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The truths they don't want you to read....

Monday, March 31, 2008

Cost cutting

I have just been passed the secret list of budget cuts to be introduced by the Comhairle with effect from tomorrow, and implemented without the opportunity for discussion, debate or decision by the Councillors. I hope that the outrageous nature of the cuts will encourage the Councillors to take control of the budget and demand the immediate reversal of all these cuts.

  • The Registrars in Barra and Uist are to be closed, and all weddings will take place by video conference from Stornoway. A menu system will allow the selection of religious, secular or humanist wedding and the type of blessing.
  • Civil partnerships will continue to be dealt with by the Rockall outreach office - personal applicants only.
  • The new causeways in Uist to be single direction only. North to South on Monday, Wednesday and Friday; South to North on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. No travel on Sunday, except unrestricted Church travel - by order of the Free Church.
  • 100% rates relief extended to windfarms, but removed from MWT from organisations.
  • Nicolson Institute to be bulldozed in 2010 and rebuilt on a Greenfield site on the new Ness-Tolsta Road, and renamed the Amec/RSPB Institute. All secondary schools to be closed and pupils to live in a new accommodation block sleeping 1,000.
  • Former school sites to be sold off to windfarm developers and the proceeds reinvested into paying for single status.
  • The number of Councillors to be reduced by 95% after the next election, leaving only two wards: Newton and Carloway. All other votes will be on the STV basis – that is to say, the election will be decided on the basis of which Councillor appears on STV most.
  • Capital projects to be delivered on time and on budget by Council departments (this is a blue-sky saving, and unlikely to happen)
  • Social work to work within budget.
  • In order to improve efficiency, all council documents are to be made available promptly on the web to the public and for internal use.
  • In order to reduce pension costs, all Council officers approaching retirement are to be offered an early euthanasia package, or relocation to the Rockall branch and Post Office (opening hours Monday to Saturday when waves below 40m. Sundays - washed away.)
  • Underperforming staff to be transferred in threes to the Flannan Isles outreach centre – disappearance allowance included.

I hope all the public will phone the Council on Tuesday to complain vociferously about these ridiculous proposals.


Anonymous said...

That all seemed quite plausible, till I got to:

> In order to improve efficiency, > all council documents are to be > made available promptly on the
> web to the public and for
> internal use.

Then I realised what the date was tomorrow...

Captain Swing said...

Angus, I'm surprised that you have not mentioned the new revenue raising initiative which is the Licensing and Taxing of Peat cutting. I found this press release in a waste paper basket in the Vice Convenors office.

The Comhairle in view of the imminent refusal of the Lewis Wind Power wind farm application has agreed that a radical new approach needs to be taken with regard to the use of moorlands within the Comhairle’s jurisdiction this is to be known as Plan Z. The Comhairle in a landmark change of policy now agrees with the EU views on the environmental designations on the Barvas and other moorland areas of the Islands. As a result of this change of policy the Comhairle will now be seeking ways of preserving the moorland areas. Its first initiative will be to introduce the Licensing and Taxing of Peat Cutting wherever it takes place on the Islands. New Licensing and Tax Collection Officers will be employed by the Comhairle. A new Comhairle Department will be established with two Departments. The Licensing Department will deal with all matter appertaining to the identifying who has the right to cut peats and where they cut them. Having established each peat cutters areas they will then issue Licenses to individuals to cut peats . The cost of the License will be dependent on not only the Square Yardage but also the depth of the Peat. The Other new Department will deal solely with raising Tax revenue from the cut peats. All Peats when cut and dried will have to be taken to the weighbridge in Stornoway. Here they will be weighed and a tax levied, the first 500 kilo’s are taxed at 10p per kilo and after that 25p per kilo. For the future it is proposed to limit the amount of peat that each Licensed Peat Cutter can take in any year to 500 Kilo’s.

The penalties for not complying with the new regulations will be severe. They will include, but only as a last resort, the ability of the Peat Licensing Enforcement Officer to forcible remove offenders from the islands, and if they are English to have them forcibly repatriated to England.

Editor’s please not that no one will be available to comment on this press release as many of the Councillors are still in a state of shock that they been able to change their minds so radically.

Anonymous said...

and Penquins can fly, yes BBC1 was good this morning aswell ;-)