Opinion – UK Local Authorities and Shared Services: Cost-Cutting – Myth or Reality? – John Gelmini

Metropolitan boroughs, London boroughs and non...

Metropolitan boroughs, London boroughs and non-metropolitan unitary authorities are shown (the remaining areas are shire counties) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


 Dr Alf is right to worry about the risks of Local Authority shared services centres because the real problem of lack of local authority worker productivity (32%) and the number of local authorities, constabularies and fire commands is not being addressed.

Nor is the problem of too many local authority layers of Government being addressed,  nor the burgeoning problem of Adult Social Care, which now consumes 55% of county council, unitary authority, metropolitan borough council and London Borough Council budgets.

The steps needed are clear:

1) Abolish districts and boroughs and outsource all their functions to a rotating panel of providers

2) Reduce UK county councils, unitary authorities, metropolitan borough councils, London Borough Councils and City Councils to 15 (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland)

3) Reduce layers to five, and impose headcount restrictions to stop bogus grades re-emerging as happens now

4) Apply Lean EFQM to all services, recalculate headcount required fire all those surplus to requirements staring at the top with the 4000 or so council chief executives who are essentially not needed. In practical terms, this will mean firing 55% of all local authority workers

5) Reduce constabularies and fire commands to 15 and repeat the process but in the case of the police keeping the overall budget intact and using layering and procurement savings to fund cleverer detectives and more bobbies

6) Merge Adult Social Care into the NHS and get rid of Adult Social Care directorates in councils

7) Centralise all purchasing with a rotating panel of auditable providers changed once a year

8) Bring in random spot checking of all local authority workers bank accounts and in the case of senior officials, Chief Executives etc audit the accounts of their wives, girlfriends, partners, mistresses, children and relatives, forbid them from setting up foreign trusts

Catch and bring to justice two or three of the worst examples of corruption (there could well be many) and make sure that the sentences on conviction are draconian and that all monies are recovered in the full glare of publicity and with Dominic Littlewood the bald headed presenter given full scope to pontificate on the matter in a television programme

9) Bring in variable tax on foods, identify Adult Social Care recipients early, insist that people lose weight and stop smoking before they are given Adult Social Care or NHS operations.

Aggressively re-enable all Adult Social Care recipients so that only those truly in need of such help actually get it.

Apply gastric band and stomach stapling to the morbidly obese and prescribe Tai Chi for them once they are thinner

10) Merge all call centres and dispatching centres into CRM driven,web enabled shared services centres

11) Outsource whatever is left over

John Gelmini

Opinion – New Statesman | EU study shreds the myth of “benefit tourism” – John Gelmini

Dr Alf raises interesting points about the EU’s new evidence and the more obvious one that says politicians in general and David Cameron, in particular, cannot be trusted to tell the truth or develop consistently rational policies.

The EU evidence is flawed on several counts in relation to benefit tourism:

1) Every day, the sanctimonious presenter Dominic Littlewood, complete with his Rolex watch and air of righteous indignation, can be seen on television reporting on and accompanying DWP,  police and local authority benefit fraud investigators tracking down, interviewing and bringing to trial benefit fraudsters including benefit tourists from Eastern Europe, South Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere.

2) Channel 4 recently completed a documentary about Slovakian gypsies sent by their “clan leader” to engage in benefit fraud with the head of one family from just 1 village featured in the telecast stating in a serious tone of voice in unmistakable English that his mission in life was to go to the UK, extract £40,000 gbp in benefits to support his family.

In the program, it showed how the entire process was going to work using the clan leader’s network of businesses to first create jobs then fire the employees after a suitable qualifying interval who would then collect benefits out of which the clan leader was to draw a 20% cut.

3)The Sunday Times Insight team have run several pieces on Nigerian criminal gangs who have schools which instruct Nigerian criminals who then use fake ID and documentation produced by the gangs to defraud the DWP.

4) Rogue mosques in places like London produce bogus passports and other documentation to enable people from Southern Asia to defraud the befits system or work or remain in the UK.

Abu Hamza, the hook handed Muslim cleric, now on trial in America claimed income support for years as did his wife.
In contrast, benefit fraudsters in Letchworth, Hertfordshire, who owe the local authority more than £2000 gbp can expect a prison sentence and a recovery order.

5) There is inbuilt benefit fraud and benefit tourism in the food chain.

Go 100 miles north of London to Peterborough and the wheat fields and pack houses of Norfolk, Wisbech and Lincolnshire you will find Eastern European and poor Chinese migrants working for more than 1000 agricultural gang masters for very low pay supplemented by either piecework rates or benefits.

In case after case in newspapers, local to these areas feature raids on farms and pack houses where these people are employed.

Usually it is the workers who are arrested and not the or the farmers that employ them.

The public and the Government are to blame because the first demands cheap food but is unwilling to either do the agricultural work as it is seen as “beneath them” and the Government are to blame because they fail to clean up the NI system which has 19 million spare numbers over and above the numbers in the workforce.

The Government is also to blame because it never finished installing E-Borders, the system that was to count people into and out of the country.

John Gelmini

Twickenham United Kingdom

Twickenham United Kingdom (Photo credit: @Doug88888)


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