PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Bruff » 31 May 2012, 08:16

I have some sympathies with that view Stanley, as after all 3 years ago we up sticks and moved from London to Merseyside. This was certainly for my wife, a real wrench that takes some coming to terms with even though one will have carefully weighed up and considered prior to making the move. My wife had lived there 24 years; me just the 12 having had 12 years in Sheffield before that, such that a major move having become established in a place was nothing new if you like for me.

But what I was really getting at in the post, was that if you own your own home, you are reliant on selling it to move. If you rent, you can give notice, leave, rent again and it's all done and dusted in a matter of weeks. Selling your house takes longer, maybe much longer. I guess it's a confounding factor when it comes to trying to encourage a more mobile workforce.

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 01 Jun 2012, 06:52

Richard, I agree about rented houses in terms of mobility. A good example is Barlick in 1885 when Bracewell Brothers failed. A third of the town moved out to neighbouring towns within a couple of weeks. The Craven Herald reported that grass was growing on the streets in the town. The rented houses sector was really well organised and I have evidence in the LTP of men jumping on the train, going to Nelson, renting a house and going back the following day to Barlick to help with the flitting of their household effects. All done by rail as well. Having said that I can still remember the immense feeling of security when we made the last payment on the loan I had taken out with the bank to buy Hey Farm. I suppose that's the key with both owner-occupied and rented houses, how much security of tenure you have. I can remember my parents taking a council house when they moved out of Hey Farm and they had no qualms about security. How many people renting houses are on anything more than an annual tenancy? Add the penalty of rising rents in attractive areas and that security is lost. The whole of the housing market has been one of the policy disasters of the 20th century. Far to big a subject to go into but I have commented frequently on the madness which saw me buying one of the best houses in Barlick on the lowest wage and seeing it appreciate far faster than wages or the general cost of living. My security in my present rented house rests solely on the fact that my daughter is my landlord and she has made sure that I have perfect security even if she was to (God Forbid!) die before me. I am so lucky and I hate to think of the hundreds of thousands of people who don't have that level of certainty, especially with unemployment rising and real incomes falling. It's a reservoir of misery and stress and it saddens me that we have come to this.
PE printed some interesting figures this week pointing out the discrepancies in Mr Shapps' promise that one 'affordable' house will be built for every council house sold to the tenant.
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 07 Jun 2012, 06:01

The Acting Chief Constable for Lancashire has poked his head above the parapet and said that an ongoing increase in recorded crime is due to the lower numbers of police due to the cuts. He reckons that LCC have lost over 600 front line officers. The Home Office say he is wrong of course. Who do we listen to?
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Tardis » 07 Jun 2012, 09:40

I think I reported elsewehere that Crime across Lancashire is down 3% which was announced at the same meeting. I think I also made the comment about more people being prosecuted for shoplifting food

How can you tell that reduction in officers is having such an effect when the clear up rate is so low?

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 08 Jun 2012, 06:43

So what prompted the Acting Chief Constable to make his view about current and future trends public? Hardly something that will endear him to his masters. I think I'd rather believe his version that the statistics.
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Tardis » 08 Jun 2012, 10:01

There is an election coming for the Commissioner of Lancashire Police.

The comments have only been supported by beeboids, all political parties have distanced themselves

Ask Cllr Whipp, I believe that he is on the relevant committee

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 20 Jun 2012, 05:15

I saw this LINK news report. Echoes of the Hungry Thirties. Is what we have to report progress?
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by EileenDavid » 20 Jun 2012, 07:52

In our area they did the same with our crime figures and guess what it would seem that many were not reporting crimes due to lack of interest by the police.

Incidently I have a friend who works for the Lancashire Police she says it's murder working there due to cut backs.

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Tizer » 20 Jun 2012, 18:54

Stanley wrote:I saw this LINK news report. Echoes of the Hungry Thirties. Is what we have to report progress?
Twenty years ago I was working in the editorial offices of a big publishing company which had a very young staff (I was one of the few `oldies') and few of them had what I would call a `proper' breakfast. I don't mean necessarily a cooked breakfast but one that involved eating at home, milk, bread, jam, tea/coffee. They either had no breakfast or picked up a coffee (perhaps a croissant) from the shop as they passed on their way to work. These are probably now the parents of the children who are being fed by teachers. The parents will be carrying on as they always have, with nothing on the table at home for breakfast and the kids sent out empty.

