Stirling District Council's Labour members decided that they were entitled to use the council's official chauffeur-driven limousine as a free taxi service for their families. They also felt that councillors tied up on official business deserved a baby-sitting allowance. The junket jobs for the limo included taking children to school and taking relatives of councillors to hospital.
1984, October, Crime Sheet
Camden council gave a Labour member of the Greater London Council a £22/day job as a rat-catcher, and granted him indefinite full-paid leave so that he could collect his £15/day attendance allowance as a GLC councillor. After two years of faithfully not catching any rats, he took early retirement; receiving a cash lump sum and a pension courtesy of local taxpayers; so that he could devote himself full-time to his political career.
15 out of the 41 Labour members of Lewisham council and 20 of 53 Labour members of Southwark council had similar non-jobs with other London councils or equivalent public sector sinecures.
South Yorkshire council had a standing order under which Labour councillors could propose that an opponent 'no longer be heard'. And Brent council was preventing opposition members from submitting motions for debate on committee reports.
Islington council denied information to the only opposition councillor on the grounds that he would use it against the council, and one of the councillors conducted pay negotiations with a shop steward who was his brother-in-law.
At the (now defunct) Greater London Council, it was common practice to delay distributing documents to opposition members until just before meetings.
Labour-dominated councils were in the habit of advertising vacancies only in Labour Weekly and the Morning Star in an attempt to ensure that only the right sort of people applied for council jobs.
Thamesdown council in Wiltshire thought it was fair to allow its own direct labour department to submit a further tender for a contract after all other tenders had been received.
Liverpool council was giving its direct works department contracts on the understanding that the work would be carried out at the price of the lowest outside tender received.
Greenwich council was refusing to give work to firms which had done preparatory work for Cruise missile sites and it wanted to give pay rises only to union members.
Southwark council gave staff paid leave, at a cost of £39,000 to local taxpayers, so that they could attend a miners' rally.
Sheffield and South Yorkshire councils funded anti-nuclear campaigns of interest only to ego-tripping councillors and their pals rather than the majority of their local taxpayers. And in the West Midlands, the council felt it was necessary to have a team of investigators screening contractors to make sure that they employed a 'reasonable number' of black people.
A Labour councillor was allowed to borrow £3,000 of local taxpayers' money to have a sex change. Tim Scott of Lambeth council borrowed the money from the London Tenants' Organisation, where he worked part-time, to become Rachel Webb. The LTO was wound up, the debt passed to the Lambeth Federation of Tenants and they asked for their money back, demanding to know why local taxpayers should have funded 'her' private operation.
1986, September, Scottish Crime Sheet
A flat near Edinburgh city centre was advertised in a local paper at £43/week with 2-3 people sharing each room at the expense of the Department of Health & Social Security (DHSS). The letterbox was locked and only the landlord had the key so that he could remove any cheques and giros, subtract the rent and hand back the balance. The police said there was nothing they could do about the situation if the landlord denied locking up the mail.
At a flat in Haymarket, Edinborough, the landlord told the tenant to apply for a DHSS special payment for kitchen utensils, cashed the giro and handed over only half the money.
A woman sharing one room with 3 children was charged £126/week rent, paid for by the DHSS.
Tenants in Edinburgh were routinely threatened by landlords and many of the single rooms were watched over by a landlord's stooge 'caretaker', who lived rent free and kept his DHSS rent money as payment. His job was to report to the landlord on trouble-makers, who were thrown out with no regard for due legal process.
1986, October, Crime Sheet
Labour councils spent £20 million on political propaganda in 1984/5, which is ten times more than the Labour Party spent on the last general election.
Lambeth council put striking miners in luxury hotels when they arrived to lobby the TUC.
£90,000 of Sheffield local taxpayers' cash was spent on a 'nuclear-free zone workshop' over three years.
An Inner London Education authority teaching pack equated the Nazi's extermination plans with the Thatcher government's union-control legislation.
Leeds City Council had to suspend three officers of the Community Programme Division after auditors found evidence of potentially massive corruption. The department was supposed to administer grants from the government aimed at providing jobs for more than 3,000 long-term unemployed via job creation schemes, such as putting up fences on council estates, and general building and renovation work.
