I have already reported on how the roads continue to fall apart despite Shropshire Council shelling out £1,000 a day for a ‘pothole’ consultant to help deal with a pothole 4,500 backlog and reorganise the Highways department. It now transpires that the consultant was engaged for 8 months. 2 months longer than originally thought. The final bill was around £180,000 for 8 months. That equates to £240,000 for an equivalent full-time job. There appears to be little sign of change and little return for £240k. That is just nuts!
What could Shropshire Council have done with that money instead?
Shropshire Council could have:
- employed 7 extra Highway Engineers for £25-50,000 pa each;
- employed 3 Highways Project Managers for £50,000 pa each;
- or filled an extra at 3,000 potholes at a typical £60 each!
All of the performance gains Shropshire Council achieved could have still been secured or even exceeded by recruiting extra staff or managers for a longer period. Filling 3,000 extra potholes would have gone a long way to filling the pothole backlog. Not to mention all of the extra savings from reduced insurance claims.
The continued waste by Shropshire Council at a time when we are all feeling the pressure as we struggle to get by in difficult times is appalling. Recession driven by Brexit and Coronavirus will continue to pile the pressure onto hard-working people. The weak and wasteful Conservative-run Shropshire Council shouldn’t be making that harder. As we head towards the elections next May Shropshire Liberal Democrats will continue to fight for our communities and to make sure Shropshire Council works for you and not against you.
The consultant has failed to make a jot of difference
My previous post, Pothole shambles rumbles on, was an example of how nothing had changed despite the consultant’s appointment. Here is another example of how the consultant has failed to make a jot of difference:
There are 8 months between these photos – the same amount of time that Shropshire Council engaged the consultant. In this time there have been more than one repair attempt. One was properly jointed and sealed. The other wasn’t. Guess which one has failed…
I wouldn’t pay Shropshire Council’s contractor, Keir, in washers. Their work is dreadful, and I support Shropshire Liberal Democrat calls for the contract should be scrapped. But it isn’t all Keir’s fault. They are just delivering what the contract says as defined by the administration. The portfolio holder should also resign. This waste of public money is commonplace and is completely unacceptable. It has no place in modern and efficiently run services. Do it right and do it once.
Demand Better next May
People rightly demand better than this. The pubic expect a proper job to be done. The public expects their money to be spent wisely. They don’t expect their money to be poured down the drain. They don’t expect expensive consultants to be hired who haven’t made a jot of difference on the ground. Do you expect little return for £240k FTE?
Sadly this sort of incompetence has been the norm for the last 12 years as successive Conservative administrations have wasted our money hand over fist. Next May you will have an opportunity to make a real difference, to stop the waste and gross miss-management and elect more Liberal Democrats onto Shropshire Council.