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

Friday, November 06, 2009

On the buses....

BlakeyIt seems that Bus na Comhairle are powered by free-range caviar-fed gold-plated rocking-horse shit, rather than simple and hideously expensive diesel.

That has to be the case, given their financial performance this year......

That's caught your attention hasn't it?

Well it certainly caught the attention of the Councillors last Monday, when the Chief Executive was given a serious bollocking - particularly, I understand, by Roddy MacKay - over his inability to control the deficits.

"If this were a commercial business..." went the oft-heard refrain.

Bus operators will be gnashing and wailing and rightly complaining about unfair competition when the truth appears in the annual accounts. Except it doesn't, as the buses are no longer considered to be a Significant Trading Operation, and hence the losses don't need to be disclosed in the accounts.

Oh yes, and as the matter is 'commercially sensitive' the Councillors can't go public with it, as it might affect the ability of BnC to compete with the private sector.

That is 'compete' in the sense of having a bottomless pit of money to use to drive the competition out of business, so that only BnC survives; and so that it's existence can be justified as a 'public service'

WTF is going on, and why is our money being squandered? And hidden from the public?

And where BnC leads, is the rest of the DSO going to follow?

Enough teasing, but sit down -- losses at the DSO last year were £100,000 of which the buses lost £84,000.

Bus owners of the islands unite, you have nothing to lose but your livelihoods.


Anonymous said...

"Aw'll get ya Burr-tler!!"

Anonymous said...

If you swap "BnC" with "ConCom" you could easily be describing the broadband situation...except of course that ConCom is losing more money!

Thank God for deficit-funding by HIE, CnES and WIHB, so they can keep the facade going and carry on chanting "the best solution for bringing broadband to the Western Isles" mantra.

Looking at the figures, it sounds more like a desperate prayer to me.

Anonymous said...

Part of a continuous policy to "cull" existing island based business's so that the bloated ranks of CNES employees can justify theirexistence

Anonymous said...

If these figures a right then it is despicable. These contracts should be returned to the private sector immediately.

Hairy McLairy said...

So, we have to ask, who benefits from all of this? Not the Council tax-payers who subsidise it (at this rate it's cheaper to call a cab for everyone on the islands).

Not the passengers - there are plenty of good commercial bus operators on ths islands.

Is there, perhaps, some reason we don't know about for keeping Bus na Comhairle alive? Or do the powers-that-be think that Gordon Brown will bail them out if they lose enough money?

Anonymous said...

What happened to best value review, other operators in the Western Isles could and would operator the buses better and cheaper than the council. The Burr man is a control freak.

Anonymous said...

So where do these loss-making Coouncil buses get their fuel, then? The Marybank depot filled in its tanks about five years ago.

Do any of them fill up at a fuel station owned by any Councillor?

Thought so.

Anonymous said...

It's a real concern for any democratic society when small businesses trying to survive in the current economic climate, see what appears to be a "keep it quite job" about the true state of transport operations. If that operation has failings, then I would expect that difficulty to be fixed from within that operation, not from the cushion of the council budget. If this is happening, then this is clearly unfair on those who bid unsuccessfully for the transport contract. When you are faced with institutional monoploies, there's so little you can do, since those who hold the purse strings protect their own corner first, as they should normally, but that does not say they are doing so in a fair and objective manner. When the true cost to the community can be hidden in a quiet corner, then I would suspect those choosing to so may have other things to hide as well. This public sector monopoly trend is becoming all too common. We see it happening in transport, telecomms and media. The Big Brother state has been now been established!

Anonymous said...

Now is this the same DSO or COU as it is known, that is controlled by a set of considerably numerous managers in Tech Services? The same COU that has an equally large amount of managers and office staff its self?

The managers at TS decide the plan and tell the managers at COU to tell the men or more likely out source the work to their mates in the private sector. The bills come in and the office staff at COU sort them and pass them to the equally large office staff collective at TS who pass them to the host of clerks in Finance to sort too.


WTF does the work force at DSO/COU need two sets of managers, two sets of clerks and a paper chase?

Why TF do we need to be paying them from our grossly unfair and high Council Tax charges?

Bus scam just the tip of the ice berg.

Fuel - under instruction by CnES to purchase from one source. A look out stationed in the white house is maintained to spot yellow vans at Englbrets should they dare. I suspect given the convoy of yellow vans that circumnavigate Stornoway and its environs daily they are under remit to use as much fuel as possible so as to buy even more from the 'supplier'.

Rumour has it changes are being made.

I predict the lay of the work force but the retention of two sets of managers and clerks to pass the work and the cash to their mates in the private sector.

Watch this space

Want more gossip? Lets move on the the huge waste of money on various unnecessary managers and clerks at Sandwick Road consuming our cash.

No its to be sack the bin men, sack the tradesmen, sack the care helps, sack the cleaners, sack the social workers.

But at all costs keep the managers and clerks they are much more important.

Anonymous said...

If An Lanntair was a commercial business...

Anonymous said...

If Ann Lanntair was a commercial business what?

The point is precisely that there are private operators who can provide buses, whereas arts is always a bit of a no-hoper unless it gets help.

However I happen to like going to the cinema, having a meal and checking out some art, and so do a lot of other people - maybe not you eh?

I also like buses but I am quite happy to have my bus provided by a local private operator.

Anonymous said...

You could have done all these things before the arts centre was built. The point is that there are many other establishments crying out for business, especially food and drink providers, which would gladly like the Council to subsidise their losses. Not an even playing field.

Anonymous said...


Please explain how the service now provided by An Lanntair was provided coherently previously.

Anonymous said...

Isn't the Comhairle planning yet another cafe (in the Town Hall) to compete with the local traders?

Anonymous said...

To avoid any anti competitive issues, Council funded resturants and cafes should be advertised as a competitive franchise, to be fair and transparent - as happens at the airport I think, or on the buses?