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SALFORD COUNCIL EXPENDITURE OVER £500 MAY 2011
 

Star date: 20th October 2011

SALFORD COUNCIL SPENDING PART TWO: MAY 2011

LOWRY HOTEL…PEEL HOLDINGS…SALFORD REDS…
…ALMOST £100,000 ON RECRUITMENT…OVER £20,000 ON PLANTS AND FLOWERS…£24,000 ON WASHING DUSTBINS!

Can Salford Council's spending get any worse? Er, yep! During one month last May, the Council spent almost £100,000 in fees for recruitment agency, Meridian Business Support – at a time when staff were being axed through £40million worth of cuts…

Salford Council also spent £11,719 at the 5 star Lowry Hotel, spent another £24,000 on washing dustbins, gave Salford Reds Rugby team £6000 in sponsorship and handed thousands of pounds to megabucks Peel Holdings. Again.

Full details here…


Where do you start revealing Salford Council's spending over £500 for May 2011? One month's invoices for May 2011 show that, at a time when the Council was literally weeping with remorse over the £40million cuts, it managed to spend £11,719 at the 5 star footballers' haunt, The Lowry Hotel. The money came from the Council's `Sustainable Regeneration' budget and was for `Central S & S Alloc', whatever that means…

£240,000 also went out of Salford Council's coffers for the Manchester International Festival (details here), plus a grant of £133,928 to Sodexo from the Community, Health and Social Care budget, to go with its grant of over £84,000 in January (see here). Sodexo, as we have previously stated, boasts `consolidated revenues of 15.3billion Euros'.

Meanwhile, staff who have left Salford City Council as a result of the cuts will be thrilled to hear that almost £96,268 was paid in fees to jobs agency Meridian Business Support, presumably in commission for finding new staff. This is so gross we have asked Salford Council for an explanation and are still waiting to hear.*

Also blooming under the cuts are Salford's plants and flowers which had over £20,000 lavished on them. Three companies – Brenmo Plants, Impact Plants and Plantscape – shared £10,781, while Seedley and Langworthy In Bloom received £10,000.

Salford's dustbins also did rather well, with The Bin Washing Company being paid £24,000, presumably to, er, wash dustbins…

…And Salford Reds Rugby club received £6000 in sponsorship – on top of all the other payments it's had in loans, revenue and a tenancy at a nice new ground. Talking of which, Peel Holdings - joint owners of the ground for which Salford tax payers have given a £22million loan – is continuing to receive thousands of pounds from Salford Council…

…In May alone, megabucks Peel Media, owners of MediaCityUK, got £1,520 in rent off the Council; its subsid, Peel Advertising, received £1,680 for the `Training of Others' and Peel Holdings itself got £1,400 for `Marketing/Publicity'. Both payments came from our struggling, over budget, Children's Services

And the Peel-owned Bridgewater Canal Company received £35,672 for `Other Works', while the Peel-owned Manchester Ship Canal got two payments totalling £6,208 for `Principal Road Maintenance'. The Bridgewater Canal's 250th anniversary was enhanced by a new app, courtesy of £28,000 in `miscellaneous expenses' payments from the Council to Imagemakers, via a Heritage Lottery grant.

The Lowry got its, now monthly, £92,708 in `professional fees', plus £1,164 for `provisions' and £1,128 for `hire of facilities'…what's wrong with St Seb's and the Langworthy Cornerstone?

And what's wrong with what's left of Salford Council's in-house marketing department? In May, Lynch Willcox Communicationsjoint founded by ex GMTV presenter Elaine Willcox and trading as The Marketing Clinic – received £3000 in `professional fees'. Elaine Willcox can currently be seen flogging houses for Seddon Homes at Kersal's Unity Quarter (see here), amongst other developments (watch this space for some further details on this). 

When analysing February's Council spending we questioned why marketing company, Countryscape, were paid almost £2000. A commenteer from Countryscape came back and said it wasn't for a Lowry project – but didn't say what it was for (see here). Well, Countryscape received another £5,880 in May. Perhaps the company will let us know this time what it was for – they are a marketing company, after all…

Also back in February, U.R.C. Associates - headed, we believe, by ex Salford City Council Deputy Chief Exec, Mike Shields - received almost £13,500 in fees. The company trousered a further £3,105 for `other works' in May. And Comensura - the `procurement and supply chain management solutions' company – which received £242,000 in fees from Salford Council in April, got fees totalling £501,633 in May. They must be very, very good – whatever it is they do for amost three quarters of a million quid…

And finally, what Council spending trip would be complete without a visit to John Lewis? Certainly not Salford Council's – it spent £1,200 in `Amenities Account Purchases' at the posh person's Poundland.