The report on a six-month investigation found that there was lax control of building materials and equipment, and council officers handed out contracts without going through the proper procedures. The head of one private company went greyhound racing with one of the council project managers, and they spend evenings together. His firm received council orders worth £200,000 while the project manager walked off with all of the financial records when he left his job.
The education committee of Birmingham's Labour-controlled council issued a directive to all primary school headteachers telling them that they faced the sack if they helped gifted pupils to gain entry to grammar schools.
Following the lead of the People's Republic of Brent, Ealing council's education chairman Hilary Benn unveiled a plan to established a private army of race spies for schools. Their job would be to check that teaching and schoolbooks 'give the right image of black people'. The unit of inspectors was also expected to monitor interviews and appointments for council jobs 'to make sure that blacks got a fair deal'. The cost to local taxpayers was expected to be £139,000.
The extremists in local Labour parties at St. Helens, Merseyside, did their political plotting under the guise of meetings of the North West Ferret Breeders' Association to hide their activites from the legitimate tendency.
In 1863, Abraham Lincoln wrote a letter to 'the working men of Manchester' to thank them for supporting his campaign against slavery. But when the city council added a plaque containing the text of the letter to a statue of the former president in renamed Lincoln Square, the letter turned out to be addressed to the working people of Manchester. The chairman of the city's planning committee later said that the inscription was a 'synopsis' of the message rather than a politically corrected rewrite designed to avoid upsetting women's libbers.
Two Labour councillors and two Manchester City Council officers flew to Nicaragua for a £3,000 'friendship visit' at the expense of the local taxpayers.
Sefton council on Merseyside charged Home Watch groups £15 a time for putting their signs on lamp posts. Then the council decided that it needed to charge £25/year for £1,000,000 public liability insurance in case a sign fell off a lamp post and injured a passer by.
Market traders took Blackburn council to court when it tried to rename Market Avenue to Nelson Mandela Street. They objected to an unjustifiable change, which would cost them up to £3,000 in printing costs to have letterheads, wrappings and other stationery redone. The town's magistrates decided that the existing name was well suited to the location and that there was no need to change it.
Meanwhile, In Stoke on Trent, Tory councillor Ross Irving was removed from the Sail Training Project sub-committee as punishment for referring to Labour councillors as the Loony Left. He was then warned that he would be evicted from all other council bodies if he persisted with his descriptive accuracy.
Staff at Manchester Airport were forced to cancel their annual Christmas party and apologize to 600 guests, who had received invitations, after the city council scrapped it. A childrens' trip to a pantomime was also cancelled on cost grounds. Manchester City Council had earlier cancelled all Christmas parties at the town hall.
One week later, the airport's board reversed the decision at an emergency meeting.
Harrow council proudly issued its own guide to further education as a 48-page booklet; which contained 20 spelling errors, including thier, Westminister, pleasently, and enourmous in addition to a liberal seasoning of errors in basic grammar.
1986, Summary Crime Sheet for the last few years
Birmingham City Council gave £40,000 of local taxpayers' money for Pakistani national day celebrations in the city.
40 Labour councils have exceeded govt. spending controls by borrowing vast amounts of money.
In April, Lewisham council borrowed £50 million from the Banque Paribas of France over 20 years. The cost to the local taxpayers, including interest charges, was calculated at £130 million.
Islington council had recently borrowed £38m from bankers Guinness Mahon over 30 years at an annual servicing cost of £6m.
The Militant Tendency-run Liverpool council borrowed £30m from a French bank in 1984 and £30m from the Swiss in 1985. And in 1986, it had just borrowed £18m from Yasudo Bank of Japan.
Labour-controlled councils made deferred purchase deals worth £400million before the govt abolished the wheeze. Under these deals, merchant banks paid for buildings in the present and they were repaid with interest after an agreed interval. The average repayment rate for London boroughs was £11million per year. Labour councils were counting on their party winning the next election (in 1987) and bailing them out.
74,000 library books and 3,000 LPs and cassettes took a walk from libraries in Lambeth and turned up for sale on market stalls. The council's reponse was to abolish charges on overdue books 'because they make people feel like criminals if they have to pay fines'.
