Darlington Borough Council - cuts and tax rises on the agenda

Darlington and Stockton Times: CRUNCH MEETING: Darlington Borough Council cabinet will discuss the latest round of spending cuts on Tuesday CRUNCH MEETING: Darlington Borough Council cabinet will discuss the latest round of spending cuts on Tuesday

SPENDING cuts worth millions of pounds will be put before councillors next week, as a cash-strapped authority aims to balance its books.

Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet will be asked to support a draft six-year financial plan – containing a council tax increase of 1.94 per cent per year - when it meets next week.

Cabinet members are expected to recommend that the budget be adopted by the full council when it meets later this month.

Lengthy public consultations were held last year, resulting in spending cuts of £13.75 million pounds by 2016/17 being identified.

These include the closure of the Head of Steam railway museum and Cockerton library in 2015 – both will be lost unless community groups come forward to save them.

Other proposals in the budget include increasing charges for some council services, with the cost of adult cremations set to rise by £17 to £605.

It is also proposed to set aside £8.5m from reserves to fund one-off expenses.

These latest cuts come despite the council having already cut more than £22m from its budget since 2012, resulting in the loss of almost 500 jobs.

It is predicted that the amount of grant funding the council received will fall by £22m by 2020.

Council leader Bill Dixon said: “These reductions are unprecedented.

“The council’s main sources of income going forward are Council Tax and Business Rates.

“The ability to increase income to protect services and offset the loss of government grant is limited by the Government.

“Unless a referendum is held the Council may only increase tax by 1.94 per cent each year.

“The level of business rates is set by the Government.

“In simple terms the only way we can collect more tax is to build more houses and attract more business to the borough.”

At the consultation events, it was suggested that the council cut back on services it is not required to provide by law.

Coun Dixon added: “If this was the route we chose to go down, we would have no sports facilities, no parks, limited street cleaning, no theatre, no museums, limited libraries and no children’s centres among other cuts.

“This felt like a place heading for decline not growth, with loss of jobs and businesses.

“A place people would choose not to visit and not to live.

“This was not our vision for Darlington and from what was said [at the consultations], it’s not what other people want.”

Cabinet meets at 5pm on Tuesday (February 18) at the Dolphin Centre.

Comments (62)

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4:31pm Fri 14 Feb 14

loan_star says...

Just as well DBC don't control business rates too!
Meanwhile they decide to waste a load of money "improving" the ring road and building an office block when there is one half a mile away standing empty.....
Just as well DBC don't control business rates too! Meanwhile they decide to waste a load of money "improving" the ring road and building an office block when there is one half a mile away standing empty..... loan_star

4:59pm Fri 14 Feb 14

Luther95 says...

loan_star wrote:
Just as well DBC don't control business rates too!
Meanwhile they decide to waste a load of money "improving" the ring road and building an office block when there is one half a mile away standing empty.....
Just to repeat information from another thread - the money being spent on the ring-road is a direct Government grant, and cannot be spent on anything else. It is not a case of the council "choosing" to spend money on road improvements, which might have been used to support vital services.

And without the money on the Town Hall extension, hundreds of well-paid jobs would have gone up the road to Durham or Newcastle. That would have worsened the economy in Darlington, and ultimately made the Council's revenues even less secure.
[quote][p][bold]loan_star[/bold] wrote: Just as well DBC don't control business rates too! Meanwhile they decide to waste a load of money "improving" the ring road and building an office block when there is one half a mile away standing empty.....[/p][/quote]Just to repeat information from another thread - the money being spent on the ring-road is a direct Government grant, and cannot be spent on anything else. It is not a case of the council "choosing" to spend money on road improvements, which might have been used to support vital services. And without the money on the Town Hall extension, hundreds of well-paid jobs would have gone up the road to Durham or Newcastle. That would have worsened the economy in Darlington, and ultimately made the Council's revenues even less secure. Luther95

5:04pm Fri 14 Feb 14

behonest says...

So, this Darlington Labour lot are proposing to hit local people with the maximum amount of council tax increase that they can get away with without holding a referendum. And they plan to hit everyone with this maximum tax rise every year for six years.

Darlington Labour Council could not treat local people with more contempt if they tried. Labour bleat on about ordinary people facing a 'cost of living crisis' yet they are a main culprit in causing it!
So, this Darlington Labour lot are proposing to hit local people with the maximum amount of council tax increase that they can get away with without holding a referendum. And they plan to hit everyone with this maximum tax rise every year for six years. Darlington Labour Council could not treat local people with more contempt if they tried. Labour bleat on about ordinary people facing a 'cost of living crisis' yet they are a main culprit in causing it! behonest

5:09pm Fri 14 Feb 14

Homshaw1 says...

Other councils seem to be coping a lot better. Most places still have toilets, the streets are a lot cleaner and attractions remain open. Darlington - the home of the railways - is ditching its heritage.

This is a poorly run council which needs to be voted out. The only problem is none of the opposition parties seem capable of taking advantage of the situation.
Other councils seem to be coping a lot better. Most places still have toilets, the streets are a lot cleaner and attractions remain open. Darlington - the home of the railways - is ditching its heritage. This is a poorly run council which needs to be voted out. The only problem is none of the opposition parties seem capable of taking advantage of the situation. Homshaw1

5:29pm Fri 14 Feb 14

Mike2012 says...

It's pretty simple - DON'T VOTE LABOUR NEXT TIME!
It's pretty simple - DON'T VOTE LABOUR NEXT TIME! Mike2012

5:32pm Fri 14 Feb 14

darloboss says...

behonest wrote:
So, this Darlington Labour lot are proposing to hit local people with the maximum amount of council tax increase that they can get away with without holding a referendum. And they plan to hit everyone with this maximum tax rise every year for six years.

Darlington Labour Council could not treat local people with more contempt if they tried. Labour bleat on about ordinary people facing a 'cost of living crisis' yet they are a main culprit in causing it!
and your budget would be ? the labour party in darlington are in my view doing as good as anyone can expect
[quote][p][bold]behonest[/bold] wrote: So, this Darlington Labour lot are proposing to hit local people with the maximum amount of council tax increase that they can get away with without holding a referendum. And they plan to hit everyone with this maximum tax rise every year for six years. Darlington Labour Council could not treat local people with more contempt if they tried. Labour bleat on about ordinary people facing a 'cost of living crisis' yet they are a main culprit in causing it![/p][/quote]and your budget would be ? the labour party in darlington are in my view doing as good as anyone can expect darloboss

5:42pm Fri 14 Feb 14

harry2 says...

Cremation charges from £17 to £605 do you think that's a typing error.

Not sure why cocker ton need there own library when the rest of us have to go the town, although feel for the staff I work for the council myself it's a scary time at the minute .
Cremation charges from £17 to £605 do you think that's a typing error. Not sure why cocker ton need there own library when the rest of us have to go the town, although feel for the staff I work for the council myself it's a scary time at the minute . harry2

5:49pm Fri 14 Feb 14

Madadrian says...

"cremations set to rise by £17 to £605. "

These ghouls even tax the dead. The sooner they are voted out the better
"cremations set to rise by £17 to £605. " These ghouls even tax the dead. The sooner they are voted out the better Madadrian

6:05pm Fri 14 Feb 14

Homshaw1 says...

darloboss wrote:
behonest wrote:
So, this Darlington Labour lot are proposing to hit local people with the maximum amount of council tax increase that they can get away with without holding a referendum. And they plan to hit everyone with this maximum tax rise every year for six years.

Darlington Labour Council could not treat local people with more contempt if they tried. Labour bleat on about ordinary people facing a 'cost of living crisis' yet they are a main culprit in causing it!
and your budget would be ? the labour party in darlington are in my view doing as good as anyone can expect
I don't agree. Other council are coping a lot better.

I watch people working. They are poorly supervised and have a poor work ethic. I see people sitting in vans reading newspapers at all times of the day. I see a cavalry charge of vans up Haughton Rd long before the end of the working day. If you have every write to the Town Hall it takes for ever to get a response and the reply is usually lip service or nonsense.

Most organisations would be looking at being more efficient rather than abandoning what it is there for.

Luther 95 says the money from the roundabout is coming from Central Government. It poses the question as to whether the changes will improve traffic or is it just useful for council staff to charge time to and take the pressure off council budgets.

As for the DFE the problem with the accommodation should have been picked up earlier by what is a well staffed Business Engagement team that didn't engage. The result is the council were over a barrel and had to concede to unreasonable demands to keep the jobs.

It is also worrying that the council sees more housing as an answer to it's problems. There is a suspicion planning decisions will be about how to fill the coffers rather than what is best for Darlington and its residents.

So in answer to your question my budget would be aimed at a more efficient service not ditching Darlington's heritage and the facilities available to the ratepayer.
[quote][p][bold]darloboss[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]behonest[/bold] wrote: So, this Darlington Labour lot are proposing to hit local people with the maximum amount of council tax increase that they can get away with without holding a referendum. And they plan to hit everyone with this maximum tax rise every year for six years. Darlington Labour Council could not treat local people with more contempt if they tried. Labour bleat on about ordinary people facing a 'cost of living crisis' yet they are a main culprit in causing it![/p][/quote]and your budget would be ? the labour party in darlington are in my view doing as good as anyone can expect[/p][/quote]I don't agree. Other council are coping a lot better. I watch people working. They are poorly supervised and have a poor work ethic. I see people sitting in vans reading newspapers at all times of the day. I see a cavalry charge of vans up Haughton Rd long before the end of the working day. If you have every write to the Town Hall it takes for ever to get a response and the reply is usually lip service or nonsense. Most organisations would be looking at being more efficient rather than abandoning what it is there for. Luther 95 says the money from the roundabout is coming from Central Government. It poses the question as to whether the changes will improve traffic or is it just useful for council staff to charge time to and take the pressure off council budgets. As for the DFE the problem with the accommodation should have been picked up earlier by what is a well staffed Business Engagement team that didn't engage. The result is the council were over a barrel and had to concede to unreasonable demands to keep the jobs. It is also worrying that the council sees more housing as an answer to it's problems. There is a suspicion planning decisions will be about how to fill the coffers rather than what is best for Darlington and its residents. So in answer to your question my budget would be aimed at a more efficient service not ditching Darlington's heritage and the facilities available to the ratepayer. Homshaw1

6:11pm Fri 14 Feb 14

Mike2012 says...

