Sunday, July 15, 2007

Recent Bonfires 71

Shutting after five years

In the news this week:

£25m school shut after just five years- "Plans have been made to close a secondary school in Essex built at a cost of £25m five years ago. Bishops Park College in Clacton (pic above) opened in 2002 and was hailed as a state-of-the-art school for 900 pupils... Mike Davis, school head, said "[The council] know they got their numbers fundamentally wrong - at the end of the day the county council has spent something like £25m on a school that should never have been built." (BBC News 10.7.07- htp Zulqar C)

£48m blown on useless community trust- "A community trust charged with spending £48m of public money to improve a rundown estate has been criticised for wasting funds on failed projects and consultants. Marsh Farm Community Development Trust was set up in 2001 by the government to help regenerate the Marsh Farm area of Luton... The Trust, which has seen 41 directors resign over the past five years, has also spent about £3m on consultants... A present director of the Trust, who has asked not to be named, expressed concerns about the information directors are being told. "Since the time I've been there, we've received no financial information whatsoever. The one item we got was the end of year report. There's no interim or quarterly statements which they are supposed to do. That's in the governance. We are supposed to get them to ascertain whether these projects are financially viable and being conducted correctly. I'll be absolutely blunt with you, if Marsh Farm Trust closed down tomorrow people in Marsh Farm wouldn't mind because they're getting nothing of it now." (BBC 13.7.07; htp Jon D)

£111,000 bill for crackdown on peace protester- "THE true bill for the police crackdown on anti-war protester Brian Haw in London's Parliament Square last year exceeded £111,000, it emerged yesterday. The sum - revealed by Scotland Yard in new figures - is more than four times greater than first estimated. Some 428 police officer shifts and five police staff shifts were devoted to the overnight raid to scale back Mr Haw's sprawling "peace camp" on 23 May... Police put restrictions on him under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act." (Scotsman 14.7.07)

Council green advisors cost £100m pa- "Council leaders are paying out £100 million to fund an army of 3,500 workers to tackle climate change. Despite continuing disputes within the scientific community over the causes of global warming, how profound its effects may be and even its very existence, a nationwide investigation has revealed massive spending on new local authority staff with job titles such as "carbon reduction advisors" and "climate change managers". The Taxpayers' Alliance, calculated that councils on average now employ eight such people... the average salary paid to such staff was £29,283, suggesting a total expenditure by councils across the UK of £102 million. News of the spending comes as many local authorities face criticism for axing weekly rubbish collections and reducing long-term care for the elderly." (Sunday Telegraph 15.7.07)

Total for week- £173,111,000

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