It was probably a wish to paper over the damage caused by such a boneheaded attitude that persuaded the council to pay £100,000/annum to a firm of public relations consultants.
The Labour-controlled Association of London Authorities tried to get the Audit Commission to tone down a report on the city's Loony Left councils. Mismanagement by councils, the Commission had found, had led to appalling levels of homelessness, high crime rates, fewer jobs and falling standards of education. Areas like Brent, Haringay, Hackney, Islington and Lambeth were worse than the worst areas of New York and Chicago, and likely to get worse.
1987, July, Crime Sheet
"The reason why local authorities no longer confine themselves to emptying dustbins and trimming hedges in parks is that they are infested with councillors who have nothing better to do with their time than dream up ways to meddle in the lives of their ratepayers.
"Councillors whose only 'job' is a part-time sinecure as a projects co-ordinator for a neighbouring council have all the time in the world to come up with the likes of:
- Nuclear-free zones which have never ever been exposed to anything nuclear and never will.
- Streets named after African terrorists labelled freedom fighters.
- Encouraging bossy women who feel they have a mission in life to fight sexism by removing books like Little Women from public libraries.
- Providing special facilities, at local taxpayers' expense, for lesbian mothers in the hope of gaining their votes.
- Establishing Women's Action Workshops and similar organizations, which have free access to local taxpayer's cash and which provide zero benefit for the money spent.
- Devising a pointless Mission Statement for the council.
"Maybe if councillors were required to have a proper job, or even useful experience of the real world, things would change for the better. But don't count on it."
Southwark council issued a list of 70 products and firms which had links with South Africa and told the council's 10,000 staff to report anyone using them during council business.
Eating Del Monte or Libbys' tinned fruit, drinking a pint of Guinness stout, buying Sharwoods spices, driving an Austin-Rover car, and eating South African peaches and pilchards were all banned. As were shopping at Boots and buying insurance from Commercial Union.
Separate inquires by the Labour Party and the Audit Commission found that Southwark council mismanaged millions of pounds of public money and used violence and threats to keep the scandal quiet. The council was criticised in July for the way it ran the Nye Bevan Lodge, an old people's home where an inquiry found that the staff had tortured residents.
Camden council in North London was found to have been selling planning permissions to property developers. At least three deals had gone through and the council stood to make £2,000,000 from a current deal.
Liberal-controlled Tower Hamlets in East London proposed redesignating an industrial site in the docklands area as available for housing if the developer were willing pay more than £3 million for refurbishing the council's Monteith council estate, which the council reckons it could not afford to do up.
Camden council intended to apply a homosexuals' charter from October, under which it would be possible for homosexuals to demand like child-minders if they feared that their children might be 'corrupted' by heterosexual child-minders.
Meanwhile, in Greenwich, the council wanted streets and buildings to 'commemorate people who have pursued the aims of the council in a particularly laudable manner'. Especially if they belonged to the ruling Labour group on the council.
A proposal was put to Sunderland council that cats' eyes should be laid in a particular road. One of the councillors objected, wanting to know how much the electricity bill would be and who would pay it.
On another occasion, a councillor suggested that a gondola be purchased for the park lake and
another councillor suggested getting two and trying to breed them.
Harringay council in North London banned black dustbin liners, saying they were 'racially offensive'. Then it set up a £71,000/year unit to promote the needs of Irish people. So West Indians, Asians and Cypriots warned that if they didn't get their own units, they would shop the council to the Commission for Racial Equality.
A West Indian 'community leader' complained that the council was discriminating against other minorities and that the 'black community' deserved any priority going. The Irish 'community leader' promptly pointed out that the unit was there to put right past discrimination against Irish people and that the council's Race Equality Unit was composed mainly of blacks with some token Asians and Cypriots, but no Irish members.
Camden council in North London was spending £10,000/year on giving free flying lessons to blacks, homosexuals and the unemployed at a time when it faced a cash crisis in the form of a £20million budget deficit and the prospect of sacking 2,000 staff.
The scheme was intended to give 'disadvantaged' people more confidence. It was run by Project Solo, an off-shoot of Steel and Skin, an Afro-Caribbean steel band organization, which received hand-outs from the council for performing in schools.
Camden council had recently announced that it could not afford to provide automatic housing for homeless Irish and Bangladeshi families, and it would pay their air fares home instead.