Even when I was a student living in a bedsit with only a gas ring to cook on I had an egg most mornings for breakfast, on bread with a cup of tea, preceded by a cereal with milk (full-fat). If not egg then it was a good old jam butty. It set me up for the day!

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 21 Jun 2012, 04:26

In 1940 when I first went to school we always had a breakfast at home, then a bottle of full fat milk at 10am and a school dinner. There was always a cooked tea when we got home. Many of the mothers were on war work so the school opened during the holidays with activities for the kids and a midday meal. This was in the worst of rationing and air raids and in the days when it was common for kids to miss school because they had no boots. My sister found a letter from the headmistress, Miss Hogg, requesting money from the Education Authority to buy a pair of boots for one child who had none.
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by PanBiker » 22 Jun 2012, 20:51

Well it looks like the job I used to have is not so indispensable after all. When I was offered redundancy I was told that my job position was no longer required and that a similar position would not be advertised for at least two years.

I noticed last week that my previous school is advertising for a "Trainee ICT Network Manager". The job description accompanying the role covers every aspect of my previous position. In fact I could probably use the job description as my CV as it reads more or less exactly as how I list my skills and experiences.

The job role is advertised at a starting salary of £10,000 per year less than my final scale point so anyone that takes on the role will effectively be working for peanuts. The salary does rise over three years by which time there may or may not be a position available depending on how the current managed ICT service contract pans out. This is due for renewal in 3years time. The inference is that local Network Managers will be required in the BSF schools again if a managed service contract is not renewed.

I see a major flaw in this thinking in that the ICT infrastructure in the Burnley and Pendle BSF Schools was designed as an Enterprise Network with the data centre in Padiham at Shuttleworth College. This model does not lend itself to local autonomous control by individual Network Managers, so it looks like the massive investment in this model of infrastructure may become a very expensive white elephant.

I was maybe thinking of applying, just to see if I got shortlisted. If fairness comes into the process that should be a given as I tick every box having sat in the exact role before, not as trainee but as a professional. I became redundant in August so it's less than two years since I occupied the role, naughty but I'm sure the get out will be that the new position will most likely start in September.
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 23 Jun 2012, 05:03

Ian, what a depressingly familiar story. Sack the professional, outsource, pay for a new system and then find it isn't working as well as the old system with an in-house expert. And all this in times when it is generally agreed that our level of IT training in schools is abysmal. Why not have a bit of fun with them and then shoot them down by offering to go back and sort them at the same wage you had before?
News item in BET that crime levels are up in our area but nobody is drawing any conclusions that point to under-manning.
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Nolic » 23 Jun 2012, 06:56

Possibly not a tight fit in this topic but I have had almost the reverse experience of Ian this week.
Just as I left Ofsted I applied for a new post in a national organisation that operates residential special schools and children's homes. The job was managing their social care services nationally and in fact I had strongly suggested to the organisation that they needed someone like me in place. I didn't get the job - it was given to a much younger person who's only experience was as head of a residential school.
The organisation is still publicising how good their services are but I got a whisper a couple of months ago that things were not all that they should be. On Thursday I got a phone call from one of their senior managers as one of their residential schools in the North has been deemed inadequate in care and education by Ofsted. I was asked if I'd be prepared to meet with them to discuss whether I could assist in turning the school around. I deliberated openly offering a number of sarcastic comments about their situation and then agreed to meet with them next week.
I have told them I will be wanting big bucks and guarantee of future work from them which they have agreed to.
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Pluggy » 23 Jun 2012, 07:44

Welcome to the 21st Century, experience counts for little if anything........
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by PanBiker » 23 Jun 2012, 09:30

As Nolic above, when I was seeking work after my redundancy the only job I got an interview for out of 58 applications was at Skipton Council who were setting up various joint services with Selby Council. The job I applied for was to develop a shared IT support service across the two councils. All of the tasks in the job description were well within my remit and I was shortlisted as one of the three to be interviewed.
I didn't get the job but I did chase up why and was told that although my interview was exemplary and there was no problem with my skill set and despite my 40 years engaged in service industries in electronics with the last 20 years in IT, I was passed over in favour of a 23 year old who had a degree. I enquired as to what kind of degree he held expecting to be told something like network engineering but it turned out he had a Biology degree!
I read in the Craven Herald recently that Skipton is retaining some of the links with Selby Council for joint services but the shared IT provision has been abandoned as apparently it was not developed as the councils had envisaged. I assume the young bloke will now have moved on with an extra few lines on his CV now claiming his IT credentials.
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Pluggy » 23 Jun 2012, 13:12

There's a certain age which I haven't pinned down exactly where a degree doesn't count for much either. I have one.......

