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council to save £5 million


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33 replies to this topic

#1 vailron

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 11:39 AM

so how can they throw 1.5million at smyril, another million at tall ships, and 7 million at a ne music and cinema venue

#2 pert

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 01:23 PM

Now, now, there's no need for that attitude! As I'm sure someone with a greater knowledge of the subject than me will soon explain, the council's finances are split up into a vast number of different budgets, accounts and whatnot. Some of these pots of cash were set up in such a way as to make any attempt to spend the monies within them in a useful or intelligent way illegal. It's just one of those things you've got to put with in a democracy, apparently.

However, once it's all gone, it'll all be gone. It'll all seem a lot simpler then.

#3 BigMouth

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 01:39 PM

No need to pay your council tax anymore.

Just tell them that all your money is in your entertainment budget.

#4 peeriebryan

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 02:34 PM

No need to pay your council tax anymore.

Just tell them that all your money is in your entertainment budget.

Excellent idea! :lol: :wink:

#5 Tom

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 10:02 PM

Well there are the countless trusts set up with oil money that are devoted to various specific things and which have to be kept out of the council's standard pot of cash for legal reasons...

Though so far as I can tell, Smyrill and the Arts venue aren't coming from any of those...

#6 Pooks

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 10:49 PM

No need to pay your council tax anymore.

Just tell them that all your money is in your entertainment budget.


Heheeeh, you have to laugh. The thing I don't understand is that they are talking about increasing the inter-island ferry fares yet have they not been offering free travel to Unst folks for some time? Are they going to reinstate the fares to Unst or increase the fares to everybody else to help this subsidy? If I remeember correctly the council unanimously decided that free fares to Unst would only cost Circa £200,000 and would not be a problem.

As for upping the costs of old folks homes...I read somewhere recently (past month or two) probably the Shetty Times, that it cost a helluva lot of money (£600?ish) to keep an oldie in a home for a week. Why? They have a room. Not a hotel room. They have a room with basic facilities. They get fed. They have people to see to them day and night. These people are well paid. It still doesn't help to reflect the cost though. I would like to see a proper audit as to where the money goes that these 'oldies' have to contend with. It can't all be on nappies!

#7 shetlander

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 12:18 PM

The next few months will certainly be interesting in terms of seeing if the Councillors have the guts this time to bite the bullet and make some difficult but necessary decisions on Council spending.

I do now have a basic understanding about the difference between budgets – thanks I would say to Davie Gardner and others who have clarified a lot on the Cinema and Music Venue thread – but the Council itself really needs to do a better job at communicating with the public in that respect – particularly now that cuts are on the cards again. At the moment many people understandably can’t see why the Council can spend money on the likes of Smyril, the Tall Ships and the Cinema and Music Venue on one hand but be speaking about closing schools, putting up ferry fares and increasing social care charges (all of which are likely to affect more vulnerable groups or communities) on the other.

Leaving that aside though, I think we all need to accept that cuts are necessary and no matter where in Shetland we live, what services we use or what age group we fall into, that we are all going to have to bear the brunt somewhere. Lets face it – even if we don’t say so in public (for fear of offending folk or depriving friends or neighbours of services or jobs) we all know where common sense cuts in our own areas or at our local school or whatever could be made – I even know one SIC employee who freely admits in private that his full time job (and I'm speaking about a front line position and not a behind the scenes office job) could easily be combined with that of another person doing the same job in a neighbouring geographical area without any impact whatsoever in the service provided. I'm sure he's not alone either.

We all have to live within our means in terms our personal or household budgets and we make necessary decisions on what we can and we can’t afford to spend our money on based on the money we have coming in – the Council isn’t and shouldn’t be any different in that respect

#8 shetlander

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 12:26 PM

Good point about the ferry fares Pooks - I hadn't thought of that. As much sympathy as there may be towards the predicament in Unst just now, I don't suppose the folk in Yell, Whalsay, Bressay etc will be too happy about having to pay more if the money could be raised by reintroducing fares to Unst or Fetlar.

#9 NewMagnie

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 12:55 PM

I don't think its quite that simple - knowing the way council budgets work, I'd imagine Marine Ops are recompensed from the General Fund for lost revenues. The cost of free ferries to Unst and Fetlar will therefore fall on the Shetland ratepayer generally and not just Yell and Bressay commuters..... which, I suppose, opens up a whole other can of worms.

#10 shetlander

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 01:50 PM

I don't think its quite that simple - knowing the way council budgets work, I'd imagine Marine Ops are recompensed from the General Fund for lost revenues. The cost of free ferries to Unst and Fetlar will therefore fall on the Shetland ratepayer generally and not just Yell and Bressay commuters..... which, I suppose, opens up a whole other can of worms.


I hear what you're saying that the lost revenue comes from the general pot - I was thinking too along the lines though that if the Council wants to raise a set amount of money annually through increasing fares (say £100,000 or whatever) then the share being paid by Unst and Fetlar residents - if fares applied to them - would mean commuters in the other islands having to pay less of an increase in proportional terms.