^Good Post, right on the money!
^Good Post, right on the money! Mike2012

6:14pm Fri 14 Feb 14

stevegg says...

What the council have continued to fail to address is the gross ineffeciency and overpaid plethera of middle managers upwards in the council on huge salaries which is costing us taxpayers dear & the reason we are losing services, I have experienced this first hand . I know several (of the few) ex council employee managers who were 60 plus but allowed early retirement with huge gold plated payoffs in excess of £200k lump sum plus £25k a year pension and all could not believe their luck, one even said to me " IT WAS LIKE WINNING THE LOTTERY"! There would be no need for any tax rises if they tackled this GROSS incompetence in spending our money but they continue to sacrifice all before them to maintain their gold plated positions. I dont trust any of them as they are all looking after themselves not you or I!.
What the council have continued to fail to address is the gross ineffeciency and overpaid plethera of middle managers upwards in the council on huge salaries which is costing us taxpayers dear & the reason we are losing services, I have experienced this first hand . I know several (of the few) ex council employee managers who were 60 plus but allowed early retirement with huge gold plated payoffs in excess of £200k lump sum plus £25k a year pension and all could not believe their luck, one even said to me " IT WAS LIKE WINNING THE LOTTERY"! There would be no need for any tax rises if they tackled this GROSS incompetence in spending our money but they continue to sacrifice all before them to maintain their gold plated positions. I dont trust any of them as they are all looking after themselves not you or I!. stevegg

7:13pm Fri 14 Feb 14

oliviaden6 says...

The Old Story raises it head again hurt the people who are most in need and at a time when they are the most vunerable. Price rises for funerals hurt only the mourners, WHY. It is down right disgraceful what do they do the funeral directors charge over the top for the most expensive one way taxi ride, the florist tear your eyes out and for the vicar/priest we wont go there. at the end of the day it cost us nothing to come into this world but you can be sure it costs one and all a small fortune to leave it, down right profiteering as far as i am concerned.
The Old Story raises it head again hurt the people who are most in need and at a time when they are the most vunerable. Price rises for funerals hurt only the mourners, WHY. It is down right disgraceful what do they do the funeral directors charge over the top for the most expensive one way taxi ride, the florist tear your eyes out and for the vicar/priest we wont go there. at the end of the day it cost us nothing to come into this world but you can be sure it costs one and all a small fortune to leave it, down right profiteering as far as i am concerned. oliviaden6

7:29pm Fri 14 Feb 14

D. Hop says...

^^This sort of thing should be illegal. No one else could get away with making the rules up as they go along. Why should we be taxed for their inept behaviour? I believe its the councils that are being punished for their historical overspend and we are picking up the tab. I despair!!!
^^This sort of thing should be illegal. No one else could get away with making the rules up as they go along. Why should we be taxed for their inept behaviour? I believe its the councils that are being punished for their historical overspend and we are picking up the tab. I despair!!! D. Hop

9:15pm Fri 14 Feb 14

joeninety says...

The reason the government grants are decreasing is because this labour council decided to raise council taxes rather than freeze them.
In all my life I have never known a labour government or council which was ever any good at looking after the economy, hence the mess we are always in.
The reason the government grants are decreasing is because this labour council decided to raise council taxes rather than freeze them. In all my life I have never known a labour government or council which was ever any good at looking after the economy, hence the mess we are always in. joeninety

9:30pm Fri 14 Feb 14

Luther95 says...

Madadrian wrote:
"cremations set to rise by £17 to £605. "

These ghouls even tax the dead. The sooner they are voted out the better
That's an increase of just under 3%. The act of ghouls? Really?? This isn't a tax - it's a charge for a service provided.

In fact, if you look at the budget pages on the DBC website, (pages 30-64) -http://www.darlingt
on.gov.uk/PublicMinu
tes/Cabinet/February
%2018%202014/Item%20
4.pdf - there are over 1,000 + things the Council charges for - from facilities at the Dolphin Centre to car parking charges to planning fees.

I estimate that 95% + of these charges are frozen, with a fraction (like some crematorium and cemetery charges) going up by small amounts. That seems like a council that's trying to protect residents from increased charges, not vice versa.

Shame the article gives such a misleading impression of the issue of charges - a bit of genuine journalism now and again would be nice.
[quote][p][bold]Madadrian[/bold] wrote: "cremations set to rise by £17 to £605. " These ghouls even tax the dead. The sooner they are voted out the better[/p][/quote]That's an increase of just under 3%. The act of ghouls? Really?? This isn't a tax - it's a charge for a service provided. In fact, if you look at the budget pages on the DBC website, (pages 30-64) -http://www.darlingt on.gov.uk/PublicMinu tes/Cabinet/February %2018%202014/Item%20 4.pdf - there are over 1,000 + things the Council charges for - from facilities at the Dolphin Centre to car parking charges to planning fees. I estimate that 95% + of these charges are frozen, with a fraction (like some crematorium and cemetery charges) going up by small amounts. That seems like a council that's trying to protect residents from increased charges, not vice versa. Shame the article gives such a misleading impression of the issue of charges - a bit of genuine journalism now and again would be nice. Luther95

10:05pm Fri 14 Feb 14

D. Hop says...

I dont disagree. But as you've stated before one way out is to increase council tax, and while the 2% cap keep us safe for now, given the opportunity who knows where they'd set the limit. I think it will come in the not too distant future, and personally don't feel its fair.
I dont disagree. But as you've stated before one way out is to increase council tax, and while the 2% cap keep us safe for now, given the opportunity who knows where they'd set the limit. I think it will come in the not too distant future, and personally don't feel its fair. D. Hop

10:25pm Fri 14 Feb 14

Daveindarlo says...

The council keeps blaming everyone but them selves, if the government hadn't put laws in to restrict rises we'd be seeing much bigger rises.
Darlington council has done the biggest rises of all the north east councils in the last 13 years. Since 2001 council tax bill have risen 88% here. The council blames the recession and the conservative government but in 2001 and when the economy was booming and they beloved Labour Party was in power bill rose by 10%!
All the council has done since 2001 which is as far back as records go on the bbc website is raise it by the maximum they can get away with.
What do we have for it... Potholed roads, filthy streets and the last town in the country to get wheelie bins.
We need big change, every penny spent needs to be evaluated, the people of Darlington can't afford to keep this council!
The council keeps blaming everyone but them selves, if the government hadn't put laws in to restrict rises we'd be seeing much bigger rises. Darlington council has done the biggest rises of all the north east councils in the last 13 years. Since 2001 council tax bill have risen 88% here. The council blames the recession and the conservative government but in 2001 and when the economy was booming and they beloved Labour Party was in power bill rose by 10%! All the council has done since 2001 which is as far back as records go on the bbc website is raise it by the maximum they can get away with. What do we have for it... Potholed roads, filthy streets and the last town in the country to get wheelie bins. We need big change, every penny spent needs to be evaluated, the people of Darlington can't afford to keep this council! Daveindarlo

10:39pm Fri 14 Feb 14

spragger says...

So when does the Chief Exec go? When is the senior team reduced? When is all discretionary overtime reduced to zero. When will the No. of Cllrs be reduced, including their allowances & expenses.
When will all employees with Diversity, compliance, political, european, Climate Change be removed. When will all union reps be paid for by the unions, rather than the taxpayer

No, of course, this is a Labour Council, they will hit the front line, the only bit the taxpayers value All in the pursuit of political posturing & gesture politics
So when does the Chief Exec go? When is the senior team reduced? When is all discretionary overtime reduced to zero. When will the No. of Cllrs be reduced, including their allowances & expenses. When will all employees with Diversity, compliance, political, european, Climate Change be removed. When will all union reps be paid for by the unions, rather than the taxpayer No, of course, this is a Labour Council, they will hit the front line, the only bit the taxpayers value All in the pursuit of political posturing & gesture politics spragger

10:52pm Fri 14 Feb 14

Luther95 says...

D. Hop wrote:
I dont disagree. But as you've stated before one way out is to increase council tax, and while the 2% cap keep us safe for now, given the opportunity who knows where they'd set the limit. I think it will come in the not too distant future, and personally don't feel its fair.
As far as I can see, DBC haven't explicitly stated the percentage reduction in Government grant from 2010 - 2014 (and on to 2020) although the amount in millions is clear enough. I see Stockton BC are estimating their cut to be 56% from 2010 to 2017.

That is the issue - not the 2% cap. Particularly in the North and North East, local government simply won't be able to function some time around 2016 or 2017 and provide the essential (statutory) services to vulnerable older, and disabled people, and children that Parliament says it must. In a few short years, the quality of life for people in the North is being changed dramatically for the worst by the spending cuts, without any national debate and any chance for recourse. I find that really unfair.

And I agree that the burden shouldn't be thrown completely onto local tax payers - I just wonder what the alternative is when the Tories and Lib Dems are hell bent on taking apart local government?

