money, sadly it is happening closer to home with our very own Kidsgrove Town Council!
This is an organisation which currently can not even fill all its elected seats, yet like Newcastle is run by the Labour Party. If there is one thing you can rest assured when you allow the local Labour lot into power, they will always look after themselves! In Newcastle it was building that vanity project known as the Civic Hub to the tune of £4.6million, whereas in Kidsgrove its creating pointless job roles which are actually increasing costs to the local tax payer.
Kidsgrove Town Council has little power really, with its main decisions being based around the running of local alloctments. They do however charge you via your council tax for the privilege of existing and clearly the Labour lot in charge must have felt that they needed to waste at least £25,000 creating a pointless job role that has never been needed in the past and according to the councils own minutes it is hardly being successful.
I bet like most of Kidsgrove you didn't know that your local Labour councillors created a job role for a Business Development Officer? This role comes with circa £25,000 (which means they are paying more), plus cushy public sector pension and additional benefits - all for the role of "focusing on bringing events, projects and activities to fruition at The Victoria Hall".
Yes, seriously this is a job role that everyone in Kidsgrove is paying for! Don't become confused and think this is someone promoting Kidsgrove to business and enterprise. No, this is very clear in the job description that this is someone promoting events and trying to attract business to The Victoria Hall. This would be a great move, if for example following this appointment revenue increases by a much greater amount than the cost of salary for this role, however judging by the councils own minutes this clearly isn't the case "..bookings are still only generating half the revenue than in previous years." So basically then the business manager is not only an additional cost, but actually is bringing in less money, the end result - it costs everyone in Kidsgrove more to operate the council!
So what is the point in this role? If bookings are actually generating half the revenue of the previous year, before Kidsgrove residents were paying at least £25,000 for a pointless position, lets go back to the old system of allowing the clerk to take the bookings. I have never understood why our councillors can't promote The Victoria Hall, given the fact they are the ones who spend the most time talking hot air inside it? It also makes me wonder, what happened to that £25,000+ before it was spent on a needless wage? If it was going spare either spend it on Kidsgrove or give it back to residents by cutting council tax!
The real reason whilst this role exists though is most probably as some perverse promotional exercise for the local councillors to make them feel special and look good. The job advert for this role states exactly this; "promoting the Town Council and raising its profile in the area". What is this all about!? Why is a public organisation that is funded by public money, spending this money on promoting itself and raising its profile? How exactly can it "raise its profile"? I would have thought sending a yearly council tax bill to every household would have been fairly good profile building?
If the Business Development Officer is failing in bringing in additional revenue, well at least you can rest assured that all the money isn't wasted. Part of this role requires the "implementing a social media project that can boost the profile of the Town Hall and the Town of Kidsgrove". Well the Town Council is now on social media so at least this has been achieved, however quite what boost this has provided is anyone's guess given the revenue is down?
What annoys me most is that in any other business this appointment would not have even happened in the first place. However, once in place the targets for generating revenue are clearly not being met, so this failure would see the post holder being asking to improve or find employment elsewhere. However, what we are seeing here is typical council and councillor mentality when it comes to spending (wasting) public money. They do what they like because it isn't even their money they are spending - its yours!
None of this wasting of public money will be happening under the Kidsgrove Independents. Money will be spent on the community and not wasted. I can assure everyone that public money will be treated like personal money and not just wasted "because it isn't my money". This council mentality needs to stop and sadly this is happening close to home at our own Kidsgrove Town Council.