Britain’s Laziest Ladies and Lords

Very senior Lords have been heaping praise on the upper house’s new digital voting system – “PeerHub” – even suggesting they may keep the system in place once the pandemic is over, so elderly peers no longer have to spend hours in the palace waiting for votes that sometimes don’t happen, and queuing for when divisions are called. It could put London’s premier retirement home technological light years ahead of the Commons…

Since electronic voting was introduced, Lords have been voting in record numbers from the comfort of their own home(s) – and getting £162 per click. Voting records consistently show turnouts of around 500 peers voting on each bill. The chamber, however, has 775 members…

Despite the convenience of online voting, well over 200 members-per-vote are still refusing to do the job they were appointed to do. Almost everyone in British politics accepts the need for a massive slimming down of the Lords; Guido recommends the Government begins by visiting the Lords Votes website and begins the cull with absent names from there…

mdi-timer 7 July 2020 @ 15:36 7 Jul 2020 @ 15:36 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
BBC’s Most Absurd Waste of Public Cash

With news of hundreds of job cuts at the BBC coming out, staff are understandably worried. Guido’s repeatedly pointed out job cuts could be avoided if the BBC wasn’t spending £100 million over the next three years on a diversity and inclusivity programme. Of course corporate waste doesn’t end there; one disgruntled employee gets in touch to point out one of the BBC’s most absurd wastes of money hiding in plain sight: their practice of hiring 8 different people to do the exact same job.

BBC One and Two hire four different voice-over announcers each – one for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland- to introduce upcoming programmes, all of whom read from the exact same script at the exact same time from early morning until late evening. The only difference is the accent. They could hire one person who can do accents – instead they’re targeting important local services...

mdi-timer 3 July 2020 @ 17:18 3 Jul 2020 @ 17:18 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Failed NHSX Covid App Cost £11.8 Million

The health minister in the Lords, Lord Bethell, has revealed the failed NHSX COVID-tracing app has cost the taxpayer £11.8 million. Millions that could have been saved had anyone in government – especially the CEO of NHSX Matthew Gould – listened to all the experts saying the app was never going to work…

UPDATE: Assuming a £100 per hour rate for developers that equates to 118,000 man hours. Which seems impossible. Even if we double the rate to £200 per hour that suggests 59,000 man hours. How many people were working on the project for 3 months? This needs auditing…

mdi-timer 22 June 2020 @ 16:39 22 Jun 2020 @ 16:39 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Nuneaton Councillor’s Licence to Rake it In

While her constituents struggle with the economic fallout of Coronavirus, one Labour Councillor in Nuneaton is laughing her way to the bank after receiving  £4,678 for attending just one meeting. Annualised, she’s pro rata on a premier league footballer’s wage of over £7 million a year…

Tricia Elliott was given the sizable wad in her role as Chair of the Licensing Committee at the council. A freedom of information request by an angry local resident, however, revealed that Elliott chaired only one of the two meetings in the 2019-2020 year – the second of which ended up being chaired by Tory Councillor Kyle Evans. Evans didn’t receive a penny…

“In the municipal year 2018 – 2019 Councillor Patricia Elliott was not chair of the Licensing Committee. In the municipal year 2019 – 2020 only two Licensing Committees were held of which Councillor Patricia Elliott chaired one meeting and the Vice Chair Councillor Kyle Evans chaired the other.”

To further rub the news in for local taxpayers hit by Coronavirus, because of the pandemic her chairmanship has been extended. Making her entitled to continue receiving the allowance even though there are no meetings… literally money for nothing.

UPDATE: Councillor Patricia Elliott gets in touch to complain about the above report:

It is correct that I am Chair of the Licensing Committee at the Borough Council. However, in May 2020 I formally asked that the Chair’s allowance for this Committee not be paid to me for the period of 2020-21. I originally made this request privately as I did not want to put any pressure on other Councillors to do the same, and did not want any publicity for refusing to take an allowance. For the period of 2019-20, I did not receive (as has been claimed) an allowance of £4, 678 for Chairing this Committee, instead, the allowance I received for the year 2019-20 was £2,339. It is correct that there have been fewer meetings for this particular Committee this year, and that has been for a number of reasons. There has not been as much Council business for this Committee to discuss, and therefore this Committee has often had fewer meetings than other Borough Council Committees. I do not wish my statement to be seen in any way as a side swipe at my fellow Committee Chairs, as they deal with very different issues in different meetings.

We went on what the Council officials said in response to a Freedom of Information request. So taking on trust her claims above we are happy to report that she has been paid £2,339, so far, for attending 2 meetings. Which probably reduces her wages pro rata to a Championship Division footballer’s level. Nice work if you can get it…

mdi-timer 10 June 2020 @ 11:26 10 Jun 2020 @ 11:26 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
NHS Hires £45,000 Manager of Performing Arts

As Britain braced for Coronavirus in early March, South West Yorkshire Partnership got their priorities straight by hiring a £45,000-per-annum arts and health programme manager, who is responsible for Calderdale’s Living a Larger Life programme, the mission statement of which states:

“Happiness and love. Pain, longing and loss. Reconciliation and redemption. Our sense of self and our way of connecting to ourselves and to others at an emotional level. That is what art in all its forms can help us with. Art can heal us. Art can help us to tell new stories which will take us to new places, and art can help us to tell the old stories in a way that connect at a deeper level”

Guido can well imagine all those NHS diversity managers could well need to do some art after a stressful day of, well, organising pronouns or doing whatever they do …

If you are lucky enough to get hired by the NHS for the role, you will be in charge of

  • visual and performing arts, including crafts, dance, film, literature, music and singing, as well as the culinary arts, gardening and sports
  • Concert halls, galleries, heritage sites, libraries, museums and theatres
  • Incorporating incorporate social inclusion, value diversity, enhance cultural expression

Colonel Tom’s fundraised £30 million could pay for one ‘arts and health manager’ per constituency…

mdi-timer 30 April 2020 @ 16:55 30 Apr 2020 @ 16:55 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
‘Cash Strapped’ Councils Order New Bentleys

Research by the Taxpayer’s Alliance has found that three UK councils have bought luxury top-of-the range Bentleys for their mayors. Lucky mayors Councillor Alex Black (Lord Mayor of Chester), Councillor Lesley Smetham (Mayor of Cheshire East), and Councillor Marie-Therese Rossi (Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea) get to swan around in the opulent vehicles, which sell from at least £132,800. Lucky them.

Other luxury cars used by councils’ mayors include the Audi A8 (from £69,415), BMW 7 (from £63,040), Jaguar XJ (from £62,360), Mercedes S class (from £70,470) and the Lexus RX (from £48,655). Don’t let your council tell you there’s no room to make savings…

mdi-timer 22 August 2018 @ 16:10 22 Aug 2018 @ 16:10 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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