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

Monday, November 16, 2009

COU crunch meeting

I am reliably told that the COU (formerly known as the DSO) are holding a crunch meeting tomorrow morning - Tuesday - with the Chief Executive, the Leader and one of the two Directors of Technical Services.

Apparently lack of work is hitting the COU, and the year-end losses are forecast to be huge unless serious remedial action is taken immediately.

I expected the COU to be the last to be hit, due to the amount of political capital that has been invested - apprentices, continuing growth in the face of reduced work etc - but it looks like it might be the first.

Councillors are advised to pay very, very close attention to what happens here, as any subsidy for a loss making operation will be a double cut in other services over which they are allowed to have a say.

Update: It looks like another 'restructuring' is planned when the Royal Visit to Marybank takes place tomorrow.  Has the last Council restructuring ever been finished? As far as I can tell it was abandoned as 'complete' part way through - just when the difficult decisions needed to be made.

Councillors will be pleased to know that after 18 months of inaction, a new plan can be decided upon in two weeks  Without the need for any input from elected members. Except to rubber-stamp a business plan - where most of them aren't allowed to see the details of the business!


Hairy McLairy said...

I understand that most of the productive day at the DSO today has been spent painting the coal white, taking the rude pictures down from the mens' khazi doors, throwing out the chipped tea mugs etc. in anticipation of the royal visit.

And all employees unable to speak without drooling (plus any potentially embarassing warehouse 'overstocks') have been loaded onto a spare truck and are being taken to the West Side for 'essential maintenance' to be carried out.

Anonymous said...

This aptly timed rumour aligns with A MacCormack's comments that they "didn't have time to tender" the £1.5m Scottish Government giveaway for the regeneration of the town centre.

They will use this and the lack of work for the DSO as an excuse to plough the entire lot into the DSO and give their own the work in order to safeguard jobs.

Anyone who even thought that the private sector may get a sniff of that money was very wrong.

Dr Evadne said...

Will be very interesting to see if two of the 'heroes' of the Uist task force end up shafting their own staff.

BTW most of the employees are capable of coherent speech apart from those that are supposed to be managing them.

Anonymous said...

So we as Council Tax payers are expected to prop up a loss making business owned and run by the Comhairle, and for what? So that all resident of the Western Isle can be worse off. As a result of the Comhairle having to subsidise their business arm other more important aspects of the work that the Comhairle HAS to undertake will be compromised. Education, health care for the elderly to mention just a couple.

I don’t care who runs the Bus services I just expect a reasonable service at a reasonable cost. I just don’t understand how the Council can be allowed to run Bus services knowing that it is going to make a loss in doing so. Every single aspect of the work that this Department undertakes should be put out to tender. My understanding is that Councils these days should be enablers and not doers, in other words they should be encouraging businesses not trying to be one themselves.

Those tradesmen who work for the DSO/COU if they are any good will find work with private contractors; the work still has to be carried out. Ok so the job security might be a bit more unpredictable, but that is the way of the world, nobody these days can expect a job for life.

Finally isn’t it about time that this Council was held to account by the Scottish Goverment for its mismanagement of what is now becoming a very long list of failures and dodgy dealings?

Anonymous said...

Queens University researchers have discovered the heaviest element yet known to science. The new element, Governmentium (symbol=Gv), has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons, and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called pillocks. Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact.

A tiny amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second, to take from 4 days to 4 years to complete. Governmentium has a normal half-life of 2 to 6 years. It does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places.

In fact, Governmentium's mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes. This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration.

This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass. When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium (symbol=Ad), an element that radiates just as much energy as Governmentium, since it has half as many pillocks but twice as many morons

Anonymous said...

Its about time the councillors stood up and do what they were elected to do and fight what is right for the tax payer not say nothing and let things get worse we all know some budgets struggle to met targets set on them but the COU is a shambles always have been to many people sponging of the tax payer people in these departments have failed and hope to retire in the system and come out with a big pension so bugger everyone else, these managers (so called) could not run a busines if there lives depended on it I am so pissed of with the so called Fat Cats we should go back to be run by Inverness council at list it would be fair to everyone

Anonymous said...

My! My! 5.23

Just what short memories some people have! The reference to Inverness Council suggests 5.23 is in Uist or Barra. Lewis was Ross & Cromarty.

Can you remind us of the infrastructure that was left you by Inverness County Council? The schools, the leisure facilities, the harbours and so on. Children shipped off island in their early teens.

I don't seek to defend the position of the COU / DSO, and agree that most people are indifferent to how services are provided, so long as they're good and good value; but when people hark back to the good ol' days of mainland local government, they clearly don't know what they're talking about.

Anonymous said...

Obviously a pen pushing Comhairle employee who is worried about his pension.

Wake up and smell the coffee, you are a useless bunch of money burning idiots.

Anonymous said...

I don't for one minute think that a 'Highland and Islands' local authority would be shipping our kids off to boarding schools, apart from the fact that they don't exist any more.

I'm sorry but this council has made a major mistake in thinking that it was beyond reproach. It has shafted it's constituency on contracts, planning, democracy, leadership. I don't know where we go from here but we are getting a really bad deal locally and the sooner we acknowledge this and do something the better

Anonymous said...

I am the first to complain about the utter failure of this council in virtually everything they put their grubby hands on - and put it down to ineffectual members elected for entirely the wrong reasons, and incompetence multiplied as bad managers hire bad underlings (though no disrespect to the jobbing clerks who are not incompetent, but must have the patience of saints) - and I reckon a H&I local authority is worth considering, HOWEVER don't assume it's all a bed of roses. The effect, as seen in remote parts of the highlands, is that the councillors are even less effective (maybe no bad thing here, I suppose) and the senior officers are completely unaccountable as they play off local and central to do whatever the hell they please. The best we could hope for, being run from Inverness, would be a benign dictatorship, but there would be endless godalmighty rows about them not recognising our special needs vs why are the islands getting so much special treatment, while the officers go their merry, well-paid, unaccountable way. It would require real foresight and ability (which is in not much greater abundance in Inverness than here, ultimately) to deliver solutions for the WI, and, should anything radical really start to happen, we here will no doubt kick against that all the way.

The oracle has spoken. Tak tent.