miss_s_b: (Mood: Facepalm)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
So this news story popped up on my feed this morning. Calderdale Council's Labour cabinet have agreed to spend £680,000 on upgrading the borough's CCTV system.

£680,000.

SIX HUNDRED AND EIGHTY THOUSAND POUNDS.

This is the same Labour cabinet who threaten community centres with closure, and when anyone complains bleat about ConDem cuts and wring their hands ruefully. Community centres, which, lets not forget, actually address the root causes of crime and ASB, unlike CCTV which just allows the police to sometimes have the evidence to prosecute after the fact.

Now, to be fair, only about a quarter of a million of this £680,000 is coming from some unnamed slush fund that none of the rest of us know anything about, and which could have been spent on more worthwhile things; the rest of it is going to be borrowed. On unspecified terms. Because we all know how GREAT Labour are at negotiating favourable contract terms for loans. Calderdale Royal hospital's PFI deal is a shining example of their skill in that regard.

And then there's the contract for the actual provision. Which is going to Virgin Media. We don't know why, or what terms they were offered the contract, or how they tendered for it. We don't know if there are are any performance clauses in the contract so the council will be able to get out of it if it all goes mammaries-skyward. But I'm sure we can trust the Labour party to have thought of all this, right? They totally haven't got a track record of dodgy contracts which tie the hands of their successors at all levels of government at all...

I really am quite angry about this, as you can probably tell.

Date: Thursday, April 10th, 2014 01:16 pm (UTC)
hollymath: (Default)
From: [personal profile] hollymath
the same Labour cabinet who threaten community centres with closure, and when anyone complains bleat about ConDem cuts and wring their hands ruefully

We've had the same thing in Manchester. It's unbelievably frustrating and disappointing, especially because it still works so well. There was some kind of march/rally to "save" our swimming baths and library (which as always the council miraculously found the money for at the last second, thus making themselves out to be the heroes just like the last four times they've done this), and it was full of people who really believed they were bravely saving Levenshulme from the evil wrath of Cameron and Clegg, as if either of those knew or cared anything about our swimming pool.

I hate "commercially confidential"

Date: Thursday, April 10th, 2014 04:42 pm (UTC)
po8crg: A cartoon of me, wearing a panama hat (Default)
From: [personal profile] po8crg
Fancy a motion to Conference proposing that we amend FOIA so that "commercially confidential" cannot be used as a reason to refuse to disclose contracts?

Commercial confidentiality would still be retained for tenders until the contract is signed.

Obv, just making party policy won't be enough, but it's the sort of thing that looks like an easy concession to the other side in coalition negotiations.

That way you'd be able to FOIA the contract that Calderdale has just signed with Virgin Media, and take great pleasure in dismantling the whole thing.

Might even get some rather better contract terms across the whole of government - national as well as local.

Re: I hate "commercially confidential"

Date: Thursday, April 10th, 2014 08:14 pm (UTC)
ext_51145: (Default)
From: [identity profile] andrewhickey.info
If you need voting members to support that motion, I'd do it.

Re: I hate "commercially confidential"

Date: Thursday, April 10th, 2014 08:58 pm (UTC)
pseudomonas: (Default)
From: [personal profile] pseudomonas
+1

Re: I hate "commercially confidential"

Date: Friday, April 11th, 2014 07:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zoeimogen.livejournal.com
Another +1

Re: I hate "commercially confidential"

Date: Thursday, April 10th, 2014 08:39 pm (UTC)
hollymath: (Default)
From: [personal profile] hollymath
:likes:

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