Resourceful councils like Darlington and Stockton will keep the show on the road somehow, and will try to grow their respective town's economies by attracting jobs and encouraging house building. But I just don't think local government has time to make up the difference when Osbourne's final spending cuts bite after 2017.

Whether that difference will be made up in Council Tax rises remains to be seen.
[quote][p][bold]D. Hop[/bold] wrote: I dont disagree. But as you've stated before one way out is to increase council tax, and while the 2% cap keep us safe for now, given the opportunity who knows where they'd set the limit. I think it will come in the not too distant future, and personally don't feel its fair.[/p][/quote]As far as I can see, DBC haven't explicitly stated the percentage reduction in Government grant from 2010 - 2014 (and on to 2020) although the amount in millions is clear enough. I see Stockton BC are estimating their cut to be 56% from 2010 to 2017. That is the issue - not the 2% cap. Particularly in the North and North East, local government simply won't be able to function some time around 2016 or 2017 and provide the essential (statutory) services to vulnerable older, and disabled people, and children that Parliament says it must. In a few short years, the quality of life for people in the North is being changed dramatically for the worst by the spending cuts, without any national debate and any chance for recourse. I find that really unfair. And I agree that the burden shouldn't be thrown completely onto local tax payers - I just wonder what the alternative is when the Tories and Lib Dems are hell bent on taking apart local government? Resourceful councils like Darlington and Stockton will keep the show on the road somehow, and will try to grow their respective town's economies by attracting jobs and encouraging house building. But I just don't think local government has time to make up the difference when Osbourne's final spending cuts bite after 2017. Whether that difference will be made up in Council Tax rises remains to be seen. Luther95

11:05pm Fri 14 Feb 14

Luther95 says...

Daveindarlo wrote:
The council keeps blaming everyone but them selves, if the government hadn't put laws in to restrict rises we'd be seeing much bigger rises.
Darlington council has done the biggest rises of all the north east councils in the last 13 years. Since 2001 council tax bill have risen 88% here. The council blames the recession and the conservative government but in 2001 and when the economy was booming and they beloved Labour Party was in power bill rose by 10%!
All the council has done since 2001 which is as far back as records go on the bbc website is raise it by the maximum they can get away with.
What do we have for it... Potholed roads, filthy streets and the last town in the country to get wheelie bins.
We need big change, every penny spent needs to be evaluated, the people of Darlington can't afford to keep this council!
...damned lies & statistics! In fact, Darlington still has the lowest or second lowest level of Council Tax in the North East (depending how you do the comparisons).

I saw figures last year which showed that if Darlington had the same level of Council Tax as Hartlepool or South Tyneside, then it would have had an extra £9 million a year. The impact of the slashing of Government grant would not have been anywhere near as dramatic on the town.

You could argue that by keeping Council Tax levels low, relative to the rest of the North East, DBC has been the architect of its own misfortune. But no-one could have predicted the unprecedented, vicious assault on local government by the Coalition since 2010.
[quote][p][bold]Daveindarlo[/bold] wrote: The council keeps blaming everyone but them selves, if the government hadn't put laws in to restrict rises we'd be seeing much bigger rises. Darlington council has done the biggest rises of all the north east councils in the last 13 years. Since 2001 council tax bill have risen 88% here. The council blames the recession and the conservative government but in 2001 and when the economy was booming and they beloved Labour Party was in power bill rose by 10%! All the council has done since 2001 which is as far back as records go on the bbc website is raise it by the maximum they can get away with. What do we have for it... Potholed roads, filthy streets and the last town in the country to get wheelie bins. We need big change, every penny spent needs to be evaluated, the people of Darlington can't afford to keep this council![/p][/quote]...damned lies & statistics! In fact, Darlington still has the lowest or second lowest level of Council Tax in the North East (depending how you do the comparisons). I saw figures last year which showed that if Darlington had the same level of Council Tax as Hartlepool or South Tyneside, then it would have had an extra £9 million a year. The impact of the slashing of Government grant would not have been anywhere near as dramatic on the town. You could argue that by keeping Council Tax levels low, relative to the rest of the North East, DBC has been the architect of its own misfortune. But no-one could have predicted the unprecedented, vicious assault on local government by the Coalition since 2010. Luther95

11:22pm Fri 14 Feb 14

SP Farrell says...

Start on the inside for cuts, such as the Burns and Dixons salaries. Darlington voters can blame only themselves for always voting this Labour controlled council in. Reduce the number of expense account driven so called public servants too.
Hit where it hurts in the next round of elections and GET RID!!!!! Simples!
Start on the inside for cuts, such as the Burns and Dixons salaries. Darlington voters can blame only themselves for always voting this Labour controlled council in. Reduce the number of expense account driven so called public servants too. Hit where it hurts in the next round of elections and GET RID!!!!! Simples! SP Farrell

3:51am Sat 15 Feb 14

banmeandilljustregisterwithanewname says...

This greedy wasteful thieving council want it all ways. They simply have to go come the next election.
This greedy wasteful thieving council want it all ways. They simply have to go come the next election. banmeandilljustregisterwithanewname

5:38am Sat 15 Feb 14

BMD says...

Luther95, I suspect is a Labour Councillor or a Council Employee.

Who assesses the Council Management capabilities, performance and how often are they appraised?
Luther95, I suspect is a Labour Councillor or a Council Employee. Who assesses the Council Management capabilities, performance and how often are they appraised? BMD

8:25am Sat 15 Feb 14

oliviaden6 says...

The next election will not matter as the majority of voters in and around Darlington can only see RED on the voting form, they may moan and groan but will still put their cross next to the RED candidates, its a historical thing.
Come on voters of Darlington wake up and smell the coffee, Bill and his Buddies are stiffing you and you still roll over for it?
The next election will not matter as the majority of voters in and around Darlington can only see RED on the voting form, they may moan and groan but will still put their cross next to the RED candidates, its a historical thing. Come on voters of Darlington wake up and smell the coffee, Bill and his Buddies are stiffing you and you still roll over for it? oliviaden6

8:28am Sat 15 Feb 14

darloboss says...

BMD wrote:
Luther95, I suspect is a Labour Councillor or a Council Employee.

Who assesses the Council Management capabilities, performance and how often are they appraised?
i dont agree i think luther95 knows what he/she is talking about unlike other commenters who are only on here to knock labour
I manage a very small operation on a very srtick budget and that is hard enough i wouldnt even begin to know where to start on darlington councils budget and again i still think we have value for money and services although cut continue to run stop knocking labour and open your eyes the blame should be put firmly on the shoulders of the chubby millionare's that live in 10 and 11 downing street

well done bill dixon keep up the good work
[quote][p][bold]BMD[/bold] wrote: Luther95, I suspect is a Labour Councillor or a Council Employee. Who assesses the Council Management capabilities, performance and how often are they appraised?[/p][/quote]i dont agree i think luther95 knows what he/she is talking about unlike other commenters who are only on here to knock labour I manage a very small operation on a very srtick budget and that is hard enough i wouldnt even begin to know where to start on darlington councils budget and again i still think we have value for money and services although cut continue to run stop knocking labour and open your eyes the blame should be put firmly on the shoulders of the chubby millionare's that live in 10 and 11 downing street well done bill dixon keep up the good work darloboss

9:40am Sat 15 Feb 14

black&whitehorse says...

you have my vote mr dixon sir
you have my vote mr dixon sir black&whitehorse

11:48am Sat 15 Feb 14

behonest says...

Luther95 mentions statistics, but is careful not to dispute the point that council tax doubled under Labour. They've felt unable to increase it since the Coalition came in, but here we go again with maximum council tax increases that Labour can get away with, and every year for the next six years!
Luther95 mentions statistics, but is careful not to dispute the point that council tax doubled under Labour. They've felt unable to increase it since the Coalition came in, but here we go again with maximum council tax increases that Labour can get away with, and every year for the next six years! behonest

12:00pm Sat 15 Feb 14

Lifetime Townie says...

SP Farrell wrote:
Start on the inside for cuts, such as the Burns and Dixons salaries. Darlington voters can blame only themselves for always voting this Labour controlled council in. Reduce the number of expense account driven so called public servants too.
Hit where it hurts in the next round of elections and GET RID!!!!! Simples!
This Labour council always votes to keep and pay the town hall hierarchy the grossly inflated wages in preference to providing the services that we are entitled to.
There is no opposition from the other parties so they give the impression that they either they have given up representing their voters or they have no interest in the town apart from claiming their expenses.
[quote][p][bold]SP Farrell[/bold] wrote: Start on the inside for cuts, such as the Burns and Dixons salaries. Darlington voters can blame only themselves for always voting this Labour controlled council in. Reduce the number of expense account driven so called public servants too. Hit where it hurts in the next round of elections and GET RID!!!!! Simples![/p][/quote]This Labour council always votes to keep and pay the town hall hierarchy the grossly inflated wages in preference to providing the services that we are entitled to. There is no opposition from the other parties so they give the impression that they either they have given up representing their voters or they have no interest in the town apart from claiming their expenses. Lifetime Townie

3:45pm Sat 15 Feb 14

loan_star says...

