Region's councils face £11bn liability

COUNCILS have been accused of saddling future generations with today’s debts, after new research suggested the country’s local authorities have long-term liabilities of more than £180bn.

The Taxpayers’ Alliance today (Thursday, June 26) claims local authorities’ long-term liabilities, such as long-term borrowing and pension scheme deficits, rose by eight per cent last year, taking the total to £2,828 for every person in the UK – and almost seven times the annual total council tax take.

In the North-East and North Yorkshire, the total long-term liability is £11.1bn, or £2,784 for every person, while long-term borrowing stands at £4.3m.

Durham has the most long-term liabilities (£1.48bn), while Newcastle has the highest long-term borrowing (£536,233).

Five of the region’s councils, Darlington, North Tyneside, Redcar and Cleveland, Craven and Ryedale, have higher long-term liabilities than long-term assets.

Nationally, 38 councils have long-term liabilities of more than £4,000 per resident and Birmingham has the biggest total, at almost £6bn.

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance – an 80,000-supporter group which campaigns for lower taxes and public spending, said: “It is nothing short of immoral for councils to pile further debt on the next generation.

“Britain’s public finances are in real trouble and local authorities can no longer avoid tough choices by putting the bill on taxpayers’ credit card.

“Councils must look again at overgenerous pensions and wage a war on waste, or Britain’s debt burden may soon become too heavy to bear.”

However, the Local Government Association – which represents councils, hit back, calling the report misleading.

A spokesman said: “Unlike central government, councils can’t borrow money to meet their day-to-day running costs.

“Instead, council borrowing is used to meet the cost of long-term investments, such as key infrastructure projects including new schools and transport links, which ensure taxpayers are able to continue benefitting from high quality services.”

The Alliance singled out South Tyneside, which has the highest long-term liabilities and long-term borrowing per resident of anywhere in the region, for criticism, for allegedly spending £250,000 attempting to uncover the identity of Mr Monkey, an anonymous blogger who was criticising council bosses for wasteful spending.

A council spokesman said it ensured its long-term borrowing was affordable and sustainable and its liabilities included the local government pension scheme, the terms of which are set at a national level.

He added: "Council took legal action in the Mr Monkey blog case because it has a duty of care to protect its officials from the kind of intimidation and harassment caused by this malicious and libellous blog, which, if unchallenged, would have seriously damaged the reputations of innocent people."

Comments (23)

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12:41am Thu 26 Jun 14

Voice-of-reality says...

You shouldn't spend what you don't have.
Alas, councils tend not to think like this as they are not spedning their own money.
That the money is not theirs should mean that they are even more careful with it - but that's socialism for you - spend, spend, spend and let someone else pick up the tab.

The remedy will seem harsh but is simple.
1. abolish all councillors' allowances.
2. close all facilities that are not making a profit or do not perform a function that is not mandatory.
3. sell all carparks and buildings/land that are not in use
4. a moratorium on hiring any staff for 3 years
5. cease making payments to organisations in the area for which the council is not repsonsible.
6. cease publishing council journals and other 'self publicising' material that is not mandatory
7. stop subsidising housing/council tax etc for sectors of the population when you do not have the money to do so
8. introduce a budgetary system by which if a council overspends from this point onwards the councillors who have voted to spend that money are personally liable.
You shouldn't spend what you don't have. Alas, councils tend not to think like this as they are not spedning their own money. That the money is not theirs should mean that they are even more careful with it - but that's socialism for you - spend, spend, spend and let someone else pick up the tab. The remedy will seem harsh but is simple. 1. abolish all councillors' allowances. 2. close all facilities that are not making a profit or do not perform a function that is not mandatory. 3. sell all carparks and buildings/land that are not in use 4. a moratorium on hiring any staff for 3 years 5. cease making payments to organisations in the area for which the council is not repsonsible. 6. cease publishing council journals and other 'self publicising' material that is not mandatory 7. stop subsidising housing/council tax etc for sectors of the population when you do not have the money to do so 8. introduce a budgetary system by which if a council overspends from this point onwards the councillors who have voted to spend that money are personally liable. Voice-of-reality
  • Score: 7

6:09am Thu 26 Jun 14

Auldgadgey says...

The TPA or Tory Partners & Allies never call for the biggest companies to pay their fair share of tax, I wonder why.
This government and it's running dogs are determined to destroy local government and to hand over all its assets to their friends.
The TPA or Tory Partners & Allies never call for the biggest companies to pay their fair share of tax, I wonder why. This government and it's running dogs are determined to destroy local government and to hand over all its assets to their friends. Auldgadgey
  • Score: 1

6:13am Thu 26 Jun 14

BMD says...

Let’s not forget the Golden pensions or the voluntary redundancies only to be re-employed as a contractor and excessive wages of £186,000 per year to Ada Burns.

There needs to be accountability - Remember Bill Dixon famous quote: You can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs.
Let’s not forget the Golden pensions or the voluntary redundancies only to be re-employed as a contractor and excessive wages of £186,000 per year to Ada Burns. There needs to be accountability - Remember Bill Dixon famous quote: You can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs. BMD
  • Score: 14

7:38am Thu 26 Jun 14

bambara says...

