Thursday, 24 April 2008

Gone in 60 Seconds!

Tameside Council 60 Second News
One feature which was launched on the Tameside Council website earlier this month was "60 Second News". Yes, earlier this month when the election was called. So nothing to do with the upcomming elections then? Hmmmmmm.... You can see why 60 Second News has raised a few eyebrows across many of the political parties.

On the page for 60 Second News it states:

"Each week, Sixty Second News will give you the council’s top stories in just one minute.

The bulletin has been set up in response to a demand for web-based information about the council and will be presented by council staff."

I did a Freedom of Information request from Tameside Council asking for a breakdown of 60 Second News and today I recieved a reply from the Assistant Chief Executive and director for ICT and Transformational Services, Tim Rainey.

You could all joke now on "How many people does it take at Tameside Council to produce a one minute news item". Below I have included the response from the breakdown:

Writing Script (1 hour) - Est. £16.00
Filming and production (3 hours) - Est. £150.00
Presenter time (1 hour) - Est. £16.00

So it takes a total of five man hours to produce a one minute programme and at a total cost of £182 to the local tax payer. This £182 works out at £3.03 per second.

60 Second News goes out once a week so there is 4 weeks in a month, this would work out at £728 a month or if you do it over a year which there are 52 weeks and 60 Second News costs £9464.

It was revealed by Tameside Tories earlier in November 2007 that Tameside Council spent £803,000 on "communication" in 2006 a rise of £96,000 from the previous year.

Is it worth while keeping 60 Second News? Does it serve to rub the backs of smug council staff and Labour councillors? What would you spend £9464 a year on to benefit the people of Tameside? Discuss below.

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