Younger is generally cheaper and that's the bottom line.
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Big Kev » 23 Jun 2012, 13:36

I chose the "degree equivalent" route. It's been useful at the application stage by not excluding me; a lot of jobs ask for a degree or equivalent.

I've been lucky, I made "the cut" a few months ago over 2 younger members of the team.
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by PanBiker » 23 Jun 2012, 17:08

I started work at 16 with a proper 5 year City and Guilds apprenticeship, 5 years day release, which comprised of a full day each week 9.00 am - 9.00pm plus another evening session for Calcs and Principles 6.00pm - 9.00pm. Bespoke manufacturers courses for the next 20 years in domestic electronics. Then into IT full time over 20 years ago with first of all, half a dozen Certificate Courses followed by Foundation Courses then CISCO CCNA at tutor level with 80% pass rate (normal CISCO accreditation is 40%), All done at Lancaster University. These done in tandem with various bespoke software courses used in education.
It does not matter now, I am in a much better place, although with less money. I have no mortgage to worry about and no pressure from my part time job. It is doubtful if I will ever work in IT again as I have been out of the loop for two years now and have no real wish to play "catch up". I keep a watchful eye out for opportunities but am not currently losing any sleep over not being in full time employment.
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Pluggy » 23 Jun 2012, 20:46

PanBiker wrote: It does not matter now, I am in a much better place, although with less money. I have no mortgage to worry about and no pressure from my part time job.
Still in IT but a similar outlook. I was better off at Ribblesdale but being self employed is a lot less stressful. No mortgage is a great enabler....

I have a mate in engineering, presently off work with a dodgy leg, he thinks he won't see full employment again. They'll replace him with a twenty something and pocket the saving.
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 24 Jun 2012, 04:50

As many of you will already know, I had a completely different life-track falling off the academic bandwagon in 1953 and spending my life in what would usually be called labouring jobs. In 1984 when I got the call to Ellenroad because of my wide experience I was head-hunted and found because of my reputation, the degree I got in the 1980s was a factor but not the killer punch. The job at Ellenroad meant that I came into contact with industry at managerial level for the first time in my life and I was shocked when I saw how the style of management had changed, it was what I call management by attrition. The younger man I worked with burned out with depression and I don't think he ever worked again, even the bloke who was the biggest shareholder, the chairman, and became my very good friend lost his job after a series of takeovers. Looking back I wouldn't change a thing, I never had a big wage but had no problems with job security. I'm not discounting the degree, it broadened my mental horizons but it was never a factor in getting a job. On the whole I think I was lucky to avoid the experiences you have had collectively. Life is funny isn't it......
I wrote an article about this in 2009. I'll post it again in Stanley's View.
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 26 Jun 2012, 07:08

I see that the South London PCT is in dire straits and is to be taken over by the MOH if it can't come up with an answer in 45 days. (LINK) It looks as though this might be the first major PCT failure due to the excessive repayments necessary under the PFI contracts they have to service on their new buildings. One wonders if there are more in the pipeline.
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 27 Jun 2012, 05:41

Concern in farming as the government quietly cuts farm inspection visits. This at a time when farming is under pressure and the temptation to take short cuts could be greater. Short-sighted policy in terms of public confidence in food sources. TB?
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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Tardis » 27 Jun 2012, 09:54

The NHS trust going bust could be an effective smokescreen.

None of the board will lose their positions, but it will be the administrator that then makes the decisions about which services to drop, places to close etc. Shocking politics of those who are supposed to be looking after all that cash. Wonder if anyone who scrutinised the PFI contrcat will be held publically accountable and ridiculed?

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Tardis » 27 Jun 2012, 09:56

Tim Ashton from Lancashire County Council, I think that he does roads, wants to be Lancashire Police Commisioning Officer

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Re: PUBLIC SERVICE CUTS

Post by Stanley » 28 Jun 2012, 05:31

They should pick an experienced serving policeman below the rank of Superintendent on the grounds he or she would be less likely to be infected by politics. I'll bet the majority of police would agree!
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