BMD wrote:
Let’s not forget the Golden pensions or the voluntary redundancies only to be re-employed as a contractor and excessive wages of £186,000 per year to Ada Burns.

There needs to be accountability - Remember Bill Dixon famous quote: You can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs.
Let's not forget that Ada Burn is on far less than her Tory council equivalents.
Look up the CEO wages for all the council staff on over £100k on the taxpayers alliance website and do a comparrison.

Let's not forget that it is Tory central government who are slashing the budgets of councils and leaving them with a huge hole in their finances.

Let's not forget that areas like the SouthWest and the South coast (which spend the same per person as Durham and Darlington are facing average cuts of 7-8% over this Tory government while in the NorthEast the average cut is 20% (25% in Darlington)

Yes lets remember there needs to be accountability, - Remember David Camerons famous quote - "We're all in this together" - Seems like it's not the same depth everywhere though is it Dave?
[quote][p][bold]BMD[/bold] wrote: Let’s not forget the Golden pensions or the voluntary redundancies only to be re-employed as a contractor and excessive wages of £186,000 per year to Ada Burns. There needs to be accountability - Remember Bill Dixon famous quote: You can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs.[/p][/quote]Let's not forget that Ada Burn is on far less than her Tory council equivalents. Look up the CEO wages for all the council staff on over £100k on the taxpayers alliance website and do a comparrison. Let's not forget that it is Tory central government who are slashing the budgets of councils and leaving them with a huge hole in their finances. Let's not forget that areas like the SouthWest and the South coast (which spend the same per person as Durham and Darlington are facing average cuts of 7-8% over this Tory government while in the NorthEast the average cut is 20% (25% in Darlington) Yes lets remember there needs to be accountability, - Remember David Camerons famous quote - "We're all in this together" - Seems like it's not the same depth everywhere though is it Dave? bambara
  • Score: -1

7:49am Thu 26 Jun 14

bambara says...

Nice rant VOR, slightly spoiled by the figures in the article that shows the NorthEast to have a below average liability. - so much for it being a "socialist" issue.
Nice rant VOR, slightly spoiled by the figures in the article that shows the NorthEast to have a below average liability. - so much for it being a "socialist" issue. bambara
  • Score: 4

10:53am Thu 26 Jun 14

LUSTARD says...

mr monkey blog indeed,
mr monkey blog indeed, LUSTARD
  • Score: 0

11:06am Thu 26 Jun 14

BMD says...

bambara wrote:
BMD wrote: Let’s not forget the Golden pensions or the voluntary redundancies only to be re-employed as a contractor and excessive wages of £186,000 per year to Ada Burns. There needs to be accountability - Remember Bill Dixon famous quote: You can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs.
Let's not forget that Ada Burn is on far less than her Tory council equivalents. Look up the CEO wages for all the council staff on over £100k on the taxpayers alliance website and do a comparrison. Let's not forget that it is Tory central government who are slashing the budgets of councils and leaving them with a huge hole in their finances. Let's not forget that areas like the SouthWest and the South coast (which spend the same per person as Durham and Darlington are facing average cuts of 7-8% over this Tory government while in the NorthEast the average cut is 20% (25% in Darlington) Yes lets remember there needs to be accountability, - Remember David Camerons famous quote - "We're all in this together" - Seems like it's not the same depth everywhere though is it Dave?
Let’s not forget about all the Major Capital Projects that have turned financially sour, the DfE building when there is the fully equipped Lingfield Point, the Oval shopping complex - which accounted for the compulsory purchase of the Tax office (All tax employees transferred to Thornaby and the building is still empty) etc...

Do you honestly believe this debt has only been accrued during the 4 years this current Government has been in office?

Let’s not forget the most famous council manager’s quote: ‘We can earn more money in the private sector’ – Shame they never seem to move on!
[quote][p][bold]bambara[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BMD[/bold] wrote: Let’s not forget the Golden pensions or the voluntary redundancies only to be re-employed as a contractor and excessive wages of £186,000 per year to Ada Burns. There needs to be accountability - Remember Bill Dixon famous quote: You can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs.[/p][/quote]Let's not forget that Ada Burn is on far less than her Tory council equivalents. Look up the CEO wages for all the council staff on over £100k on the taxpayers alliance website and do a comparrison. Let's not forget that it is Tory central government who are slashing the budgets of councils and leaving them with a huge hole in their finances. Let's not forget that areas like the SouthWest and the South coast (which spend the same per person as Durham and Darlington are facing average cuts of 7-8% over this Tory government while in the NorthEast the average cut is 20% (25% in Darlington) Yes lets remember there needs to be accountability, - Remember David Camerons famous quote - "We're all in this together" - Seems like it's not the same depth everywhere though is it Dave?[/p][/quote]Let’s not forget about all the Major Capital Projects that have turned financially sour, the DfE building when there is the fully equipped Lingfield Point, the Oval shopping complex - which accounted for the compulsory purchase of the Tax office (All tax employees transferred to Thornaby and the building is still empty) etc... Do you honestly believe this debt has only been accrued during the 4 years this current Government has been in office? Let’s not forget the most famous council manager’s quote: ‘We can earn more money in the private sector’ – Shame they never seem to move on! BMD
  • Score: 14

12:53pm Thu 26 Jun 14

The Grim North says...

