Tuesday, 19 July 2011
Medway Councils job cuts, advice to staff and new Public toilets
There will also be online tools for residents to use to help them with enquiries and even track the progress of your their enquiries through the system- much like Domino's.
Councillor Jarret says; "This part of the "Better for less" programme will deliver major service improvements for people in Medway and will help deliver significant efficiency savings."
I would urge the council to be as transparent as possible so as to belay any fears for jobs to the loyal workforce.
One of the ways they also need to be careful of would be the use of consultants. For example if they let go their tree surgeons who are on say £30k a year and then paying a them as consultants on a job, as private contractors they can charge more and thus cost the council more per year as a consultant than keeping them on payroll.
In other news, the council has prepared a briefing for its staff on how to live economically in the current times. Unfortunately what was a well meaning exercise has backfired and insulted those on the lower pay brackets. They were told they could save money by shopping at Asda or going on Haven Holidays where as those on a £55k salary were told there were private dental plans, shopping at Sainsbury's or head off to nicer holidays.
Other advice includes cheaper car insurance for those earning more and advice on catching the bus for those on lower wages!
Its true, living in your budget is difficult and advice can be helpful but people don't like to be reminded that they are at the bottom of the heap and that others are earning so much more. It causes resentment especially when people feel they are having their noses rubbed in it!
It seems the council scored an own goal on that one.
Finally, ever been out and had a few pints, left the pub and been caught short without a public convenience? Ever snuck into an ally and used the cover of shadows? I'll admit it... I have in my youth.
Ever had a £100 fine slapped on you by the local Constabulary? (Nope)
Now there is a solution to this problem. Semi temporary urinals will be deployed in Rochester High street and covered over except on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights which are the nights most people go out and have a few beverages.
Councillor Mike O'Brien, who holds the portfolio for community safety and customer contact said that
"This approach has been used in a number of other towns and cities in the UK and has helped to reduce the problem."
Many residents are a little indignant according to the Medway news. Rightly Kerry-Louise Dungey says;
What about women?
Another comment from Elaine Fyfe who owns the Francis Iles Gallery said that education was the key to stopping people from urinating in the street.
It doesn't take that much control to do it where you need to.
I am afraid I must beg to differ. A wise man once said to me that you do not buy beer you merely rent it from the establishment and you never need to go until after you've left the pub and then you are bursting. I'm not saying there should be wholesale urination in the street just showing a certain amount of understanding. I think these toilets are a great idea, they need little maintainace, little to vandalise, they are right where you need them and I really hope they work and a good investment by the council.