Lifetime Townie wrote:
SP Farrell wrote:
Start on the inside for cuts, such as the Burns and Dixons salaries. Darlington voters can blame only themselves for always voting this Labour controlled council in. Reduce the number of expense account driven so called public servants too.
Hit where it hurts in the next round of elections and GET RID!!!!! Simples!
This Labour council always votes to keep and pay the town hall hierarchy the grossly inflated wages in preference to providing the services that we are entitled to.
There is no opposition from the other parties so they give the impression that they either they have given up representing their voters or they have no interest in the town apart from claiming their expenses.
When the opposition is outnumbered even when they group together then theres no wonder they seem like they have given up.
[quote][p][bold]Lifetime Townie[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]SP Farrell[/bold] wrote: Start on the inside for cuts, such as the Burns and Dixons salaries. Darlington voters can blame only themselves for always voting this Labour controlled council in. Reduce the number of expense account driven so called public servants too. Hit where it hurts in the next round of elections and GET RID!!!!! Simples![/p][/quote]This Labour council always votes to keep and pay the town hall hierarchy the grossly inflated wages in preference to providing the services that we are entitled to. There is no opposition from the other parties so they give the impression that they either they have given up representing their voters or they have no interest in the town apart from claiming their expenses.[/p][/quote]When the opposition is outnumbered even when they group together then theres no wonder they seem like they have given up. loan_star

4:18pm Sat 15 Feb 14

MSG says...

Labour have run this town into the ground !

When will Dixon and Burns be sacked for the terrible job they are doing?

If only we had an elected mayor at least we could vote them out. Dixon & Burns must be laughing all the way to their banks as their positions are untouchable !

I hope there is an "anti-Labour cuts in Darlington" candidate at the general election in 2015 for all the people who want to get Labour out of running this town.
Labour have run this town into the ground ! When will Dixon and Burns be sacked for the terrible job they are doing? If only we had an elected mayor at least we could vote them out. Dixon & Burns must be laughing all the way to their banks as their positions are untouchable ! I hope there is an "anti-Labour cuts in Darlington" candidate at the general election in 2015 for all the people who want to get Labour out of running this town. MSG

4:25pm Sat 15 Feb 14

DarloXman says...

Unless we residents of Darlington can get ourselves organised and vote in an alternative set of Councillors - preferably independent Councillors who want to work for the best of Darlington rather than continuously trying to score political points at the expense of the residents, then we will be stuck with this incompetent cesspit of a Labour Council for the foreseeable future!

The first question I would ask if I was responsible for the Council's budget is why are we paying Ada Burns in excess of £185,000 per year? Luther95 - as the Council spokesperson do you want to have a go at answering this one?
Unless we residents of Darlington can get ourselves organised and vote in an alternative set of Councillors - preferably independent Councillors who want to work for the best of Darlington rather than continuously trying to score political points at the expense of the residents, then we will be stuck with this incompetent cesspit of a Labour Council for the foreseeable future! The first question I would ask if I was responsible for the Council's budget is why are we paying Ada Burns in excess of £185,000 per year? Luther95 - as the Council spokesperson do you want to have a go at answering this one? DarloXman

5:27pm Sat 15 Feb 14

Madadrian says...

Dixon says "If this was the route we chose to go down, we would have no sports facilities, no parks, limited street cleaning, no theatre, no museums, limited libraries and no children’s centres among other cuts."

The streets are already only cleaned intermittently. As for the rest some were originally opened by private finance and taken over by the council. The central library is part of the education budget. The rest are fun.

Why should taxpayers subsidise fun for other people? People who are often wealthier than those donig the subsidising. The leisure centre and theatre should be sold off . The taxpayers don't need to subsidise the entertainment industry. It should be left to sink or swim the same as the 10000 manufacturing jobs the town lost were made to do
Dixon says "If this was the route we chose to go down, we would have no sports facilities, no parks, limited street cleaning, no theatre, no museums, limited libraries and no children’s centres among other cuts." The streets are already only cleaned intermittently. As for the rest some were originally opened by private finance and taken over by the council. The central library is part of the education budget. The rest are fun. Why should taxpayers subsidise fun for other people? People who are often wealthier than those donig the subsidising. The leisure centre and theatre should be sold off . The taxpayers don't need to subsidise the entertainment industry. It should be left to sink or swim the same as the 10000 manufacturing jobs the town lost were made to do Madadrian

5:29pm Sat 15 Feb 14

Madadrian says...

I see no signs of Dixon dropping the allowances he gets. Or why the two who don't represent our ward need the taxes from over 30 dwellings in order to do it
I see no signs of Dixon dropping the allowances he gets. Or why the two who don't represent our ward need the taxes from over 30 dwellings in order to do it Madadrian

5:40pm Sat 15 Feb 14

behonest says...

Darlington council tax is now at the national average, so comparing it within the North East is misleading.
North East councils are mostly Labour. Fact.
Average council tax rates in the North East are the highest in the entire country. Fact.
Darlington council tax is now at the national average, so comparing it within the North East is misleading. North East councils are mostly Labour. Fact. Average council tax rates in the North East are the highest in the entire country. Fact. behonest

5:58pm Sat 15 Feb 14

g8crasher says...

Who would even notice if they stopped cleaning the streets? The town is a disgrace as it is!!! Dirty Darlo certainly rings true these days! I wish I was allowed the same work ethic as The councils employees in my job!!
Who would even notice if they stopped cleaning the streets? The town is a disgrace as it is!!! Dirty Darlo certainly rings true these days! I wish I was allowed the same work ethic as The councils employees in my job!! g8crasher

10:34pm Sat 15 Feb 14

Luther95 says...

MSG wrote:
Labour have run this town into the ground !

When will Dixon and Burns be sacked for the terrible job they are doing?

If only we had an elected mayor at least we could vote them out. Dixon & Burns must be laughing all the way to their banks as their positions are untouchable !

I hope there is an "anti-Labour cuts in Darlington" candidate at the general election in 2015 for all the people who want to get Labour out of running this town.
So how has the Elected Mayor in Middlesbrough performed in the era of austerity? Has the town somehow been spared the cuts and really tough choices found elsewhere in the North East?

In fact Middlesbrough had to cut by £12 million in 2012/13; and a further £22 million for the coming year - a total of £67 million by 2016. Frankly, rather than face up to the scale of the reductions the Council faced, and fundamentally re-organising and re-thinking its services, Mallon stuck his head in the sand and 'salami sliced' the cuts. That might have seen them through a couple of difficult years, but now they're having to slash and burn in short order, meaning their cuts are even more destructive than those we face here. Now he's lost interest in Middlesbrough and standing down - so much for the Mayoral model!

As for an 'anti-Labour cuts in Darlington' candidate - people aren't stupid. They see the disproportionate impact the cuts are having on communities in the North and North East. If the General Election is fought on that in 2015, it'll be the Tories and Lib Dems who are run out of town.
[quote][p][bold]MSG[/bold] wrote: Labour have run this town into the ground ! When will Dixon and Burns be sacked for the terrible job they are doing? If only we had an elected mayor at least we could vote them out. Dixon & Burns must be laughing all the way to their banks as their positions are untouchable ! I hope there is an "anti-Labour cuts in Darlington" candidate at the general election in 2015 for all the people who want to get Labour out of running this town.[/p][/quote]So how has the Elected Mayor in Middlesbrough performed in the era of austerity? Has the town somehow been spared the cuts and really tough choices found elsewhere in the North East? In fact Middlesbrough had to cut by £12 million in 2012/13; and a further £22 million for the coming year - a total of £67 million by 2016. Frankly, rather than face up to the scale of the reductions the Council faced, and fundamentally re-organising and re-thinking its services, Mallon stuck his head in the sand and 'salami sliced' the cuts. That might have seen them through a couple of difficult years, but now they're having to slash and burn in short order, meaning their cuts are even more destructive than those we face here. Now he's lost interest in Middlesbrough and standing down - so much for the Mayoral model! As for an 'anti-Labour cuts in Darlington' candidate - people aren't stupid. They see the disproportionate impact the cuts are having on communities in the North and North East. If the General Election is fought on that in 2015, it'll be the Tories and Lib Dems who are run out of town. Luther95

1:20am Sun 16 Feb 14

Spy Boy says...

With regard to the comments about the dreaded changes to the ring road that isn't. How the hell can this ever work ? There are 6 roundabouts on this almost a traffic system and every one is a bottleneck. How can changing one of them make it all work ? The system is crap now, but a single traffic light at Stonebridge will stop the holdups in the northbound lanes at rush hour. They could have tested this theory for a very small outlay. This system and 'improvements' will not work.

Here's an idea. Get rid of the stupid throughabout on Haughton Road and then people will actually use the millions over budget Eastern Transit Corridor. ( Why do execs come up with all this stuff when we know it's just a bypass.) Next, turn the traffic lights on the new road and McMullen into another cheap roundabout. Next, put someone in charge of the roads in the borough who can actually drive and doesn't go everywhere by taxi, or on a bike. Darlington's roads are crap and they're getting worse. Can I ask who actually signs off off all the substandard work ? You know, all the bumpy tarmac and the poorly filled potholes that stay fixed until a large vehicle pulls all the filling out again. Who signed off the bumpy tarmac on the railway bridge on Thompson Street ? Dreadful.
With regard to the comments about the dreaded changes to the ring road that isn't. How the hell can this ever work ? There are 6 roundabouts on this almost a traffic system and every one is a bottleneck. How can changing one of them make it all work ? The system is crap now, but a single traffic light at Stonebridge will stop the holdups in the northbound lanes at rush hour. They could have tested this theory for a very small outlay. This system and 'improvements' will not work. Here's an idea. Get rid of the stupid throughabout on Haughton Road and then people will actually use the millions over budget Eastern Transit Corridor. ( Why do execs come up with all this stuff when we know it's just a bypass.) Next, turn the traffic lights on the new road and McMullen into another cheap roundabout. Next, put someone in charge of the roads in the borough who can actually drive and doesn't go everywhere by taxi, or on a bike. Darlington's roads are crap and they're getting worse. Can I ask who actually signs off off all the substandard work ? You know, all the bumpy tarmac and the poorly filled potholes that stay fixed until a large vehicle pulls all the filling out again. Who signed off the bumpy tarmac on the railway bridge on Thompson Street ? Dreadful. Spy Boy

5:36am Sun 16 Feb 14

BMD says...