In 1987, the council introduced a £250,000 programme for homosexual staff, including a weekend course designed to 'make them more assertive at work'.
A magistrate in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, told Kirklees council to pick a name more relevant to the ethos of the town when the council tried to have Rishworth Road renamed to Mandela Way. Local businessmen, the Chamber of Commerce and the local Civic Society all felt that the proposed name would discourage businesses which might be interested in coming to the area.
In a poll in a local newspaper, 11 people supported the change of name and 500 opposed it.
Leicester council banned a mediaeval ox roast during celebrations to mark the city's 400th anniversary on the grounds that 'it might offend local Hindus'. Vigorous protests forced the council to change its mind.
The government was forced to organize a purge of council non-jobs after serial abuse by Labour councils. In London alone, 200 councillors were benefiting from 'jobs' with other councils, which allowed them to take unlimited time off so that they did not lose pay while doing the job that they were elected to do - as well as claiming their usual expenses.
Abuses by the militant extremists in Liverpool, where the council arranged well-paid 'jobs' for allies, were a significant triggering factor for the reforms. The changes to the gravy train proposed by Environment Sec. Nicholas Ridley included:
- A ban on senior town hall staff seeking election as councillors for a neighbouring local authority.
- A ban on councillors taking sinecure 'jobs' with other councils.
- Putting a stop to councillors being able to fix their own rates for expenses.
- Introducing a flat rate attendance payment to curb excessive expenses claims.
- Imposing an upper age limit on candidates for council elections.
Three officers of Camden council's social services department were under investigation for display a wedding picture of the Duke and Duchess of York. They were accused of 'promoting heterosexuality' as a poster showing a married couple was considered an implicit attack on homosexuality and a crime under Camden's 'equality' policy.
An investigation of the Camden Three had been dragging on for seven months. Other charges against them included hanging up a Union flag, which was seen as the crime of 'jingoism', using expressions such as women's work and daring to say that courses for ethnic and other minority groups might be a waste of local taxpayers' money.
Residents in Newport, South Wales, used the Public Health Act of 1925 to stop the council from naming a new road after Nelson Mandela, the gaoled South African terrorist. The residents told the local magistrates that they feared that their homes could become targets for protests and that the value of the properties would plunge. They added that local people found the idea of having a street named after a criminal and a terrorist 'grossly offensive'. And the magistrates agreed to block the council's plan.
Bristol Council decided to abolish all 'racist' street names. Thus Whiteladies Road and Blackboy Hill were for the chop. The council was playing the racialism card against anyone who objected.
Local Labour Party officials were under investigation for taking political circulars for Brent South Constituency Labour Party to the town hall and using the mailing department there to save them hundreds of pounds in postage charges over the last two years.
Leeds council made plans to send an 800-strong congregation of morris dancers, gymnasts, singers, male and female football teams and a whole gang of councillors to Dortmund on a dozen coaches in May. A week-long jamboree had been organized to mark the 20th anniversary of the twinning of the two cities.
The cost to the local taxpayers was estimated at £76,000. Everyone on the junket was to receive free accommodation from the people of Dortmund but the councillors were able to claim a tax-free £52 for every night they spent away from home.
Leeds council handed out 110 American Express cards, 98 of them to councillors, so that they could have a good time on the Dortmund trip. The council would be picking up the tab for all fees, payments made with the cards and interest charges. It said that the cards were provided as a convenience for members so that they wouldn't have to lug around gread wads of cash. And there would be no risk of overspending during the junket as 'councillors are responsible people'.
A Labour member of Lambeth council set a world record by claiming £19,000 for one year's expenses. The leader of the council, in contrast, claimed £2,622 for the same period. The average expenses claim for councillors in the London & Metropolitan district was just £1,600.
Councillor Byrne, an unemployed mother of three, claimed £7,422 for babysitters, £2,793 for travelling expenses, £3,437 subsistence allowance and £5,376 attendance allowance which, at £18.25 per meeting, means that she claimed to have attended 294 meetings during the year.
She and her husband owed Lambeth council £2,000 in unpaid rent.