For full details of Salford Council's Expenditure over £500 - click here

* Update - 21st October 2011

Salford Council has now sent us a comment from Councillor Ray Mashiter, lead member for environment... “We use Meridian to provide extra cover for refuse collection and seasonal grounds maintenance services. They have been used for a number of years.

"We use agency staff to make sure refuse and recycling collections are fully staffed every day to maintain this service for Salford residents. In the peak growing season we use agency staff to supplement our permanent grounds maintenance workforce to deal with the short term extra demand.

"We are working with our staff and trade unions to reduce the use of agency staff with permanent staff wherever we can where the benefits and costs of doing so are proven.”

Salford Star replies: For almost £100,000 that you paid in `agency fees' you could probably employ five extra full time staff to cover all the year round...

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

jim devine wrote
at 21:57:44 on 05 November 2011
I confess to sharing a lot of James's pro capitalist views. Where i feel he shows his naivety and ignorace are his constant attacks on The Star for trying to expose the charlatans who mismanage the system and prevent all The UKs citizens benefitting from it. Whether its Tory or Labour they will continue to look after themselves and their cronies. Get down off your ivory tower James and join the real battle !!!!!!!.
 
DAVE - not corrupt nor a liar wrote
at 21:56:23 on 05 November 2011
Silly James . CUBA works ,and would be better than this shite we all rot in if the yankee bastards stopped the embargo .The finest example of democracy . Get out a bit more , and see the corruption in the Capitalist hellhole in which you rot ..
 
James wrote
at 08:46:38 on 05 November 2011
Also just in case you didn't guess already that last comment was one of mine
 
wrote
at 08:59:00 on 04 November 2011
Nachtschlepper I love this indulgent look back at high levels of public sector ownership. The same public sector ownership which left transport & fuel infrastructure go to ruin because they were so busy giving you cheap prices that they had nothing left to invest for 20 years. Remember the 70's and 80's - I don't think Britain was as wealthy as it is today. Even if the government owned the fuel companies the price of global commoditites would not change. So for sure the government could sell it you cheaper but they would then need to tax the hell out of you somewhere else. Look at the actual margins fuel companies make on domestic customers it is pretty slim given the amount of investment they have to put in to achieve it. You talk about leftists maybe we could get some communists in and they could ensure we all have a job for life with no incentive and we could start churning out stuff no one wants and then queue for bread for 2 hours. Show me an example of a communist state which works?????
 
Nachtschlepper wrote
at 18:20:05 on 30 October 2011
James, the only thing worse than the current bunch of charlatans masquerading as the Labour Party are the bunch of blood sucking parasites in power at the moment. Maybe if we had a government with leftists leaning the country might not be in the mess it's in. Utilty companies would not be bleeding the rest of us dry as they laugh all the way to the bank. The bankers would not have been allowed to leave the huge mess for the rest of us to clean up. But I suppose in your fairytale land everything is perfect.
 
caroline wrote
at 18:19:41 on 30 October 2011
James. feel the same...but maybe some one will not just listen...but hear in there heart and get things moving..do not give up..In the Star you have a vioce...Star people..support...It is in your hands..?
 
James wrote
at 22:46:02 on 29 October 2011
Jim glad you missed me. I struggled to tolerate the consistant leftist whining on this website for a while. All I see is problems, moans and no solutions. However absence makes the heart grow fonder and after reading this article I couldn't resist jumping in. I think my point is moaning on web pages gets you no where ultimately Salfordians will vote in Labour every time and then complain about the job they do,
 
B. R. Stines wrote
at 22:44:29 on 29 October 2011
Give them all a one-way ticket to the moon , and , pockets stuffed with council taxpayers loot , they won't come back . And they can take blears with them .
 
jim devine wrote
at 22:32:04 on 27 October 2011
Just when you thought it was safe to go out James reappears , alls we need now is Salford Citizen to make a comeback. Joking aside, both are clearly welcome but Fadges response needs commending as a brilliant response, well done and well said.
 