Good Morning Luther95,

Why has Darlington Council 17 Directors and Assistant Directors, whilst AMEC a international company only have 8?

Please inform me why Ada Burns earns more than the Prime Minister?
Good Morning Luther95, Why has Darlington Council 17 Directors and Assistant Directors, whilst AMEC a international company only have 8? Please inform me why Ada Burns earns more than the Prime Minister? BMD

9:30am Sun 16 Feb 14

Luther95 says...

BMD wrote:
Good Morning Luther95,

Why has Darlington Council 17 Directors and Assistant Directors, whilst AMEC a international company only have 8?

Please inform me why Ada Burns earns more than the Prime Minister?
Morning.

Regarding senior management at DBC, here's a quote from the report that went to Council in November 2013;

"The Council to date has made significant reductions in senior management costs and numbers in order to maximise spending on operational activity of direct benefit to the public. The last significant senior restructure was in 2010 when Council approved a new organisational design that reduced the number of departments from 4 to 3 and Directors and Assistant Directors from 22 to 14 (a reduction of 36%)."

"These changes produced savings of over £1.2m in senior management costs. Management costs were addressed within the Money Talks events in the summer, with benchmarking presented to Members and the public from other Councils noting that Darlington continues to operate at the lowest end of costs for North East Councils. The average number of Chief Officers is 24, and Darlington has 15 (includes the Director of Public Health)."

http://www.darlingto
n.gov.uk/PublicMinut
es/Council/November%
2028%202013/Item%20N
o.%207%20(a)%20-%20S
enior%20Management%2
0Structures.pdf

I'm not sure that the role of Director is comparable between the private and public sectors.

I understand that Darlington's CE salary is comparable to others across the North East. From recollection, the unfavourable comparison with the PM's salary only works when you strip out his MP's salary.

Fundamentally, to run a large and complex organisation which deals with issues of significant risk every day, you need committed staff on a fair renumeration. As you can see from the quote above, Darlington has fewer senior staff that most North East councils, but they are absolutely essential
[quote][p][bold]BMD[/bold] wrote: Good Morning Luther95, Why has Darlington Council 17 Directors and Assistant Directors, whilst AMEC a international company only have 8? Please inform me why Ada Burns earns more than the Prime Minister?[/p][/quote]Morning. Regarding senior management at DBC, here's a quote from the report that went to Council in November 2013; "The Council to date has made significant reductions in senior management costs and numbers in order to maximise spending on operational activity of direct benefit to the public. The last significant senior restructure was in 2010 when Council approved a new organisational design that reduced the number of departments from 4 to 3 and Directors and Assistant Directors from 22 to 14 (a reduction of 36%)." "These changes produced savings of over £1.2m in senior management costs. Management costs were addressed within the Money Talks events in the summer, with benchmarking presented to Members and the public from other Councils noting that Darlington continues to operate at the lowest end of costs for North East Councils. The average number of Chief Officers is 24, and Darlington has 15 (includes the Director of Public Health)." http://www.darlingto n.gov.uk/PublicMinut es/Council/November% 2028%202013/Item%20N o.%207%20(a)%20-%20S enior%20Management%2 0Structures.pdf I'm not sure that the role of Director is comparable between the private and public sectors. I understand that Darlington's CE salary is comparable to others across the North East. From recollection, the unfavourable comparison with the PM's salary only works when you strip out his MP's salary. Fundamentally, to run a large and complex organisation which deals with issues of significant risk every day, you need committed staff on a fair renumeration. As you can see from the quote above, Darlington has fewer senior staff that most North East councils, but they are absolutely essential Luther95

10:03am Sun 16 Feb 14

BMD says...

Luther95 says...I'm not sure that the role of Director is comparable between the private and public sectors.

Answer: But isn’t it the case that Public Sector enjoy comparing themselves with the Private Sector when discussing remuneration packages.

I understand that Darlington's CE salary is comparable to others across the North East. From recollection, the unfavourable comparison with the PM's salary only works when you strip out his MP's salary.

Answer: Are you stating that ALL North East Public Sector CE salaries are overpaid! Referring to the PM's salary, he seems to have more responsibility and more accountable.

Fundamentally, to run a large and complex organisation which deals with issues of significant risk every day, you need committed staff on a fair remuneration. As you can see from the quote above, Darlington has fewer senior staff that most North East councils, but they are absolutely essential.

Answer: Fair remuneration seems a little extravagant, but I am sure if the CE, Directors and AD's were employed on a rolling one year contract with the ability to review the salary and pension remuneration packages, a better work ethos will be developed and more commitment from the staff.
The comparison of other North East councils is totally flawed as no town or amenities are the same - It’s like saying "Mr Stockton has his hand in the cookie jar, so I (Mr Darlington) need to put my hand in the cookie jar!
Luther95 says...I'm not sure that the role of Director is comparable between the private and public sectors. Answer: But isn’t it the case that Public Sector enjoy comparing themselves with the Private Sector when discussing remuneration packages. I understand that Darlington's CE salary is comparable to others across the North East. From recollection, the unfavourable comparison with the PM's salary only works when you strip out his MP's salary. Answer: Are you stating that ALL North East Public Sector CE salaries are overpaid! Referring to the PM's salary, he seems to have more responsibility and more accountable. Fundamentally, to run a large and complex organisation which deals with issues of significant risk every day, you need committed staff on a fair remuneration. As you can see from the quote above, Darlington has fewer senior staff that most North East councils, but they are absolutely essential. Answer: Fair remuneration seems a little extravagant, but I am sure if the CE, Directors and AD's were employed on a rolling one year contract with the ability to review the salary and pension remuneration packages, a better work ethos will be developed and more commitment from the staff. The comparison of other North East councils is totally flawed as no town or amenities are the same - It’s like saying "Mr Stockton has his hand in the cookie jar, so I (Mr Darlington) need to put my hand in the cookie jar! BMD

10:46am Sun 16 Feb 14

DarloXman says...

"Fundamentally, to run a large and complex organisation which deals with issues of significant risk every day, you need committed staff on a fair renumeration. As you can see from the quote above, Darlington has fewer senior staff that most North East councils, but they are absolutely essential"

Complex?? Significant risk??

What a joke! It''s just a council - responsible for collecting rubbish, cleaning the streets, opening a library on time, running care facilities and complying with laws set by Central Government.

If Ada Burns's position was advertised for half the salary you would still get many totally capable applicants - the salary is a disgrace and an insult to the tax payer for the performance we receive.
"Fundamentally, to run a large and complex organisation which deals with issues of significant risk every day, you need committed staff on a fair renumeration. As you can see from the quote above, Darlington has fewer senior staff that most North East councils, but they are absolutely essential" Complex?? Significant risk?? What a joke! It''s just a council - responsible for collecting rubbish, cleaning the streets, opening a library on time, running care facilities and complying with laws set by Central Government. If Ada Burns's position was advertised for half the salary you would still get many totally capable applicants - the salary is a disgrace and an insult to the tax payer for the performance we receive. DarloXman

11:19am Sun 16 Feb 14

Luther95 says...

BMD wrote:
Luther95 says...I'm not sure that the role of Director is comparable between the private and public sectors.

Answer: But isn’t it the case that Public Sector enjoy comparing themselves with the Private Sector when discussing remuneration packages.

I understand that Darlington's CE salary is comparable to others across the North East. From recollection, the unfavourable comparison with the PM's salary only works when you strip out his MP's salary.

Answer: Are you stating that ALL North East Public Sector CE salaries are overpaid! Referring to the PM's salary, he seems to have more responsibility and more accountable.

Fundamentally, to run a large and complex organisation which deals with issues of significant risk every day, you need committed staff on a fair remuneration. As you can see from the quote above, Darlington has fewer senior staff that most North East councils, but they are absolutely essential.

Answer: Fair remuneration seems a little extravagant, but I am sure if the CE, Directors and AD's were employed on a rolling one year contract with the ability to review the salary and pension remuneration packages, a better work ethos will be developed and more commitment from the staff.
The comparison of other North East councils is totally flawed as no town or amenities are the same - It’s like saying "Mr Stockton has his hand in the cookie jar, so I (Mr Darlington) need to put my hand in the cookie jar!
I think your 'hand in the cookie jar' highlights your view of senior local government staff, BMD.

Directors, and those immediately below them are professionals - engineers, planners, social workers, educationalists an the like - at the top of their careers. After decades of experience (not always only within local authorities) a senior council role provides them with the chance to shape the areas of their responsibility for the better, as change inevitably occurs.

Any sensible organisation values and respects its workforce - your suggestion that senior staff be treated somehow as 'scammers' who should be placed on probationary one-year rolling contracts would hardly be an attractive proposition for anyone taking on the considerable stresses and long-working hours that being a senior officer in an LA entails.

What makes you think that there is a 'commitment' issue amongst senior staff? What evidence is there of that? The sense from the various leading private, public and voluntary sector organisations in Darlington evidenced in the Local Government Association Peer Review last year was that there is a great deal of respect for the senior management team.

http://www.darlingto
n.gov.uk/PublicMinut
es/Cabinet/September
%203%202013/Item%208
.pdf

As for 'significant risks', here's a few;

(1) Children at risk of harm - child protection.
(2) Vulnerable children in the care system.
(3) Vulnerable adults, both supported at home and in care.
(4) Landlord for thousands of tenants, with all that entails.
(5) Regulation of food safety, building standards, taxi safety etc.