Humberside council set up a Direct Services Organization to compete for public contracts against private firms, then awarded the DSO a multi-million pound contract to clean the authority's buildings. The DSO found that it was employing 300 cleaners too many, but the council had a 'no redundancies' policy, which made it impossible to shed the surplus staff.
Half of them agreed to be redeployed in other jobs but the rest said no. The DSO ended up running a £33,000 per week deficit, half of it due to paying non-working cleaners £110 per week. At the time, Humberside was one of the highest-spending authorities in the country - and no wonder!
After being suspended by the Labour Party's national executive for forming a party within the party, 29 left-wing Liverpool councillors stood to lose about £10,000 apiece in expenses claimed as allowances for attending committee meetings.
Some of them were in the habit of joining a daily pool, similar to the labour pools at the docks, and collecting £19.50 a throw for standing in for absent colleagues. But after the Labour whip was withdrawn, they could claim only for attending full meetings of the council, which were held just once every six weeks. The suspension caused their average weekly income to drop from over £200 to just over £3.
The Audit Comission found that 10 London councils, 8 of them currently or recently run by Labour, let their staff take twice as much sick leave as the national average. Shop stewards for the 'workforce' of most of these councils compiled sick leave rotas, allowing union members to choose which days they wanted to take as extra paid holidays while pretending to be sick.
The guilty parties were Camden, Lewisham, Southwark, Waltham Forest, Islington, and Lambeth
& Hounslow - all Labour; Brent - run by Labour until the May elections, currently no overall control; and Richmond and Tower Hamlets, which were run by the Liberals.
One authority tried to cut bogus sick days by warning staff that if they took more than 12 days off, they would lose pay. But their employees took that to mean that they were entitled to 12 additional days off. Council officers started referring to them as 'free days' and that was how they were described on official council documents..
Books worth £4million were been stolen from 12 fixed libraries and the mobile library in Brent over the last 4 years. They vanished at a rate of 2,000 per week.
Cleveland council wanted the fire brigade to repaint their red vehicle a shade of orange rather than red to make them match other council vehicles.
Birmingham council's social services department thought it would be a good idea to hire interpreters to speak in a West Indian dialect to elderly residents who can speak and understand ordinary English. The dialect, Patois, is a variation of English rather than a separate language.
One of the department's own staff was to receive an extra £100 per month for providing the service. Opponents of the scheme said it was like taking an interpreter along for dealings with someone having a Brummie or Cockney accent.
If the wife or mistress of a council tenant in Islington shopped their man for domestic violence, the woman went automatically to the top of the housing list. There was no requirement to substantiate any accusations. The council's view was that 'if there is no evidence available, the woman should be believed'.
Cleveland council spent £500 of ratepayers' money on a leaflet on the politically correct use of language. Black and white became dodgy words and generic descriptions like workman were condemned. Opponents called it a 'ludicrous waste of money'.
Nottingham City council and the county council set up a 'Considerate Roadworks Hotline' to let local females complain about the language or physical appearance of men working on the county's roads.
Camden council decided to register people for voting if they 'live in the open air and have a degree of permanence'. Which meant that homeless people who regularly slept on the same park bench or in the same shop doorway qualified for a place on the electoral register. The policy was seen as an attempt by the council to encourage dossers to 'adopt a doorway' and vote Labour, especially in Tory wards with a small majority, in the hope of getting hand-outs from the council.
Members and officers of Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council spent hundreds of thousands of pounds of local taxpayers' money on junkets in luxury hotels, huge bar bills, lavish overspending on hospitality, gifts and private phone calls, a corruption investigation by South Yorkshire Police found.
Councillors also put pressure on officers to award contracts to specific companies and by-pass the official tendering process. Security firm ESS Installations, for instance, received contracts worth over £1million over a 5-year period but none of the work was put out to tender nor were written quotations of the cost provided. The firm occupied council premises rent-free for 3 years and used £30,000 of equipment without charge.
The junkets by councillors and officers included trips to a Euro '96 football match at Hillsborough, a Test Match at Trent Bridge and to Ladies' Day at the St. Leger race meeting. The junketeers also 'won' a council-sponsored competition which offered a weekend stay at Middleham Hall, North Yorkshire, and free entry to Wetherby races.
