Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Tameside Council - Christmas Lights Competition

Chavs at the ready! As those craaaaaaaazy bastards at Tameside Council are at it again, this time with a competition for Tameside residents to dress up their house in tacky Christmas tree lights and annoy the person across the road from you. The following press release has been issued on the Tameside Council website:

Tameside Christmas lights could soon be seen across the world thanks to a competition being launched by the Council today.

Residents are being encouraged to submit pictures of their lights. A public vote during the Christmas period will decide which are the best.

“We're looking for the brightest and most colourful home in the area. If you have decorated your house, garden or business with lights, nativity scenes and giant festive characters please send us your photos now to enter this competition” said Cabinet Deputy responsible for IT Services, Councillor Margaret Oldham.

The winner will be invited onto stage at next year's prestigious Christmas Lights Switch On in Ashton town centre.

Anyone living in Tameside can enter but residents can only enter their own home or business.

Entries sent on behalf of a friend or relative will not be considered.

The closing date for entries is midnight on Thursday, 20th December 2007. A judging panel will shortlist and the public will then be able to vote for the winner which will be announced on 2nd January 2008.

Photos can be sent via email to photocompetition@tameside.gov.uk (only attachments of 15MB or lower will be permitted) or should be sent by post to Webmaster, Tameside MBC, ICT Services, Room 6.5, Council Offices, Wellington Road, Ashton-under-Lyne, OL6 6DL. Please ensure you include your name, full address and telephone number.

Pardon my ignorance at this not yet so festive period but isn't Tameside Council currently trialing to dim the street lighting across the borough? Is this a subliminal way so people crank up the wattage on their house and the residents pick up the electricity bill? Or is that what council tax is supposed to be for in the first place? I can't believe that Tameside Council is promoting such a scheme, not only does it look fucking awful and annoying, but it is now socially irresponsible with the energy used by these lights which add to carbon emissions and spiralling energy costs.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Tameside Council - Labour Party (PR) People

This weeks Advertiser featured a very interesting letter from the Tameside Advertiser from Councillor John Bell, Conservative Leader of the Opposition. In this letter he talked about how a Tameside officer said that ALL parties were in favour of Congestion charging in the latest edition of the Tameside Citizen newspaper without consulting any of the opposition parties. Councillor Bell was quick to rectify in a letter to the local press that the Conservative group in Tameside are against congestion charging. He also discussed issues surrounding the spiralling £803,000 cost of running Tameside Council's PR department.

I have to laugh at how Councillor Bell sarcastically describes the Citizen of having a "scoop" on the subject. The Citizen is operated and owned by the council, it should act as a newsletter informing of budgets, councillor surgeries, district assemblies, events of interest etc - NOT investigative journalism. Councillor Bell went on to make the following statement:

"The Citizen has been reduced to nothing more than a propaganda rag for Labour, paid for by the council tax payers. This is self evident every March when it is distributed to every Tameside home on the eve of the local elections, emblazoned with pictures of Labour councillors, some of whom are defending their seats.

Enough's enough, it is now time for change.

Last year the Labour council spent £803,000 on publicity, a staggering £95,000 more than the previous year. A Conservative administration would therefore reduce these spiralling costs by scrapping the Citizen, ensuring that council tax payers money was spent on things that really mattered"

Here, here! Councillor John Bell makes a lot of sense on this issue and I applaud him on this whistle blowing which shows what a waste of money our council tax is going towards. Tameside Eye has been playing around with the £803k figure and we have found out that this worked out as being 0.27% of the £294.67m budget for 2007/2008.

£803,000 still gets me thinking. Well if PR was scrapped we could turn up the wattage on the lamp posts so they go mental with the brightness levels. £803k is more than four times the amount TMBC want to save on dimming street lighting.

£803,000 is more than 5 times the amount that James Purnell spends on his expenses.

Tameside Council claims to be an "excellent council" by whom? A carefully select panel? A bunch of government auditors? "Independent" auditors who have donated money/services to the Labour party? I think normal Tameside Citizens would disagree with the running of the council. John Taylor at the last council meeting was piping on about standards within the council and how they couldn't do any better apart from a few health and safety issues such as fire extinguishers. Well Taylor, your standards ARE very lax if that's what you think. Come on, the wool has been pulled over our eyes for too long now. There is a need for a time for change and I can't wait for the 2008 elections! I say bring it on!

Editors Note: About the lack of communication between the officer at Tameside Council and John Bell. One wonders whether or not this is the same "junior" officer who wrote the bias pro EU article for the front page of the www.tameside.gov.uk website. They can only use that excuse so many times. We shall cover more on this later.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Tameside Council's Bright Idea

Tameside Council has announced it is currently trialing to dim streetlights in a cost saving effort which could save the borough £7,000 for every 1,000 lights dimmed. There are currently 28,000 lamposts in Tameside which would mean a saving of £196,000 a year.

Living Streets, a charity which campaigns for better paedestrian access and safety on our streets claims that poor street lighting gives criminals an opportunity to commit crime. It also states that better street lighting can reduce the fear of crime.

Nice but dim, John Bell, Tameside Conservative Leader of the opposition and Hyde Werneth Councillor who is against the dimming of street lighting had the following statement:

"I understand the need to seek value for money, but you have guard against issues such as community safety. I would not like to see crime soar - it is absolutely imperative we have good street lighting, otherwise this proposal will not be the bright idea the council thinks it is."

Tameside Eye has been doing some work of its own and has found out that £196,000 is 0.07% of the £282.6m council budget set out for 2006/2007. Is the £196,000 saving really worth it? I can think of a few ways to cut money at the council namely the ammount of beaurocrats that run the place, nevermind the streetlighting.

Tameside Council says that this is only an experiment and is awaiting the results of the public consultation.

Source: Tameside Tories - Who actually do have a sense of humour.