DCC are still allowing people to retire at 55 and re-employing people who have already retired from local government (effecively paying them twice for the same job). Is it any wonder the pension liabilites are so huge. Never mind, our kids and grandkids will foot the bill.
DCC are still allowing people to retire at 55 and re-employing people who have already retired from local government (effecively paying them twice for the same job). Is it any wonder the pension liabilites are so huge. Never mind, our kids and grandkids will foot the bill. The Grim North
  • Score: 16

1:21pm Thu 26 Jun 14

Graeme_r says...

Voice-of-reality wrote:
You shouldn't spend what you don't have.
Alas, councils tend not to think like this as they are not spedning their own money.
That the money is not theirs should mean that they are even more careful with it - but that's socialism for you - spend, spend, spend and let someone else pick up the tab.

The remedy will seem harsh but is simple.
1. abolish all councillors' allowances.
2. close all facilities that are not making a profit or do not perform a function that is not mandatory.
3. sell all carparks and buildings/land that are not in use
4. a moratorium on hiring any staff for 3 years
5. cease making payments to organisations in the area for which the council is not repsonsible.
6. cease publishing council journals and other 'self publicising' material that is not mandatory
7. stop subsidising housing/council tax etc for sectors of the population when you do not have the money to do so
8. introduce a budgetary system by which if a council overspends from this point onwards the councillors who have voted to spend that money are personally liable.
With regard to the above, a moratorium on hiring any staff for 3 years: Teachers are employed by Councils, as they retire do you want kids to go without lessons? Close all facilities that are not making a profit? Do you want them to raise admission fees if they break even? Introduce a budgetary system by which if a council overspends from this point onwards the Councillors who have voted to spend that money are personally liable. Well what is to stop the budget being set unfairly high in the first place to avoid overspend? What if a department has to overspend to deal with unexpected emergencies like Flooding?
[quote][p][bold]Voice-of-reality[/bold] wrote: You shouldn't spend what you don't have. Alas, councils tend not to think like this as they are not spedning their own money. That the money is not theirs should mean that they are even more careful with it - but that's socialism for you - spend, spend, spend and let someone else pick up the tab. The remedy will seem harsh but is simple. 1. abolish all councillors' allowances. 2. close all facilities that are not making a profit or do not perform a function that is not mandatory. 3. sell all carparks and buildings/land that are not in use 4. a moratorium on hiring any staff for 3 years 5. cease making payments to organisations in the area for which the council is not repsonsible. 6. cease publishing council journals and other 'self publicising' material that is not mandatory 7. stop subsidising housing/council tax etc for sectors of the population when you do not have the money to do so 8. introduce a budgetary system by which if a council overspends from this point onwards the councillors who have voted to spend that money are personally liable.[/p][/quote]With regard to the above, a moratorium on hiring any staff for 3 years: Teachers are employed by Councils, as they retire do you want kids to go without lessons? Close all facilities that are not making a profit? Do you want them to raise admission fees if they break even? Introduce a budgetary system by which if a council overspends from this point onwards the Councillors who have voted to spend that money are personally liable. Well what is to stop the budget being set unfairly high in the first place to avoid overspend? What if a department has to overspend to deal with unexpected emergencies like Flooding? Graeme_r
  • Score: 4

3:30pm Thu 26 Jun 14

DarloXman says...

bambara wrote:
BMD wrote:
Let’s not forget the Golden pensions or the voluntary redundancies only to be re-employed as a contractor and excessive wages of £186,000 per year to Ada Burns.

There needs to be accountability - Remember Bill Dixon famous quote: You can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs.
Let's not forget that Ada Burn is on far less than her Tory council equivalents.
Look up the CEO wages for all the council staff on over £100k on the taxpayers alliance website and do a comparrison.

Let's not forget that it is Tory central government who are slashing the budgets of councils and leaving them with a huge hole in their finances.

Let's not forget that areas like the SouthWest and the South coast (which spend the same per person as Durham and Darlington are facing average cuts of 7-8% over this Tory government while in the NorthEast the average cut is 20% (25% in Darlington)

Yes lets remember there needs to be accountability, - Remember David Camerons famous quote - "We're all in this together" - Seems like it's not the same depth everywhere though is it Dave?
I replied to you on the other thread when you listed a load of Tory councils who paid their Chief Execs in excess of Ms Burns obscene £186,000 salary.

I made two points -

1 - Multiple wrongs do not make a right! Salaries for the public sector are too high in general - all paid for of course by the private sector who now earn on average much less.

2 - The councils you listed where mostly large counties of boroughs in London - Darlingon is a small town with a population of just 100,000 - you can't compare Darlington with Kent!

Regardless of what other councils pay, please tell me what the Darlington Labour Party think Ms Burns does that she is worthy of such an obscene salary. It is clear to most Darlington residents that the council is under performing - so despite this is Ms Burns doing a stellar job?

