Tuesday, February 08, 2011


Council tax - where it all goes

Have you ever wondered what Surrey Heath Borough Council spends all your council tax on? Well I can tell you - its mainly salaries and overheads.
They have now published their planned budget for 2011/12: http://www.surreyheath.gov.uk/Surrey%20Heath%20Borough%20Council/eScene/Finance/Revenueestimates201112v1.pdf. It makes very interesting reading if you have the time to dig down into some of the details. Here are a few more interesting items I've extracted:
Camberley Theatre
£66k on employees salaries. Sounds fair enough, presumably that's the box office staff who provide a good service. But then we have
£377k operational management salaries,
£106k on corporate services
£160k on operational management overheads and support.
That's £644k of management costs to run a local theatre.
Management costs £194k
Parks and Open Spaces
Management direct salaries £254k
Total management costs £412k.
Bear in mind over half a million pounds is paid to contracted services so presumably most of the work is actually contracted out so what exactly are they doing to earn their quarter of a million pounds in salaries?
Car parks
Management direct salaries £78k
Total management costs £132k.
Its a car park for goodness sake, how hard are they to manage? These are just the management costs: maintenance, power, security, repair etc are not included in the management costs.
Civil Parking Enforcement  and Controller Parking Zone
Management costs are £502k
Total expenditure of £554k
ie over 90% is management costs.
Centres of Older People
Management costs of £468k
Total expenditure of £658k.
At least now we know why they couldn't afford to keep the Ian Goodchild centre open. It wasn't the running costs of the centre, it was the management costs.
Community Alarms
£157k on supplies and services
£261k on management costs, including £166k on direct salaries to managers.
So they spend more on the salaries of managers than they do providing the service
Corporate Communications
They spend £81k doing whatever a corporate communications department does and then £222k paying managers to manage it.
And the list goes on. So next time the council claim they can't afford to keep the library open or need to cut back on service because they can't afford it, you know they can easily afford it, and a lot more, if they weren't so hugely inefficient.

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