A Hard Look at Why Dozens of Local Authorities are Collapsing in the UK – John Gelmini

English: Eric Pickles, British politician and ...

English: Eric Pickles, British politician and Chairman of the Conservative Party, at the Health Hotel “Health Zone” at the Manchester Central Conference Centre during the Conservative Party Conference 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Recently, I reblogged a powerful article in the Guardian entitled: Dozens of local councils close to collapse, says MPs’ committee | Society | The Guardian. I received a robust response from John Gelmini which I am reblogging below.

Personally, I fully endorse John’s viewpoint here. Indeed, when I first started blogging I wrote a detailed blog about the inner workings of Local Authority decision-making. The blog entitled: UK Local Authorities and Shared Services: Cost Cutting – Myths,Realities and Escalating Risks? has been one of my most popular blogs with a large number of hits. Interestingly, I also received a detailed response from John Gelmini at that time which I reblogged entitled: UK Local Authorities and Shared Services: Cost-Cutting – Myths, Realities and Escalating Risks? Response – Addressing the Social and Political Context with Radical Reform/ Transformation.

Anyway, returning to the current thread, here is John’s latest viewpoint:

A Hard Look at Why Dozens of Local Authorities are Collapsing in the UK – John Gelmini

Without the ability of clairvoyance, I have been predicting this since 2010.

There are simply too many local authorities, just twelve county unitary authorities are needed for England, not forty-three and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland need one each.

Districts and Boroughs should have been abolished years ago and their functions outsourced to reputable providers.

I was rubbished for saying this by a number of LinkedIn posters and accused of ranting, so now the chickens have really come home to roost with a vengeance.

Adult Social Care costs are now running at 50% of County Council budgets and with the 1.25 million woman aged 65 plus with early stage dementia that figure is rising at the same time as Local Authority Minister Eric Pickles and Chancellor Osborne are squeezing Standard Spending Assessments and just before the Romanians and Bulgarians arrive.

I predict now that a number of Local Authority care homes will close and councils will, like Pontius Pilate, wash their hands of them by sending them home for relatives to look after them. Some of these care home recipients will die and private care home operators already squeezed by Local Authorities will get rid of benefit recipients who cannot make up the shortfall or whose relatives refuse to do so.

People who think it is someone else’s job to care for these people are in for a very rude awakening and not before time.

The luxury of separate call centers for general enquiries, Adult Social Care, the Police and Fire Commands will have to give way to large Shared Service Centers (CSC) of the type for which I drew up blueprints in 2008/2009; finance functions and a lot of administration can be outsourced to India; and the number of council CEOs reduced to just 12.

Junketing by council officials, misusing RIPA to investigate dog fouling, holding up planning consent for legitimate and necessary business expansion, imposing car parking charges which destroy local businesses, spying to see where someone lives for the purposes of establishing what school catchment area they live in, appointing relatives and mistresses to key posts, engaging in skullduggery on the golf course and making key and often wrong decisions in secret are all activities that need to be brought to an end if this impending train wreck is to be mitigated.

There will be trouble because people are not going to pay hundreds of pounds every month for non-existent services or greatly reduced ones.

As predicted, we have entered a long, hot Summer; with most of the political classes now on holiday, let’s hope that it will not remembered  be remembered as the UK Summer of discontent.

Any thoughts?

John Gelmini

Enhanced by Zemanta

A Hard Look at Prism, China and Global Privacy – John Gelmini

English: Petards ANPR camera on mobile ANPR us...

English: Petards ANPR camera on mobile ANPR use – Police Car (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A model of the GCHQ headquarters in Cheltenham

A model of the GCHQ headquarters in Cheltenham (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Logo of the People's Daily 中文: 人民日报题字

English: Logo of the People’s Daily 中文: 人民日报题字 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The London congestion charge scheme uses 230 c...

The London congestion charge scheme uses 230 cameras and ANPR to help monitor vehicles in the charging zone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I thank Dr Alf for reblogging the article entitled ‘Prism’ burns America’s Internet supremacy, published by People’s Daily Online in China. I would like to share my views.

I think this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

The People’s Liberation Army in China has something like 4 million plus cyber warriors which have been hacking into the networks of Western Corporations and businesses for years, the Russians have 2 million people doing this within the GRU, the Indian Government is going down this road and all major powers engage in the practice of spying.

As an afficionado of Sun Tzu, it is interesting to note that he devotes an entire chapter to the use of spies in his masterpiece “The Art of War”.

What the NSA, GCHQ and their Western equivalents are doing, amongst other things, is trying to counter the wholesale theft of economic secrets and data and remove hackers from the networks of Governments and our major corporations.

Clearly they are only succeeding up to a point, which is why private sector companies like Mandiant, featured on the front cover of Fortune magazine, which exposed the hacking from a building in Shanghai of the New York Times, are doing so well.

Edward Snowden is not some sort of hero and his motivation has to be questioned.He is a traitor who may have been working for a foreign power who broke his solemn oath.This he did not because he was abducted and tortured or injected with Skopolomine truth serum, which might be understandable, but because of some other reason which we can only guess at.Had he been Chinese or Russian and done the same thing, he would not be at large hiding in an airport in a foreign country, free to reveal names and data to a newspaper like the Guardian and cause consternation to his former employer Booz Allen and to those he worked with whose trust he abused.

Moving on to privacy, there is very little of it in China, France, the USA, the UK or Russia, situations which have existed for years.The UK. for example, has 1 camera for every 12 people and up to 400 photographs of people are taken every day, mobile phones even in roaming mode emit a signal allowing a person to be tracked 24 hours a day and all electronic payment transactions are logged. ANPR logs are held by the police for up to 2 years (they say) which means driving patterns matched to number plates and matched to people are there to be interrogated.

We should assume, wherever in the world we live, that whatever e-mails we write, and whatever we say on a telephone, Skype call or mobile our every utterance and keystroke is logged and can be listened to or retrieved for later analysis.

In short, privacy is dead and everyone spies on everyone else just as they have since the beginning of time.

John Gelmini

Enhanced by Zemanta