This is all of course at the same time that the Labour controlled council are reducing the salaries of their lowest paid Streetscene staff!! All in it together - I don't think so - but some certainly have their snouts in the same trough!
[quote][p][bold]bambara[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BMD[/bold] wrote: Let’s not forget the Golden pensions or the voluntary redundancies only to be re-employed as a contractor and excessive wages of £186,000 per year to Ada Burns. There needs to be accountability - Remember Bill Dixon famous quote: You can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs.[/p][/quote]Let's not forget that Ada Burn is on far less than her Tory council equivalents. Look up the CEO wages for all the council staff on over £100k on the taxpayers alliance website and do a comparrison. Let's not forget that it is Tory central government who are slashing the budgets of councils and leaving them with a huge hole in their finances. Let's not forget that areas like the SouthWest and the South coast (which spend the same per person as Durham and Darlington are facing average cuts of 7-8% over this Tory government while in the NorthEast the average cut is 20% (25% in Darlington) Yes lets remember there needs to be accountability, - Remember David Camerons famous quote - "We're all in this together" - Seems like it's not the same depth everywhere though is it Dave?[/p][/quote]I replied to you on the other thread when you listed a load of Tory councils who paid their Chief Execs in excess of Ms Burns obscene £186,000 salary. I made two points - 1 - Multiple wrongs do not make a right! Salaries for the public sector are too high in general - all paid for of course by the private sector who now earn on average much less. 2 - The councils you listed where mostly large counties of boroughs in London - Darlingon is a small town with a population of just 100,000 - you can't compare Darlington with Kent! Regardless of what other councils pay, please tell me what the Darlington Labour Party think Ms Burns does that she is worthy of such an obscene salary. It is clear to most Darlington residents that the council is under performing - so despite this is Ms Burns doing a stellar job? This is all of course at the same time that the Labour controlled council are reducing the salaries of their lowest paid Streetscene staff!! All in it together - I don't think so - but some certainly have their snouts in the same trough! DarloXman
  • Score: 5

3:38pm Thu 26 Jun 14

DarloXman says...

Graeme_r wrote:
Voice-of-reality wrote:
You shouldn't spend what you don't have.
Alas, councils tend not to think like this as they are not spedning their own money.
That the money is not theirs should mean that they are even more careful with it - but that's socialism for you - spend, spend, spend and let someone else pick up the tab.

The remedy will seem harsh but is simple.
1. abolish all councillors' allowances.
2. close all facilities that are not making a profit or do not perform a function that is not mandatory.
3. sell all carparks and buildings/land that are not in use
4. a moratorium on hiring any staff for 3 years
5. cease making payments to organisations in the area for which the council is not repsonsible.
6. cease publishing council journals and other 'self publicising' material that is not mandatory
7. stop subsidising housing/council tax etc for sectors of the population when you do not have the money to do so
8. introduce a budgetary system by which if a council overspends from this point onwards the councillors who have voted to spend that money are personally liable.
With regard to the above, a moratorium on hiring any staff for 3 years: Teachers are employed by Councils, as they retire do you want kids to go without lessons? Close all facilities that are not making a profit? Do you want them to raise admission fees if they break even? Introduce a budgetary system by which if a council overspends from this point onwards the Councillors who have voted to spend that money are personally liable. Well what is to stop the budget being set unfairly high in the first place to avoid overspend? What if a department has to overspend to deal with unexpected emergencies like Flooding?
"Close all facilities that are not making a profit? Do you want them to raise admission fees if they break even?"

Why not? Why should the users not pay for that they use? Why should the non users?

Last year I joined a gym - I looked at all the available options and surprisingly I did not join the subsidised Dolphin Centre gym at £30/month - I joined a brand new gym in Stockton for less than £10/month!

What these prices tell you is that Darlington Council (like most others) are grossly inefficient - they have no incentive to change!