You don't notice these areas of work because generally, DBC operates very well. God forbid, if the abuse of children in the community went on undetected and not challenged; if older people were harmed in care homes; if fly-by-night fast food operations were allowed to operate, subjecting people to food poisoning; if rogue builders were allowed to cut corners leading to building collapse; then you would soon realise how critical local authorities are to the quality of our everyday lives.

For sure, good local authorities should not overpay their staff - they have to pay the going rate, however to ensure that good people are attracted to, and stay, with the local council.
[quote][p][bold]BMD[/bold] wrote: Luther95 says...I'm not sure that the role of Director is comparable between the private and public sectors. Answer: But isn’t it the case that Public Sector enjoy comparing themselves with the Private Sector when discussing remuneration packages. I understand that Darlington's CE salary is comparable to others across the North East. From recollection, the unfavourable comparison with the PM's salary only works when you strip out his MP's salary. Answer: Are you stating that ALL North East Public Sector CE salaries are overpaid! Referring to the PM's salary, he seems to have more responsibility and more accountable. Fundamentally, to run a large and complex organisation which deals with issues of significant risk every day, you need committed staff on a fair remuneration. As you can see from the quote above, Darlington has fewer senior staff that most North East councils, but they are absolutely essential. Answer: Fair remuneration seems a little extravagant, but I am sure if the CE, Directors and AD's were employed on a rolling one year contract with the ability to review the salary and pension remuneration packages, a better work ethos will be developed and more commitment from the staff. The comparison of other North East councils is totally flawed as no town or amenities are the same - It’s like saying "Mr Stockton has his hand in the cookie jar, so I (Mr Darlington) need to put my hand in the cookie jar![/p][/quote]I think your 'hand in the cookie jar' highlights your view of senior local government staff, BMD. Directors, and those immediately below them are professionals - engineers, planners, social workers, educationalists an the like - at the top of their careers. After decades of experience (not always only within local authorities) a senior council role provides them with the chance to shape the areas of their responsibility for the better, as change inevitably occurs. Any sensible organisation values and respects its workforce - your suggestion that senior staff be treated somehow as 'scammers' who should be placed on probationary one-year rolling contracts would hardly be an attractive proposition for anyone taking on the considerable stresses and long-working hours that being a senior officer in an LA entails. What makes you think that there is a 'commitment' issue amongst senior staff? What evidence is there of that? The sense from the various leading private, public and voluntary sector organisations in Darlington evidenced in the Local Government Association Peer Review last year was that there is a great deal of respect for the senior management team. http://www.darlingto n.gov.uk/PublicMinut es/Cabinet/September %203%202013/Item%208 .pdf As for 'significant risks', here's a few; (1) Children at risk of harm - child protection. (2) Vulnerable children in the care system. (3) Vulnerable adults, both supported at home and in care. (4) Landlord for thousands of tenants, with all that entails. (5) Regulation of food safety, building standards, taxi safety etc. You don't notice these areas of work because generally, DBC operates very well. God forbid, if the abuse of children in the community went on undetected and not challenged; if older people were harmed in care homes; if fly-by-night fast food operations were allowed to operate, subjecting people to food poisoning; if rogue builders were allowed to cut corners leading to building collapse; then you would soon realise how critical local authorities are to the quality of our everyday lives. For sure, good local authorities should not overpay their staff - they have to pay the going rate, however to ensure that good people are attracted to, and stay, with the local council. Luther95

11:26am Sun 16 Feb 14

Daveindarlo says...

BMD wrote:
Luther95 says...I'm not sure that the role of Director is comparable between the private and public sectors.

Answer: But isn’t it the case that Public Sector enjoy comparing themselves with the Private Sector when discussing remuneration packages.

I understand that Darlington's CE salary is comparable to others across the North East. From recollection, the unfavourable comparison with the PM's salary only works when you strip out his MP's salary.

Answer: Are you stating that ALL North East Public Sector CE salaries are overpaid! Referring to the PM's salary, he seems to have more responsibility and more accountable.

Fundamentally, to run a large and complex organisation which deals with issues of significant risk every day, you need committed staff on a fair remuneration. As you can see from the quote above, Darlington has fewer senior staff that most North East councils, but they are absolutely essential.

Answer: Fair remuneration seems a little extravagant, but I am sure if the CE, Directors and AD's were employed on a rolling one year contract with the ability to review the salary and pension remuneration packages, a better work ethos will be developed and more commitment from the staff.
The comparison of other North East councils is totally flawed as no town or amenities are the same - It’s like saying "Mr Stockton has his hand in the cookie jar, so I (Mr Darlington) need to put my hand in the cookie jar!
Darlington is a small town, it doesn't need amount of spending on the people at the top as other bigger councils.
The brutal truth is every pay package and pension plan needs to be re evaluated.
Unions have had too much say in employees packages so council staff have pensions that north east private sector workers can only dream of and wages that are far higher than what private sector workers earn in equivalent roles.
We can no longer afford to pay for big governments and big councils on big governments.
[quote][p][bold]BMD[/bold] wrote: Luther95 says...I'm not sure that the role of Director is comparable between the private and public sectors. Answer: But isn’t it the case that Public Sector enjoy comparing themselves with the Private Sector when discussing remuneration packages. I understand that Darlington's CE salary is comparable to others across the North East. From recollection, the unfavourable comparison with the PM's salary only works when you strip out his MP's salary. Answer: Are you stating that ALL North East Public Sector CE salaries are overpaid! Referring to the PM's salary, he seems to have more responsibility and more accountable. Fundamentally, to run a large and complex organisation which deals with issues of significant risk every day, you need committed staff on a fair remuneration. As you can see from the quote above, Darlington has fewer senior staff that most North East councils, but they are absolutely essential. Answer: Fair remuneration seems a little extravagant, but I am sure if the CE, Directors and AD's were employed on a rolling one year contract with the ability to review the salary and pension remuneration packages, a better work ethos will be developed and more commitment from the staff. The comparison of other North East councils is totally flawed as no town or amenities are the same - It’s like saying "Mr Stockton has his hand in the cookie jar, so I (Mr Darlington) need to put my hand in the cookie jar![/p][/quote]Darlington is a small town, it doesn't need amount of spending on the people at the top as other bigger councils. The brutal truth is every pay package and pension plan needs to be re evaluated. Unions have had too much say in employees packages so council staff have pensions that north east private sector workers can only dream of and wages that are far higher than what private sector workers earn in equivalent roles. We can no longer afford to pay for big governments and big councils on big governments. Daveindarlo

11:35am Sun 16 Feb 14

DarloXman says...

"As for 'significant risks', here's a few;

(1) Children at risk of harm - child protection.
(2) Vulnerable children in the care system.
(3) Vulnerable adults, both supported at home and in care.
(4) Landlord for thousands of tenants, with all that entails.
(5) Regulation of food safety, building standards, taxi safety etc."

That's not significant risks - that's just a list of their responsibilities! They don't set policy or guidelines - they just have to comply with what is set elsewhere.

Managers in the private sector carry the risk of if they disappoint their customers sales will fall and hence their, and their employee's livelihood is at risk! Council Management do not carry this risk - the money keeps coming from increased council tax whatever their performance - and I can tell you as a "customer of the council "I've been very dissappointed with their performance!
"As for 'significant risks', here's a few; (1) Children at risk of harm - child protection. (2) Vulnerable children in the care system. (3) Vulnerable adults, both supported at home and in care. (4) Landlord for thousands of tenants, with all that entails. (5) Regulation of food safety, building standards, taxi safety etc." That's not significant risks - that's just a list of their responsibilities! They don't set policy or guidelines - they just have to comply with what is set elsewhere. Managers in the private sector carry the risk of if they disappoint their customers sales will fall and hence their, and their employee's livelihood is at risk! Council Management do not carry this risk - the money keeps coming from increased council tax whatever their performance - and I can tell you as a "customer of the council "I've been very dissappointed with their performance! DarloXman

12:26pm Sun 16 Feb 14

Savant_NE says...

Quote :"In simple terms the only way we can collect more tax is to build more houses and attract more business to the borough.”
Quote :"In simple terms the only way we can collect more tax is to build more houses and attract more business to the borough.” Savant_NE

12:29pm Sun 16 Feb 14

Savant_NE says...

Quote :"In simple terms the only way we can collect more tax is to build more houses and attract more business to the borough.” Totally agree , take a drive up the A1m and see all the new industrial estates built since 2009 , then drive round Darlington , and try to find a new industrial building.Factories begat suppliers factories.Houses attract employees....Cuts drag us down !.Who wants to live in a town with dirty streets and no facilities and unkempt parks and gardens , no one
Quote :"In simple terms the only way we can collect more tax is to build more houses and attract more business to the borough.” Totally agree , take a drive up the A1m and see all the new industrial estates built since 2009 , then drive round Darlington , and try to find a new industrial building.Factories begat suppliers factories.Houses attract employees....Cuts drag us down !.Who wants to live in a town with dirty streets and no facilities and unkempt parks and gardens , no one Savant_NE

1:22pm Sun 16 Feb 14

Lifetime Townie says...

Daveindarlo wrote:
BMD wrote:
Luther95 says...I'm not sure that the role of Director is comparable between the private and public sectors.

Answer: But isn’t it the case that Public Sector enjoy comparing themselves with the Private Sector when discussing remuneration packages.

I understand that Darlington's CE salary is comparable to others across the North East. From recollection, the unfavourable comparison with the PM's salary only works when you strip out his MP's salary.

Answer: Are you stating that ALL North East Public Sector CE salaries are overpaid! Referring to the PM's salary, he seems to have more responsibility and more accountable.