Fadge - No Hope in this dead city wrote
at 13:08:49 on 27 October 2011
James . A few truths . ALL local councils are corrupt ,inept , wasteful and devoid of any business acumem .They have a bottomless pit of illegally extorted money to squander , which is why all departments are over-stuffed with jobsworth clock-watchers . This is also why inept people can crawl into obscene-salaried 'executive jobs '. Council work is a refuge for talentless and idle people who cannot survive in the real world of work . The world owes them nothing , but all councils must answer to the taxpayer for their squandering , and be ordered to stop waste and rot in their usual ignorant , arrogant methods of ' business '. Damned ? Yes , they deserve to be .
 
James wrote
at 09:36:50 on 27 October 2011
Fadge - they are dammned if they do and dammned if they don't. They can "waste" loads of cash and then be villified or trim the public sector to work more efficiently and save money and then be criticised for making people redundant. Can't you see through the red mist in your socialist glasses?????? The world unfortunately doesn't owe anyone a living.
 
Fadge - No Hope in this dead city wrote
at 17:35:50 on 23 October 2011
NO James , it is you and your ilk who are stupid , for not challenging the waste of this inept council . If the inept council properly trained their jobsworths , there would be no need to squander OUR money with Comensura . Wake up , join the real world and all it's horrors . £750,000 is an obscene waste of OUR extorted money . Council apologists make me puke .
 
Jim Devine wrote
at 10:43:44 on 23 October 2011
I see 'Steve', you want a journalist who works for a non profit making website, who has been overlooked for funding by SALFORD COUNCIL FOR POLITICAL REASONS (in my opinion), who probably for his own health should be doing something else, who doesnt seem to get a lot of thanks. You really want him to investigate every inch of subplots within every story. Well if you do Steve then Mr you are a better masn than me.
 
James wrote
at 10:43:16 on 23 October 2011
Are you all stupid. Just look at Comensura website. They provide temporary staff from clerks to senior staff. For gods sake!!! This site is full of backward looking change fearing idiots!!!
 
Bernard Jaggers wrote
at 20:19:09 on 22 October 2011
Comensura , a procurement and supply chains solutions company pocket £ 750,000 of OUR extorted money ? Disgraceful . If the inept council had any staff with abilty , and not just jobsworths devoid of any business acumem , they would not need 'solutions' companies like this . What a pathetic waste of OUR money . What , exactly, did this company do for this extravagant amount of OUR money . THIS NEEDS THOROUGH INVESTIGATION . Salford clowncil , surely the most inept wasters in Britain .
 
Steve wrote
at 08:39:24 on 22 October 2011
"And Comensura - the `procurement and supply chain management solutions' company – which received £242,000 in fees from Salford Council in April, got fees totalling £501,633 in May. They must be very, very good – whatever it is they do for amost three quarters of a million quid…" 'whatever it is they do' - wouldn't it be good journalistic practice to find out?
 
Taters wrote
at 15:47:18 on 21 October 2011
BRILLIANT COMMENT FROM 'THE TRUTH' . LAUGHED MYSELF INTO A HYSTERIC FRENZY . HOW ABOUT SPICEY DRESSING UP AS A GROSSLY OVERPAID , VERY SELF-IMPORTANT , THE - CITY - CAN'T- MANAGE - WITHOUT- ME , WASTE OF COUNCIL TAX , ZECUTIV .? HO HO HO ......BUT SERIOUSLY , FOLKS , IT REALLY IS TIME WE BINNED THIS LOT .
 
The Truth wrote
at 13:40:03 on 21 October 2011
Today is National Heroes Day, where children can go to school dressed as their heroes. Salford council have decided to take part. Most of the councillors will be going dressed as Peel Holdings. Councillor Warmisham will be going dressed as a Kentucky fried chicken "meal in a bucket" and John Merry will be going as himself, provided he can find another suit that fits as badly. GO on ----it’s Friday
 
Miles Mallinson wrote
at 12:18:48 on 21 October 2011
They are getting the dustbins clean and ready for when the sheeple wake up and consign this inept council to them
 
The Peelcarers Arts Foundation . wrote
at 12:18:17 on 21 October 2011
What a fantastic idea .Deport them all to China , one way .We can pretend it's another ' fact finding ' or ' team building ' ' value for money ' exercise to get them all queueing up for another freebie . Take all the obscene - salaried shite-spouting all-important executifs with them . And make sure they all travel in the cargo bay . ONE WAY .
 
China wrote
at 09:01:42 on 21 October 2011
How about another trip to China for Merry and his crew? But make sure its a one way ticket.
 
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