The points made by VOR are mostly things that the private sector has had to do for years - firstly in order to survive and now in order to grow! The council is being forced to change and try to improve it's efficiency - unfortunately it's making a right hash of it and they are proving they are not up to the job!
[quote][p][bold]Graeme_r[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Voice-of-reality[/bold] wrote: You shouldn't spend what you don't have. Alas, councils tend not to think like this as they are not spedning their own money. That the money is not theirs should mean that they are even more careful with it - but that's socialism for you - spend, spend, spend and let someone else pick up the tab. The remedy will seem harsh but is simple. 1. abolish all councillors' allowances. 2. close all facilities that are not making a profit or do not perform a function that is not mandatory. 3. sell all carparks and buildings/land that are not in use 4. a moratorium on hiring any staff for 3 years 5. cease making payments to organisations in the area for which the council is not repsonsible. 6. cease publishing council journals and other 'self publicising' material that is not mandatory 7. stop subsidising housing/council tax etc for sectors of the population when you do not have the money to do so 8. introduce a budgetary system by which if a council overspends from this point onwards the councillors who have voted to spend that money are personally liable.[/p][/quote]With regard to the above, a moratorium on hiring any staff for 3 years: Teachers are employed by Councils, as they retire do you want kids to go without lessons? Close all facilities that are not making a profit? Do you want them to raise admission fees if they break even? Introduce a budgetary system by which if a council overspends from this point onwards the Councillors who have voted to spend that money are personally liable. Well what is to stop the budget being set unfairly high in the first place to avoid overspend? What if a department has to overspend to deal with unexpected emergencies like Flooding?[/p][/quote]"Close all facilities that are not making a profit? Do you want them to raise admission fees if they break even?" Why not? Why should the users not pay for that they use? Why should the non users? Last year I joined a gym - I looked at all the available options and surprisingly I did not join the subsidised Dolphin Centre gym at £30/month - I joined a brand new gym in Stockton for less than £10/month! What these prices tell you is that Darlington Council (like most others) are grossly inefficient - they have no incentive to change! The points made by VOR are mostly things that the private sector has had to do for years - firstly in order to survive and now in order to grow! The council is being forced to change and try to improve it's efficiency - unfortunately it's making a right hash of it and they are proving they are not up to the job! DarloXman
  • Score: 0

7:07pm Thu 26 Jun 14

LUSTARD says...

isnt our ada paid so much so she cant be corrupted, mind she is surrounded by wolves
isnt our ada paid so much so she cant be corrupted, mind she is surrounded by wolves LUSTARD
  • Score: 6

11:12pm Thu 26 Jun 14

bambara says...

DarloXman wrote:
bambara wrote:
BMD wrote:
Let’s not forget the Golden pensions or the voluntary redundancies only to be re-employed as a contractor and excessive wages of £186,000 per year to Ada Burns.

There needs to be accountability - Remember Bill Dixon famous quote: You can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs.
Let's not forget that Ada Burn is on far less than her Tory council equivalents.
Look up the CEO wages for all the council staff on over £100k on the taxpayers alliance website and do a comparrison.

Let's not forget that it is Tory central government who are slashing the budgets of councils and leaving them with a huge hole in their finances.

Let's not forget that areas like the SouthWest and the South coast (which spend the same per person as Durham and Darlington are facing average cuts of 7-8% over this Tory government while in the NorthEast the average cut is 20% (25% in Darlington)

Yes lets remember there needs to be accountability, - Remember David Camerons famous quote - "We're all in this together" - Seems like it's not the same depth everywhere though is it Dave?
I replied to you on the other thread when you listed a load of Tory councils who paid their Chief Execs in excess of Ms Burns obscene £186,000 salary.

I made two points -

1 - Multiple wrongs do not make a right! Salaries for the public sector are too high in general - all paid for of course by the private sector who now earn on average much less.

2 - The councils you listed where mostly large counties of boroughs in London - Darlingon is a small town with a population of just 100,000 - you can't compare Darlington with Kent!

Regardless of what other councils pay, please tell me what the Darlington Labour Party think Ms Burns does that she is worthy of such an obscene salary. It is clear to most Darlington residents that the council is under performing - so despite this is Ms Burns doing a stellar job?

This is all of course at the same time that the Labour controlled council are reducing the salaries of their lowest paid Streetscene staff!! All in it together - I don't think so - but some certainly have their snouts in the same trough!
Then go look at the rest of the list, it is a very long list, there are a lot of councils on there, and a lot of fat salaries.
Blackpool £266k, Brentwood £196k, like I say it's a long list. Hambleton, Hertsmere,... All the CEO's are on nice big salaries, it is nothing different for Darlington, nothing special.
Darlington doesn't stand out as a high paying council in any way.
Go look for CEO jobs online for medium sized enterprises.
Compare it to an average on a job search site. Councils are large enterprises, and CEO's of large enterprises get paid a lot of money.