Councillors used official cars for their private use and spent hundreds of pounds on boozy lunches. They took trips 'on the rates' to twin towns in China, France, Germany, Poland and the U.S. in addition to further trips to Tokyo, Nice, Kuala Lumpur, Genoa, Singapore, Brussels and Gothenburg. The report on the corruption investigation said that many of the trips were 'of little benefit' to the council.
Many of the trips involved Club Class flights rather than Economy, raising the cost by a factor of 3. The junketeers also charged videos to council credit cards instead of paying for them out of their standard allowances.
Gloucestershire County Council banned the term 'accident blackspot' because it was afraid of being thought racialist. Roadsigns were to be changed to 'accident hotspot' and staff were banned from using the 'offensive' version in documents.
p.s. 2004, April
Manchester City Council wants to spend £100,000 per year on running a school in Bangladesh for pupils on extended holiday in their country of origin. Giving preferential treatment to this ethnic minority evidently satisfies their loony left craving for notoriety. (And what makes them think they can get away with just the one school?)
Update : The city council is now denying discussing this notion 'officially', which means that they've been talking about it unofficially and they may abandon it now that it has been exposed to the light of day.
p.s. #2 2005, January
Aberdeen Council thinks letting children sing 'Baa, Baa, Black Sheep' will turn them into racialists and they have to be exposed to black and brown ducks, as well as fluffy yellow ones, to make them racially and ethnically aware.
p.s. #3 2005, February
Norfolk County Council makes teachers fill in a risk assessment form if pupils want to play in snow. Children wanting to throw snowballs must stand 20 metres apart and submit all snowballs to a teacher to make sure they do not contain stones. At least one supervising teacher must carry a mobile phone in case a child falls and breaks a leg. And there can be no downhill sledging in case of accidents.
p.s. #4 2005, June
The Trivial Democrats running Newcastle City Council are considering making comedians sign a declaration of political correctness before they are granted permission to perform at the City Hall. They would have to pledge that they would not make any jokes about sexual deviants, ethnic minorities, bogus asylum seekers, the physically challenged, the emotionally challenged, politicians and any other privileged minorities which spring to mind when the contract it drafted.
p.s. #5 2005, November
Councillor Bhikhu Patel, Labour mayor of Labour-run Preston Council, has cancelled the annual December carol concert at the town hall in favour of an evening of Afro-Caribbean and Asian music in January. Mr. Patel also thinks it would be a good idea if the Council Tax-payers of Preston paid for a trip for himself and his family to his home village in India.
p.s. #6 2006, March
Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council (Leicestershire) gave one of the residents a £50 fixed penalty notice for putting 2 junk mail letters in a litter bin on a lamp post outside his house. Mr. Andrew Tierney met the postman on the way to his car and thought he was being responsible by using the litter bin.
Either Mr. Tierney's street is under surveillance by the council's minions or they have a team of Refuse Category Staff going through the rubbish collected from litter bins. Whatever, some jobsworth at the town hall decided that Mr. Tierney was guilty of 'dumping domestic refuse from his property in a street litter bin', which is forbidden.
And of course, the council has not put up warning notices on its litter bins to make people aware of this arbitary decision.
p.s. #7 2006, August
The Trivial Democrats running Newcastle Council have banned the use of traditional Geordie familiarizations such as pet, darling, hinny and love.
Some stooge has been on a diversity course and the council has decided to promote 'dignity and respect' by forcing people to jump through their control-freak hoop.
Some current and recent Labour government ministers who were councillors during the above period
Hilary Benn (International Development Sec.)
Ealing Borough Council 1979-1999
Paul Boateng (Treasury) Greater London Council 1981-85
Stephen Byers (recently sacked minister) North Tyneside Metropolitan
District Council 1980-92, deputy leader 1986-92
Charles Clarke (Home Sec.) Hackney Borough Council 1980-86
Louise Ellman (self-sacked minister, not up to the job)
Lancashire County Council Leader 1981-97
Margaret Hodge (Minister for Children) Islington Borough Council
Leader 1982-92, a period notorious for covered-up child abuse
Beverley Hughes (recently sacked minister) Trafford Borough Council
1980-92, leader 1986-92
Tessa Jowell (Culture Sec.) Camden Borough Council 1971-86