#11 vailron

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 02:12 PM

and how much is it costing to have a consultant in charge of social work, did i read in the times that it cost something like £800 per day???

#12 NewMagnie

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 03:44 PM

I hear what you're saying that the lost revenue comes from the general pot - I was thinking too along the lines though that if the Council wants to raise a set amount of money annually through increasing fares (say £100,000 or whatever) then the share being paid by Unst and Fetlar residents - if fares applied to them - would mean commuters in the other islands having to pay less of an increase in proportional terms.


If they did - then yes, but its unlikely that they'd take that in isolation. Much more likely that they'd take an overall look at the ferries budget including manning at Sella Ness, 24 hour crewing, costs of maintenance contracts, training budgets, etc, etc, as well as fares. - Then of course, they'd throw the whole scheme out the window because the Scottish executive grant assistance to the ferries is predicated on actual spend and running that down would incur a revenue loss overall to the council. This is also why the free travel on the North Boats will be recharged - revenue expenditure on the ferries has to be kept high to keep the level of grant high.

This is also why the ferries are owned by the development trust (I think) and leased back to the council. The capital costs of the boats can be borne by the trust, treated by the council as a revenue cost and recouped as grant aid which is then repaid to the trust.

In that context, free fares on two (loss making) runs don't make a blind bit of difference to the budget and given that its practically impossible to divorce fares revenue from a financial package that would give Machiavelli sleepless nights - is likely to remain so.

#13 Sam

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Posted 30 April 2006 - 09:38 PM

why in one hand should the council want to save money and the other want to spend heeps on a new venue? beats me?

#14 BigMouth

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Posted 30 April 2006 - 10:05 PM

It's the little things that they need to look after.

Where I live there are 46 houses. We can put our rubbish out any day as we have covered containers to put them into. Someone has started leaving their rubbish on the steps up to their property.

The logical thing would be that the council contact this person. The way that they tackle it instead is to write to every tenant on the estate explaining to us our responsibilities regarding rubbish, the fine that can be imposed on us for not putting our rubbish in the proper place and the fact that the author of this letter does not want to have to write to us again.

In the letter it states that the vast majority of residents are responsible with their rubbish. So what exactly is the point of writing to 46 households if "the vast majority are responsible"? Perhaps it is just a publicity stunt for those of us who consider these people have too little to occupy themselves and have absolutely no idea of how to deal with people.

How exactly is the cost of the author's time, probably a meeting (coffee and sandwiches), letter construction and checking, printing time and cost, stationery costs and postage costs on projects like this going to help the council save money?

I sincerely hope that the council don't waste any more of my time and my money writing to me about how to dispose of my rubbish. The link between waste, bin bag and rubbish store was not so great that I couldn't make it without the help of this intellectual giant.

FINGER :twisted:

#15 Yowe

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Posted 30 April 2006 - 10:18 PM

Very good post Bigmouth. That is just the kind of simple issue that the sic find it totally impossible to acknowledge. They are retarded.

#16 Pooks

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 06:29 PM

I agree that the council could save heaps of money by cutting back on the stationary/printing costs. Most of the communication that I receive from the council comes printed on expensive thick paper. Is this really required? Most of the stuff would be fine on cheapo 80gsm paper. Do all the leaflets produced have to be on thick glossy paper? Ordinary paper would suffice in a lot of cases and then they would have enough money to employ someone to ensure that the leaflets are grammatically correct and free from spelling mistakes. Nothing worse than picking up an expensive glossy brochure to discover mistakes!

#17 JustMe

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 09:16 PM

Sorry to say this but there has to be a good look at the council's manual workers and the overtime they do. Converting the old library into the adult literacy centre had guys working on Sundays....double time?. And within the last few weeks I have seen workmen doing non urgent work on Saturday afternoon.

Now if that sounds like I am getting at the workers and saying that they should get to work less hours in the future....thats right.

What I am also saying is that managers who allow non essential work to be done as overtime and on weekend pay scales might be well advised to consider moving to seek new pastures with a council that is having to make cut backs.

#18 BigMouth

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Posted 02 May 2006 - 06:53 AM

What I am also saying is that managers who allow non essential work to be done as overtime and on weekend pay scales might be well advised to consider moving to seek new pastures with a council that is having to make cut backs.


I thought that I read that they had to get the signed authorisation of the top man at the SIC to do weekend overtime?

Honest post though. It's when people speak up that things change. Too often people are scared to speak up for fear of upsetting their neighbours/friends/whoever.

#19 JustMe

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Posted 02 May 2006 - 07:02 AM

I wrote

What I am also saying is that managers who allow non essential work to be done as overtime and on weekend pay scales might be well advised to consider moving to seek new pastures with a council that is having to make cut backs.


Of course I meant to say "with a council that is NOT having to make cut backs"

#20 vailron

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Posted 02 May 2006 - 03:07 PM

one answer is to get rid of some of the managers, that would save a few bob