Now if you want to argue that ALL CEO's are overpaid, I would be with you on that one. But it is simply incorrect to pick out any one above the general crowd, Tory, Liberal, or Labour, all of them are paid a very nice salary.
[quote][p][bold]DarloXman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]bambara[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BMD[/bold] wrote: Let’s not forget the Golden pensions or the voluntary redundancies only to be re-employed as a contractor and excessive wages of £186,000 per year to Ada Burns. There needs to be accountability - Remember Bill Dixon famous quote: You can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs.[/p][/quote]Let's not forget that Ada Burn is on far less than her Tory council equivalents. Look up the CEO wages for all the council staff on over £100k on the taxpayers alliance website and do a comparrison. Let's not forget that it is Tory central government who are slashing the budgets of councils and leaving them with a huge hole in their finances. Let's not forget that areas like the SouthWest and the South coast (which spend the same per person as Durham and Darlington are facing average cuts of 7-8% over this Tory government while in the NorthEast the average cut is 20% (25% in Darlington) Yes lets remember there needs to be accountability, - Remember David Camerons famous quote - "We're all in this together" - Seems like it's not the same depth everywhere though is it Dave?[/p][/quote]I replied to you on the other thread when you listed a load of Tory councils who paid their Chief Execs in excess of Ms Burns obscene £186,000 salary. I made two points - 1 - Multiple wrongs do not make a right! Salaries for the public sector are too high in general - all paid for of course by the private sector who now earn on average much less. 2 - The councils you listed where mostly large counties of boroughs in London - Darlingon is a small town with a population of just 100,000 - you can't compare Darlington with Kent! Regardless of what other councils pay, please tell me what the Darlington Labour Party think Ms Burns does that she is worthy of such an obscene salary. It is clear to most Darlington residents that the council is under performing - so despite this is Ms Burns doing a stellar job? This is all of course at the same time that the Labour controlled council are reducing the salaries of their lowest paid Streetscene staff!! All in it together - I don't think so - but some certainly have their snouts in the same trough![/p][/quote]Then go look at the rest of the list, it is a very long list, there are a lot of councils on there, and a lot of fat salaries. Blackpool £266k, Brentwood £196k, like I say it's a long list. Hambleton, Hertsmere,... All the CEO's are on nice big salaries, it is nothing different for Darlington, nothing special. Darlington doesn't stand out as a high paying council in any way. Go look for CEO jobs online for medium sized enterprises. Compare it to an average on a job search site. Councils are large enterprises, and CEO's of large enterprises get paid a lot of money. Now if you want to argue that ALL CEO's are overpaid, I would be with you on that one. But it is simply incorrect to pick out any one above the general crowd, Tory, Liberal, or Labour, all of them are paid a very nice salary. bambara
  • Score: 0

6:11am Fri 27 Jun 14

BMD says...

bambara says... Then go look at the rest of the list, it is a very long list, there are a lot of councils on there, and a lot of fat salaries.
Compare it to an average on a job search site. Councils are large enterprises, and CEO's of large enterprises get paid a lot of money.

Reply: I hope you are not trying to compare the council against the profit making private sector.

bambara says... Blackpool £266k, Brentwood £196k, like I say it's a long list. Hambleton, Hertsmere,... All the CEO's are on nice big salaries, it is nothing different for Darlington, nothing special.

Reply: It is obscene and an abuse of tax-payers funds, I am shocked that you consider Ada Burns £186k + Expenses nothing special. I am sure if her financial package was reduced to 1/3rd of her current status, she would still be sat in the chair, as the private sector would not be head hunting Ada.
bambara says... Then go look at the rest of the list, it is a very long list, there are a lot of councils on there, and a lot of fat salaries. Compare it to an average on a job search site. Councils are large enterprises, and CEO's of large enterprises get paid a lot of money. Reply: I hope you are not trying to compare the council against the profit making private sector. bambara says... Blackpool £266k, Brentwood £196k, like I say it's a long list. Hambleton, Hertsmere,... All the CEO's are on nice big salaries, it is nothing different for Darlington, nothing special. Reply: It is obscene and an abuse of tax-payers funds, I am shocked that you consider Ada Burns £186k + Expenses nothing special. I am sure if her financial package was reduced to 1/3rd of her current status, she would still be sat in the chair, as the private sector would not be head hunting Ada. BMD
  • Score: 4

8:04am Fri 27 Jun 14

DarloXman says...

bambara says..."All the CEO's are on nice big salaries, it is nothing different for Darlington, nothing special."

It may not be different - but it is special! There is simply no need for the Darlington Council Chief Executiver to be paid £186,000 or anything like that!

This is a council (poorly performing) that as you say is struggling to manage cuts of funding from central government - and what do they do? Well being a Labour Council they decide to make reductions to some salaries but who do they choose - those at the top? No, the Labour Council choose to make significant (>10%) reduction to their lowest paid staff and leave their top paid staff alone - yes that's right - a Labour Council choosing the penalise the poorest whilst continuing to over reward the richest! You could not make this up - if they were Tories they'd be criticised by people like you but because it's Labour the silence is deafening!

Reducing anyone's salary has to be managed within employment law and is difficult to do - but as Mr Dixon says "you can't make an omelette without breaking some eggs!"

If the council had been doing an excellent job - providing services whilst keeping council tax down I would applaud them! But this is not what they have done, they are withdrawing services, abdicating their basic responsibilities and over the 20+ years I have lived in Darlington increased the council tax beyond inflation. In private industry poor performance normally catches up with those responsible - it seems those at the top of Councils are untouchables!
bambara says..."All the CEO's are on nice big salaries, it is nothing different for Darlington, nothing special." It may not be different - but it is special! There is simply no need for the Darlington Council Chief Executiver to be paid £186,000 or anything like that! This is a council (poorly performing) that as you say is struggling to manage cuts of funding from central government - and what do they do? Well being a Labour Council they decide to make reductions to some salaries but who do they choose - those at the top? No, the Labour Council choose to make significant (>10%) reduction to their lowest paid staff and leave their top paid staff alone - yes that's right - a Labour Council choosing the penalise the poorest whilst continuing to over reward the richest! You could not make this up - if they were Tories they'd be criticised by people like you but because it's Labour the silence is deafening! Reducing anyone's salary has to be managed within employment law and is difficult to do - but as Mr Dixon says "you can't make an omelette without breaking some eggs!" If the council had been doing an excellent job - providing services whilst keeping council tax down I would applaud them! But this is not what they have done, they are withdrawing services, abdicating their basic responsibilities and over the 20+ years I have lived in Darlington increased the council tax beyond inflation. In private industry poor performance normally catches up with those responsible - it seems those at the top of Councils are untouchables! DarloXman
  • Score: 7

8:45am Fri 27 Jun 14

dm1970 says...

