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3% Council Tax Rise.


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How about a 3% cut in seat-polishing 'Managers' instead.

 

I suspect it would be far more profitable.

 

If there are managers who are surplus to requirements then yes, cut them.

 

But just cutting management positions and expecting 'the workers' to take on the management responsibilities isn't fair or a good long-term solution.

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While there some council managers who don't really have any management ability, only some irrelevant qualification,  and this should be addressed.  We could probably all name one. 

However I found that most people who think we don't need managers have no comprehension what managers actually do.

 

IMHO, council managers are just like the common man. They don't have a clue what they do either and the vast majority can't be bothered to find out. Having said that, they're not shy about demanding massive, unjustified pay rises.

Edited by George.
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I’m all for supporting local businesses when possible and we have the funds, however there comes a point when the council has to cut it’s cloth accordingly.

 

Why in these times with Council tax increases is the council buying things locally at hyperinflated prices- such as Shetland Milk for the schools and care homes etc. that is twice the price of that from sooth. It all adds up and we’re paying for it. There comes a point when you have to say enough is enough and look at more careful book keeping and justify the extra costs that the public are paying for- not just using the answer we’re supporting local businesses. The businesses should be able to stand on their own two feet.

 

Cut giving out grants to businesses and organisations for self development, unnecessary speed bumps etc.

 

The council should be shopping around for the best price and quality, not just going with the same local businesses that they’ve always used because they are local or ‘friends ‘. Too much back scratching and cock ups going on and we’re paying for it.

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The Council does need managers, there's no real dispute there. What they could well do without, and would save a serious sum of money, is un-necessarily complex management and admin structures and procedures, incompetent procedures and incompetent people. Why should the rest of us pay through the nose for people to sit comfortably in pointless 'non-jobs' or do work so badly its worsening a situation rather than taking it closer to a satisfactory conclusion.

 

Just about anyone who has had any significant dealings with the Council has horror stories of total ineptitude and futile contraryness and stubborness that its difficult to conclude its anything other than the endemic and prevaling culture, all of which wastes time, resources and salaries.

 

An employee provides a written assurances that they will follow up with written confirmation of the legal status of an issue. It never arrives. You contact them pointing this out, and requesting it. Three weeks later it finally arrives, so badly composed/typed that it is invalid. You point this out and request a corrected copy be sent. One month later you get a letter back from the relevant manager of the section involved stating you should not want or need any such letter, and basically taking the pith that you do. You write back stating you will not move forward and address the issue at hand until and unless they provide the current legal status confirmation of it they undertook to do months prior. Finally, after another month has elapsed, the same manager writes back, very tersely providing the information........The same day as she had papers drawn up to take the issue at hand to Court, due to 'lack of progress'.

 

Thats just one of their inept, pig-headed clusterf*cks I have personal knowledge of, among several over the years. Names and dates can be provided. And from talking with others, it would seem there's quite a bit of it about.

 

Its almost if they behave as they do to ensure every task is strung out to the maximum so as keep themselves in a job, for just imagine how much more work and how much less it would cost if eveybody behaved competently and efficiently.

 

I'm not knocking the front line folk who go out every day and get their hands dirty working for the Council, far from it, for god knows, they're just about the only positive and valuable asset on the payroll, yet they're the ones who've borne the brunt of the cutbacks so far.....I'm not even going to knock the first line of 'managers' above them, for organising and supervising the work the front line do is necessary. Where it all goes badly wrong, and who I am most definitely criticising is the managers from there and up, right to the currently vacant chair right on top of the pile. All of them 'suits' who never see the light of day unless perhaps an occasional saunter somewhere in their shirt sleeves for an hour or so on only the prettiest of days, in single figure times a year. Who sit in their little bubbles either dreaming up plans that may well be beautiful in theory, but are as functional as a chocolate fireguard in practice, or let their meglomania get the better of them and build little empires around themselves, if not both, and draw salaries that could finance multiple front line jobs for contributing very little positivity, but plenty of negativity.

 

Public services by definition cannot be run overall in the same way as a commercial enterprise, but there is absolutely no reason why management and admin structures and procedures cannot be, and if any commercial enterprise adopted those the SIC practice, regardless how massively proiftable the business might have been they'd have bankrupted it in short order.

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How about a 3% cut in seat-polishing 'Managers' instead.

 

I suspect it would be far more profitable.

 

If there are managers who are surplus to requirements then yes, cut them.

 

But just cutting management positions and expecting 'the workers' to take on the management responsibilities isn't fair or a good long-term solution.

 

I should have thought that with the SIC having 10 employees on salaries in the excess of £80,000 whereas other similar sized local authorities OIC having 4 employees salaried at £80,000+ and Eilean Siar only having only one employee above £80,000, managing similar budgets and delivering very similar services coupled with the near standstill of our capital investments program should tell anyone that we are either paying too much in salaries or have to many employees at these levels!

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Guest tiodylb17

The council wages at the bottom level are still quite poor in comparison to the private sector.

 

This still has to be voted for and I have a feeling a lot of the newbie councilors will vote against it either that or they reach a compromise of a percent or 2.

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You are all forgetting something here. Regardless of inefficiencies in the Council (perceived or otherwise) we are facing very real and immediate cost pressures which we cannot escape from.

Obvious examples being the lift on the public sector pay freeze, inflation, rising cost of fuel and maintenance for ferries, additional obligation to provide early years childcare. 

Council tax will provide in the region of £10M out of a £100M plus budget. Shetlands Council Tax is the 4th lowest in the country (IIRC). 

I am not saying the Council is run perfectly but I for one do not mind paying an extra 3% on my Council Tax if it means we can avoid making service cuts to schools, ferries, gritters - whatever. 

The crux of the problem is, and has always been, the SIC does not receive nearly enough from central government to fund the services which Shetlanders need and have become accustomed to. Ferries and "per pupil" education funding being prime examples. 

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