Fundamentally, to run a large and complex organisation which deals with issues of significant risk every day, you need committed staff on a fair remuneration. As you can see from the quote above, Darlington has fewer senior staff that most North East councils, but they are absolutely essential.

Answer: Fair remuneration seems a little extravagant, but I am sure if the CE, Directors and AD's were employed on a rolling one year contract with the ability to review the salary and pension remuneration packages, a better work ethos will be developed and more commitment from the staff.
The comparison of other North East councils is totally flawed as no town or amenities are the same - It’s like saying "Mr Stockton has his hand in the cookie jar, so I (Mr Darlington) need to put my hand in the cookie jar!
Darlington is a small town, it doesn't need amount of spending on the people at the top as other bigger councils.
The brutal truth is every pay package and pension plan needs to be re evaluated.
Unions have had too much say in employees packages so council staff have pensions that north east private sector workers can only dream of and wages that are far higher than what private sector workers earn in equivalent roles.
We can no longer afford to pay for big governments and big councils on big governments.
CE salary should be based on the population of the town and the number of council employees under CE control. We don't need the assistant director level of staff, that would save a few £m. It's long overdue that the town should be managed more efficiently as would happen in PLC or a private company.
[quote][p][bold]Daveindarlo[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BMD[/bold] wrote: Luther95 says...I'm not sure that the role of Director is comparable between the private and public sectors. Answer: But isn’t it the case that Public Sector enjoy comparing themselves with the Private Sector when discussing remuneration packages. I understand that Darlington's CE salary is comparable to others across the North East. From recollection, the unfavourable comparison with the PM's salary only works when you strip out his MP's salary. Answer: Are you stating that ALL North East Public Sector CE salaries are overpaid! Referring to the PM's salary, he seems to have more responsibility and more accountable. Fundamentally, to run a large and complex organisation which deals with issues of significant risk every day, you need committed staff on a fair remuneration. As you can see from the quote above, Darlington has fewer senior staff that most North East councils, but they are absolutely essential. Answer: Fair remuneration seems a little extravagant, but I am sure if the CE, Directors and AD's were employed on a rolling one year contract with the ability to review the salary and pension remuneration packages, a better work ethos will be developed and more commitment from the staff. The comparison of other North East councils is totally flawed as no town or amenities are the same - It’s like saying "Mr Stockton has his hand in the cookie jar, so I (Mr Darlington) need to put my hand in the cookie jar![/p][/quote]Darlington is a small town, it doesn't need amount of spending on the people at the top as other bigger councils. The brutal truth is every pay package and pension plan needs to be re evaluated. Unions have had too much say in employees packages so council staff have pensions that north east private sector workers can only dream of and wages that are far higher than what private sector workers earn in equivalent roles. We can no longer afford to pay for big governments and big councils on big governments.[/p][/quote]CE salary should be based on the population of the town and the number of council employees under CE control. We don't need the assistant director level of staff, that would save a few £m. It's long overdue that the town should be managed more efficiently as would happen in PLC or a private company. Lifetime Townie

2:17pm Sun 16 Feb 14

BMD says...

Luther95, referring to your latest reply, DarloXman has raised some valid points. May I question your remaining statement?

Directors and those immediately below them are professionals - engineers, planners, social workers, educationalists and the like - at the top of their careers. After decades of experience (not always only within local authorities) a senior council role provides them with the chance to shape the areas of their responsibility for the better, as change inevitably occurs.

Question: If Darlington has so many Experienced and Qualified staff, why are so many independent consultants hired at the extra cost to the Tax-Payer?

Any sensible organisation values and respects its workforce - your suggestion that senior staff be treated somehow as 'scammers' who should be placed on probationary one-year rolling contracts would hardly be an attractive proposition for anyone taking on the considerable stresses and long-working hours that being a senior officer in an LA entails.

Question: “One year Rolling contracts” are renewal contracts and are widely used in the private sector; this protects the Client (Council Tax-Payer) from retaining services that are no longer needed and encourages performance from the employee.
All Senior Officer’s or Manager’s surround themselves with competent staff, hence this makes their own role less stressful and with less working hours. If as you stated that DBC Senior Officers and Managers are stressed and working long hours, it puts into question the calibre of DBC personnel.

Just to add a little more fuel to the fire, when the Council employees embark on a mission, why does it require several council on-lookers to watch one man work?
Luther95, referring to your latest reply, DarloXman has raised some valid points. May I question your remaining statement? Directors and those immediately below them are professionals - engineers, planners, social workers, educationalists and the like - at the top of their careers. After decades of experience (not always only within local authorities) a senior council role provides them with the chance to shape the areas of their responsibility for the better, as change inevitably occurs. Question: If Darlington has so many Experienced and Qualified staff, why are so many independent consultants hired at the extra cost to the Tax-Payer? Any sensible organisation values and respects its workforce - your suggestion that senior staff be treated somehow as 'scammers' who should be placed on probationary one-year rolling contracts would hardly be an attractive proposition for anyone taking on the considerable stresses and long-working hours that being a senior officer in an LA entails. Question: “One year Rolling contracts” are renewal contracts and are widely used in the private sector; this protects the Client (Council Tax-Payer) from retaining services that are no longer needed and encourages performance from the employee. All Senior Officer’s or Manager’s surround themselves with competent staff, hence this makes their own role less stressful and with less working hours. If as you stated that DBC Senior Officers and Managers are stressed and working long hours, it puts into question the calibre of DBC personnel. Just to add a little more fuel to the fire, when the Council employees embark on a mission, why does it require several council on-lookers to watch one man work? BMD

2:25pm Sun 16 Feb 14

sineater says...

Labour councils have had more funding cuts than tory c ouncils fact,but tory councils in the thames valley will have to spend their extra cash on clearing flood damage---sweet divine justice ha ha ha .
Labour councils have had more funding cuts than tory c ouncils fact,but tory councils in the thames valley will have to spend their extra cash on clearing flood damage---sweet divine justice ha ha ha . sineater

7:36pm Sun 16 Feb 14

Border Terrier says...

Spy Boy wrote:
Please do not think that Bill Dixon and his team are Labour. What they are, are chancers looking out for Number 1. If you want to get into a Councillors job, you pick your area and then see which rosette you need to wear to get elected. You will need to join the party, but that's no big deal, anyone can do that. In Darlington it's a nice closed shop and they pick who will stand. Butter up the likes of Dixon and you're well in.

OK, so one of us wants to stand as a Socialist. Forget it. If they feel that you are about to rock their little boat, you'll be pushed aside. Right then, you stand as an independent. Think you'll get in ? It's theoretically possible, but improbable. You must remember that the people of Darlington, including myself, are strong socialists. We are expected to vote Labour and feel disloyal by not doing so. This is why it is so despicable of the likes of certain, self proclaimed Labour officials seems bent on taking us all to the cleaners. Thanks for the votes, suckers. That's my ticket for the council gravy train stamped again.

Apart from the above, you now have to find a large pot of cash that most of us can't afford to gamble on being elected. For the standing members, that won't be quite such a problem. I know this deposit is to stop hundreds of people stepping up, but it simply bars most people from doing so and keeps the council in their nice, life time jobs.

So what do we do to rid ourselves of this self absorbed, self serving and arrogant bunch of the Hard of Thinking ? That is quite simple : At the next local elections use your votes tactically to vote them out. Vote for one of the smaller parties. The Green Party, The Lib Dems ( Local level.) UKIP, if they're putting people in, even the local Tories, who now and then come up with a good idea, locally at least, just kick this So called Labour lot into touch. I know it will be hard and it may feel as though you are going against your own politics, but please look at their horrendous record of failed projects and see just how much they are costing us. Just for once use your vote to finally be rid of these serial failures. Life may well improve. Just please, please, please think about.
"Strange" But very, very true!
[quote][p][bold]Spy Boy[/bold] wrote: Please do not think that Bill Dixon and his team are Labour. What they are, are chancers looking out for Number 1. If you want to get into a Councillors job, you pick your area and then see which rosette you need to wear to get elected. You will need to join the party, but that's no big deal, anyone can do that. In Darlington it's a nice closed shop and they pick who will stand. Butter up the likes of Dixon and you're well in. OK, so one of us wants to stand as a Socialist. Forget it. If they feel that you are about to rock their little boat, you'll be pushed aside. Right then, you stand as an independent. Think you'll get in ? It's theoretically possible, but improbable. You must remember that the people of Darlington, including myself, are strong socialists. We are expected to vote Labour and feel disloyal by not doing so. This is why it is so despicable of the likes of certain, self proclaimed Labour officials seems bent on taking us all to the cleaners. Thanks for the votes, suckers. That's my ticket for the council gravy train stamped again. Apart from the above, you now have to find a large pot of cash that most of us can't afford to gamble on being elected. For the standing members, that won't be quite such a problem. I know this deposit is to stop hundreds of people stepping up, but it simply bars most people from doing so and keeps the council in their nice, life time jobs. So what do we do to rid ourselves of this self absorbed, self serving and arrogant bunch of the Hard of Thinking ? That is quite simple : At the next local elections use your votes tactically to vote them out. Vote for one of the smaller parties. The Green Party, The Lib Dems ( Local level.) UKIP, if they're putting people in, even the local Tories, who now and then come up with a good idea, locally at least, just kick this So called Labour lot into touch. I know it will be hard and it may feel as though you are going against your own politics, but please look at their horrendous record of failed projects and see just how much they are costing us. Just for once use your vote to finally be rid of these serial failures. Life may well improve. Just please, please, please think about.[/p][/quote]"Strange" But very, very true! Border Terrier

9:47pm Sun 16 Feb 14

behonest says...

sineater wrote:
Labour councils have had more funding cuts than tory c ouncils fact,but tory councils in the thames valley will have to spend their extra cash on clearing flood damage---sweet divine justice ha ha ha .
Families have had their homes and lives devastated by flood damage, and you have a laugh about those with 'tory councils'.