Bambara, you love a stat, every story regarding DBC you come up with worse stats for other parts of the country, and every time you are told, we don't care about other parts of the country, open your eyes and see what is going on in our town, you can use stats to prove or disprove anything, %90 of people now this.
Bambara, you love a stat, every story regarding DBC you come up with worse stats for other parts of the country, and every time you are told, we don't care about other parts of the country, open your eyes and see what is going on in our town, you can use stats to prove or disprove anything, %90 of people now this. dm1970
  • Score: 0

4:40pm Fri 27 Jun 14

Rosvanian says...

The so-called Tax Payer's Alliance is nothing more than a hard-right astroturf lobbying group with a long history of spouting rubbish and as such it has zero credibility. There's nothing to see here, move on and don't let these clowns bother you again.
The so-called Tax Payer's Alliance is nothing more than a hard-right astroturf lobbying group with a long history of spouting rubbish and as such it has zero credibility. There's nothing to see here, move on and don't let these clowns bother you again. Rosvanian
  • Score: -2

6:07am Sat 28 Jun 14

BMD says...

Rosvanian wrote:
The so-called Tax Payer's Alliance is nothing more than a hard-right astroturf lobbying group with a long history of spouting rubbish and as such it has zero credibility. There's nothing to see here, move on and don't let these clowns bother you again.
Its the clowns whom issue the monthly council tax bill for reduced services that bothers me.
[quote][p][bold]Rosvanian[/bold] wrote: The so-called Tax Payer's Alliance is nothing more than a hard-right astroturf lobbying group with a long history of spouting rubbish and as such it has zero credibility. There's nothing to see here, move on and don't let these clowns bother you again.[/p][/quote]Its the clowns whom issue the monthly council tax bill for reduced services that bothers me. BMD
  • Score: -1

10:53pm Sat 28 Jun 14

bambara says...

"Reply: I hope you are not trying to compare the council against the profit making private sector."

Well granted I would not want some of the less competent and less savory people from the private sector to be within a country mile of delivering or managing essential services. (Bankers, Dodgy loan company execs, people like Coulsen, or a few of the other morally or financially bancript (Tony Caplin) "advisors" that have crossed from the private sector to public service.) but despite the financial irregularities, the tax avoidance/evasion, corruption and sharp practise private enterprise still pays CEO's very high salaries, and backs that up with big bonuses and severance clauses.

Still the job title and responsibilities are similar, and the budgets dealt with are likewise, so it is fair enough to compare the salaries.
"Reply: I hope you are not trying to compare the council against the profit making private sector." Well granted I would not want some of the less competent and less savory people from the private sector to be within a country mile of delivering or managing essential services. (Bankers, Dodgy loan company execs, people like Coulsen, or a few of the other morally or financially bancript (Tony Caplin) "advisors" that have crossed from the private sector to public service.) but despite the financial irregularities, the tax avoidance/evasion, corruption and sharp practise private enterprise still pays CEO's very high salaries, and backs that up with big bonuses and severance clauses. Still the job title and responsibilities are similar, and the budgets dealt with are likewise, so it is fair enough to compare the salaries. bambara
  • Score: 0

11:08pm Sat 28 Jun 14

bambara says...

Rosvanian wrote:
The so-called Tax Payer's Alliance is nothing more than a hard-right astroturf lobbying group with a long history of spouting rubbish and as such it has zero credibility. There's nothing to see here, move on and don't let these clowns bother you again.
Which is precisely why I used their figures Rosvanian, if even the figures from a hard right organisation show that Darlington are nothing special in the pay scales, then it undermines the accusations that are being made that Darlington are wasting money on an overpaid CEO.

It is a matter of public record, as collated by a right wing pressure group that Ada Burns is being paid the rate for the jon. It can be seen from the figures to be the rate for the job that she is doing, not significantly higher or lower than other similar rolees across the country.
[quote][p][bold]Rosvanian[/bold] wrote: The so-called Tax Payer's Alliance is nothing more than a hard-right astroturf lobbying group with a long history of spouting rubbish and as such it has zero credibility. There's nothing to see here, move on and don't let these clowns bother you again.[/p][/quote]Which is precisely why I used their figures Rosvanian, if even the figures from a hard right organisation show that Darlington are nothing special in the pay scales, then it undermines the accusations that are being made that Darlington are wasting money on an overpaid CEO. It is a matter of public record, as collated by a right wing pressure group that Ada Burns is being paid the rate for the jon. It can be seen from the figures to be the rate for the job that she is doing, not significantly higher or lower than other similar rolees across the country. bambara
  • Score: -1

11:42pm Sat 28 Jun 14

bambara says...

dm1970 wrote:
Bambara, you love a stat, every story regarding DBC you come up with worse stats for other parts of the country, and every time you are told, we don't care about other parts of the country, open your eyes and see what is going on in our town, you can use stats to prove or disprove anything, %90 of people now this.
Because you do not care about stats, or facts, it does not necessarily follow that everyone else is also suffering from the same confirmation bias.

