Thursday, May 31, 2007


Paper-based email and Value For Money

Last night I attended to lots of casework that has come my way over the past couple of weeks. All of the issues I'd picked up at the street surgeries, and all of the other stuff I'd been contacted about in recent days. I also received a message from the Council's "Ask your Councillor a question" service, accessible from the Council's website. Bizarrely, despite this being an online service for residents, in order for the question to reach me, it has to be received by a Council officer, printed off, and posted out to my home address! I'm not sure why it can't just be emailed straight through... But whatever the reason, if indeed there is one, it's a great way to get in touch if you want.

Tonight I am immersing myself in the Audit Commission's Value for Money statistics, which have just been produced and show how Bury Council ranks against other Councils in terms of the money it spends on various services. I am the Lib Dem Finance spokesman for the Council, so it's important that I get a grip on who's spending what and where across the services. And all this ahead of the first Finance Scrutiny meeting next Wednesday! It's not the most exciting thing in the world, I must admit. In fact, ploughing through hundreds of pages of graphs is probably one of the least thrilling things in the world! Maybe there's a graph in there somewhere about how many emails to Councillors are needlessly printed off and posted to us... But the end results of all the graph analysis are worth it, so plough I shall. It's a good job Tam's away this week, leaving me devoid of human contact, otherwise I don't think I could stomach it!


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