Typical Labour loony.
[quote][p][bold]sineater[/bold] wrote: Labour councils have had more funding cuts than tory c ouncils fact,but tory councils in the thames valley will have to spend their extra cash on clearing flood damage---sweet divine justice ha ha ha .[/p][/quote]Families have had their homes and lives devastated by flood damage, and you have a laugh about those with 'tory councils'. Typical Labour loony. behonest

10:16am Mon 17 Feb 14

giggitty says...

To my knowledge, Councils have 4 revenue streams:
One has been severely cut by Central Government – which is why we’re in this sh….. together. One is fixed by central government – Business rates. The other two are local - Council tax rates and other local income like car park revenue, burials etc. I don’t profess to know about every service and their costs, but come on, 3% for the headliner that will cause the most sh*t stirring the Echo wants is hardly devastating! (Not that I’m belittling any increase)

It looks like their hands are severely tied to me, but overall there seems to be a balanced approach. They’ve looked at the staffing structure and removed 500 posts and are running with minimal staff, in fact the Peer Report, mentioned in an earlier post, questions if there are enough senior management positions! They’ve decided not to go down the “Statutory Only” route, as this will look like a place in decline. The only other remaining avenue is an icrease in Council tax costs and some local service charges.

But when DBC became unitary and “freed” from the “tyrannical” Durham CC it wanted to show that they can stand on their own two feet and do a better job, hence the Council Tax was (IS!) low. This is now coming home to roost.

I don’t agree with everything they’ve doing or are going to do, but at least there seems like some logic to it unlike the comments that are usually made on this forum.

As for the “vote em out” comments. It’s irrelevant which “greedy wasteful thieving” party has power, they will all have the same budget and will have to make the tough decisions for the benefit of all. Some will like it, some wont.
To my knowledge, Councils have 4 revenue streams: One has been severely cut by Central Government – which is why we’re in this sh….. together. One is fixed by central government – Business rates. The other two are local - Council tax rates and other local income like car park revenue, burials etc. I don’t profess to know about every service and their costs, but come on, 3% for the headliner that will cause the most sh*t stirring the Echo wants is hardly devastating! (Not that I’m belittling any increase) It looks like their hands are severely tied to me, but overall there seems to be a balanced approach. They’ve looked at the staffing structure and removed 500 posts and are running with minimal staff, in fact the Peer Report, mentioned in an earlier post, questions if there are enough senior management positions! They’ve decided not to go down the “Statutory Only” route, as this will look like a place in decline. The only other remaining avenue is an icrease in Council tax costs and some local service charges. But when DBC became unitary and “freed” from the “tyrannical” Durham CC it wanted to show that they can stand on their own two feet and do a better job, hence the Council Tax was (IS!) low. This is now coming home to roost. I don’t agree with everything they’ve doing or are going to do, but at least there seems like some logic to it unlike the comments that are usually made on this forum. As for the “vote em out” comments. It’s irrelevant which “greedy wasteful thieving” party has power, they will all have the same budget and will have to make the tough decisions for the benefit of all. Some will like it, some wont. giggitty

6:16pm Mon 17 Feb 14

Spy Boy says...

Quote : As for the “vote em out” comments. It’s irrelevant which “greedy wasteful thieving” party has power, they will all have the same budget and will have to make the tough decisions for the benefit of all. Some will like it, some wont." giggity.

The hope is that a new council cabinet would do better. They would have to be pretty useless to outdo the current team. They have been in power far too long and we need a change. We need people that are talented, imaginative and effective. This lot don't have a clue except in feathering their own nests and running their own little agendas. Time they went. They are well past their sell by date.
Quote : As for the “vote em out” comments. It’s irrelevant which “greedy wasteful thieving” party has power, they will all have the same budget and will have to make the tough decisions for the benefit of all. Some will like it, some wont." giggity. The hope is that a new council cabinet would do better. They would have to be pretty useless to outdo the current team. They have been in power far too long and we need a change. We need people that are talented, imaginative and effective. This lot don't have a clue except in feathering their own nests and running their own little agendas. Time they went. They are well past their sell by date. Spy Boy

7:59pm Mon 17 Feb 14

Border Terrier says...

Councils should be open to scrutiny, like the NHS has been recently.
Get the books audited by independent's who know what they are doing!
See how much local taxpayers money is needlessly wasted!
Councils should be open to scrutiny, like the NHS has been recently. Get the books audited by independent's who know what they are doing! See how much local taxpayers money is needlessly wasted! Border Terrier

5:26am Tue 18 Feb 14

BMD says...

Has Luther95 (The Darlington Council Spokesperson) abandoned this topic or could he be adopting the Darlington Council position of "dismissing the electorate and tax-payer"
Has Luther95 (The Darlington Council Spokesperson) abandoned this topic or could he be adopting the Darlington Council position of "dismissing the electorate and tax-payer" BMD

12:25pm Tue 18 Feb 14

spragger says...

Looks like Louise, alias Tolpuddle, or whatever, is disliked as much by the Labour Party as the good & sensible folk of Stockton. This explains a lot http://thebackbenche
r.co.uk/labour-2015-
candidate-starts-twi
tter-war/
Looks like Louise, alias Tolpuddle, or whatever, is disliked as much by the Labour Party as the good & sensible folk of Stockton. This explains a lot http://thebackbenche r.co.uk/labour-2015- candidate-starts-twi tter-war/ spragger

2:09pm Tue 18 Feb 14

DarloXman says...

spragger wrote:
Looks like Louise, alias Tolpuddle, or whatever, is disliked as much by the Labour Party as the good & sensible folk of Stockton. This explains a lot http://thebackbenche

r.co.uk/labour-2015-

candidate-starts-twi

tter-war/
Excellent find spragger. For some reason I don't follow Ms Baldock on Twitter but if she is going to provide this level of comedy then perhaps I must start!

Unbelievable that a prospective parliamentary candidate would get involved in an online public spat (with someone supposedly on the same side)!

I hope the electorate of Stockton South will remember this is 2015 as they would be unwise to choose someone with this poor judgement for their MP!
[quote][p][bold]spragger[/bold] wrote: Looks like Louise, alias Tolpuddle, or whatever, is disliked as much by the Labour Party as the good & sensible folk of Stockton. This explains a lot http://thebackbenche r.co.uk/labour-2015- candidate-starts-twi tter-war/[/p][/quote]Excellent find spragger. For some reason I don't follow Ms Baldock on Twitter but if she is going to provide this level of comedy then perhaps I must start! Unbelievable that a prospective parliamentary candidate would get involved in an online public spat (with someone supposedly on the same side)! I hope the electorate of Stockton South will remember this is 2015 as they would be unwise to choose someone with this poor judgement for their MP! DarloXman

3:28pm Tue 18 Feb 14

BMD says...

spragger wrote:
Looks like Louise, alias Tolpuddle, or whatever, is disliked as much by the Labour Party as the good & sensible folk of Stockton. This explains a lot http://thebackbenche r.co.uk/labour-2015- candidate-starts-twi tter-war/
Ha ha, She just couldn’t shut-up, even after been advised to conduct the conversation in private.

Great bit of investigative journalism - Shame the Northern Echo can’t reach your standards.
[quote][p][bold]spragger[/bold] wrote: Looks like Louise, alias Tolpuddle, or whatever, is disliked as much by the Labour Party as the good & sensible folk of Stockton. This explains a lot http://thebackbenche r.co.uk/labour-2015- candidate-starts-twi tter-war/[/p][/quote]Ha ha, She just couldn’t shut-up, even after been advised to conduct the conversation in private. Great bit of investigative journalism - Shame the Northern Echo can’t reach your standards. BMD

3:46pm Tue 18 Feb 14

MartinMo says...

Explains a lot in reflection to banters between myself and her and why she takes the stands she does......she obviously has a one sided point of view and never a full grasp on the reality of any issue. I thought those in politic where meant to be able to explore multple venues to find the best for solution for all, she is definately in the wrong profession.
Explains a lot in reflection to banters between myself and her and why she takes the stands she does......she obviously has a one sided point of view and never a full grasp on the reality of any issue. I thought those in politic where meant to be able to explore multple venues to find the best for solution for all, she is definately in the wrong profession. MartinMo

11:56am Wed 19 Feb 14

johnmarley95 says...

harry2 wrote:
Cremation charges from £17 to £605 do you think that's a typing error.

Not sure why cocker ton need there own library when the rest of us have to go the town, although feel for the staff I work for the council myself it's a scary time at the minute .
Charges have increased BY £17 not from.
[quote][p][bold]harry2[/bold] wrote: Cremation charges from £17 to £605 do you think that's a typing error. Not sure why cocker ton need there own library when the rest of us have to go the town, although feel for the staff I work for the council myself it's a scary time at the minute .[/p][/quote]Charges have increased BY £17 not from. johnmarley95

1:33pm Wed 19 Feb 14

behonest says...

Over £600 to be cremated? Could this service not be privatised?
Over £600 to be cremated? Could this service not be privatised? behonest

3:41pm Thu 20 Feb 14

DarloXman says...

Lost some weight recently so I should be able to fit into a wheelie bin (when I go) - so that's a £605+ saving!
Lost some weight recently so I should be able to fit into a wheelie bin (when I go) - so that's a £605+ saving! DarloXman

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