When I see the broad statements that the negative posters make, I go and check to see if it is true, or if it is peculiar to the local council. I check to see if it is out of the ordinary for the area, if it is the same across similar councils, across the region.
Then once I have the information, I post it.

I check the facts as collated by independant organisations, people and groups who do not have an axe to grind with Darlington council. They have no reason to care about anything other than what is true.

What do you do dm1970? Do you read automatically disregard any information which does not agree with the answer you have already decided on?
Ask yourself a simple question, what would it take to persuade you that you are wrong?
Are you listening to the argument, judging the facts and making a decision, or just stating your opinion and ignoring any opposing view?
[quote][p][bold]dm1970[/bold] wrote: Bambara, you love a stat, every story regarding DBC you come up with worse stats for other parts of the country, and every time you are told, we don't care about other parts of the country, open your eyes and see what is going on in our town, you can use stats to prove or disprove anything, %90 of people now this.[/p][/quote]Because you do not care about stats, or facts, it does not necessarily follow that everyone else is also suffering from the same confirmation bias. When I see the broad statements that the negative posters make, I go and check to see if it is true, or if it is peculiar to the local council. I check to see if it is out of the ordinary for the area, if it is the same across similar councils, across the region. Then once I have the information, I post it. I check the facts as collated by independant organisations, people and groups who do not have an axe to grind with Darlington council. They have no reason to care about anything other than what is true. What do you do dm1970? Do you read automatically disregard any information which does not agree with the answer you have already decided on? Ask yourself a simple question, what would it take to persuade you that you are wrong? Are you listening to the argument, judging the facts and making a decision, or just stating your opinion and ignoring any opposing view? bambara
  • Score: 2

2:03pm Mon 30 Jun 14

dm1970 says...

bambara wrote:
dm1970 wrote:
Bambara, you love a stat, every story regarding DBC you come up with worse stats for other parts of the country, and every time you are told, we don't care about other parts of the country, open your eyes and see what is going on in our town, you can use stats to prove or disprove anything, %90 of people now this.
Because you do not care about stats, or facts, it does not necessarily follow that everyone else is also suffering from the same confirmation bias.

When I see the broad statements that the negative posters make, I go and check to see if it is true, or if it is peculiar to the local council. I check to see if it is out of the ordinary for the area, if it is the same across similar councils, across the region.
Then once I have the information, I post it.

I check the facts as collated by independant organisations, people and groups who do not have an axe to grind with Darlington council. They have no reason to care about anything other than what is true.

What do you do dm1970? Do you read automatically disregard any information which does not agree with the answer you have already decided on?
Ask yourself a simple question, what would it take to persuade you that you are wrong?
Are you listening to the argument, judging the facts and making a decision, or just stating your opinion and ignoring any opposing view?
My opinion is based on what I see walking around the town, along with speaking to people in all areas, who are passionate and concerned with what is happening to this once great town.
[quote][p][bold]bambara[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]dm1970[/bold] wrote: Bambara, you love a stat, every story regarding DBC you come up with worse stats for other parts of the country, and every time you are told, we don't care about other parts of the country, open your eyes and see what is going on in our town, you can use stats to prove or disprove anything, %90 of people now this.[/p][/quote]Because you do not care about stats, or facts, it does not necessarily follow that everyone else is also suffering from the same confirmation bias. When I see the broad statements that the negative posters make, I go and check to see if it is true, or if it is peculiar to the local council. I check to see if it is out of the ordinary for the area, if it is the same across similar councils, across the region. Then once I have the information, I post it. I check the facts as collated by independant organisations, people and groups who do not have an axe to grind with Darlington council. They have no reason to care about anything other than what is true. What do you do dm1970? Do you read automatically disregard any information which does not agree with the answer you have already decided on? Ask yourself a simple question, what would it take to persuade you that you are wrong? Are you listening to the argument, judging the facts and making a decision, or just stating your opinion and ignoring any opposing view?[/p][/quote]My opinion is based on what I see walking around the town, along with speaking to people in all areas, who are passionate and concerned with what is happening to this once great town. dm1970
  • Score: 1

10:21pm Wed 2 Jul 14

spragger says...

'pension scheme deficits'

The biggest mistake the Coalition made in 2010 was not putting the whole of the public sector on a DC or money purchase pension scheme. It could have been match funded but would have taken the unacceptable risk off the taxpayer. MP's should have been included . .

I guess its never too late as they will have to do it one day . .
'pension scheme deficits' The biggest mistake the Coalition made in 2010 was not putting the whole of the public sector on a DC or money purchase pension scheme. It could have been match funded but would have taken the unacceptable risk off the taxpayer. MP's should have been included . . I guess its never too late as they will have to do it one day . . spragger
  • Score: 1
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