Sunday, January 28, 2007

Recent Bonfires- 51

Somehow I expected more

In the news this week:

£60,000 for asylum trapeze lessons- "ASYLUM seekers are to benefit from TRAPEZE lessons funded by taxpayers’ cash. A UK touring theatre company is spending £60,000 in grants helping teach circus skills to the youngsters — to improve their confidence.The group also lays on free transport, refreshments and interpreters in Arabic, Farsi, Kurdish Sorani and Kurdish Kurmanji. The Big Top skills, creative writing and drama workshops are offered by BandBazi Circus Theatre, a Brighton-based multicultural performing arts company." (Sun 23.1.07)

£470,000 on obesity drugs- "BLACKBURN and Darwen health bosses have spent £470,000 in four-and-half years on drugs that stop obese people feeling hungry, it has been revealed. The spend, by the borough's primary care trust, has been labelled "phenomenal" and a "waste of money". Coun Tony Humphrys, chairman of Blackburn with Darwen Council's health overview and social care overview and scrutiny committee, said: "It is a phenomenal amount of money. It is a waste of public money. People have to take responsibility for what they eat, especially parents." 15 per cent of males and 20 per cent of females in East Lancashire have a Body Mass Index over 30- meaning about 8,000 men and 5,750 women could be eligible to get the drugs on the NHS. Taken together, the survey showed one in two people are overweight or obese in the borough... official figures from the NHS show expenditure on these drugs went from £31.2million in 2002 to £34.8million in 2006." (Blackburn Citizen 26.1.07)

€107,890,098,965.56 Euro black hole- "Every public company in the EU must present its annual balance sheet according to strict rules, yet the EU itself produces accounts that break all the rules it imposes on everyone else. They don't use double-entry bookkeeping; tens of billions of euros float in and out of the books without explanation, and year after year the EU's Court of Auditors refuses to approve the accounts, because they are riddled with "material errors" and "irregularities". Andrew Hamilton, an Edinburgh accountant... decided to download the 139 pages of the EC's 2005 accounts and the accompanying 228 pages of the Court of Auditors' report. Although, with implausible precision, they gave the EC's operating revenue for the year as €107,890,098,965.56, it was impossible to discover where most of this money had come from or gone to, because the accounts do not use the double-entry system used by every corner shop. They are just a maze of meaningless figures." (Sunday Telegraph 28.1.07)

Another £325,000 construction overspend- "LEISURE boss Mark Smith is to face stiff questioning over why the final bill for the revamped Devizes Leisure Centre was £325,000 more than planned. Cash strapped Kennet District Council is trying to keep a close eye on its budgets and all senior officers have to monitor their budgets and submit quarterly reports. The plans were initially priced at £1.5 million... Councillors then agreed another £370,000 for the work, to bring the estimate to £1.87 million... In 2005 the council revealed the final price agreed with Devizes builders Gaiger and Son for the work was £2.4 million." (This is Wiltshire 25.1.07... and I'm not sure how This is Wiltshire's numbers precisely add up either)

Total for week- £71,207,855,000

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