Archive for the 'Cut Backs' Category

09
Mar
09

gazette watch

Bloggers will have noticed that the local snooze paper has become the official voice of the borough’s Labour run council and that it’s editor Mr Dumpy, aka Papa John Szymanski has handed over editorial control to his paymaster council leader Iain Malcolm.

This has been a gradual process and at first Papa John paid lip service to his profession by at least appearing to be reporting things from a neutral perspective and even appeared to occasionally challenge the shit churned out by the Minister of Propaganda, Linda Fothergill, aka the council’s Head of Communications.

Miss Piggy, aka councillor Iain Malcolm, quickly realised how easy it was to manipulate Mr Dumpy – all he had to do was make him feel loved, invite him to council functions and make sure the fat bastard could stuff his face with free sausagee rolls – and the Gazette was his to control.

But over the last month Mr Monkey has noticed that Papa John Szymanski appears to have handed over editorial control to the local Labour party and they in turn seem to publish whatever they want with little or no involvement from the paper’s journalists, especially the so called council reporter Paul Myles Kelly.

Mr Monkey thought he’d test this theory by comparing the council’s latest press release about a possible reduction in council rents with Paul Myles Kelly’s article. CLICK HERE.

Housing Minister set to give away £175 million but Ed Malcolm wants the credit'

Housing Minister set to give away £175 million but Ed Malcolm wants the credit'

This chimp was astounded by the results and proves beyond doubt that Papa John Szymanski is nothing more than Miss Piggy’s plaything and that the Gazette is just another propaganda tool for the local Labour run council.

Judge for yourself – below is the press release issued by the council

COUNCIL RECONSIDERS RENTS FOLLOWING GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCEMENT

Council tenants in South Tyneside could be set for a reduction in next year’s rent increase after the Government announced a new package of financial support for local authorities.

South Tyneside Council has already agreed a 6.84 per cent rise in rents for 2009/10, in accordance with the Government’s rent restructuring guidelines.

But the Council is now reconsidering that figure following today’s Government decision to slash its average guideline rent increase for 2009/10 from 6.2 per cent to 3.1 per cent.

The Government is providing up to £175 million to local authorities in England in an effort to encourage councils to reduce the amount tenants would have to pay for the coming year.

The Council’s Lead Member Resources, Councillor Ed Malcolm, said: “This is welcome news from the Government. Both the Council and the Board of South Tyneside Homes wrote to the Government at the turn of the year to express our concerns that their average guideline rent increase was above what most people could afford at this difficult time, and we have been pressing the Government to rethink its position. We are delighted that the Government has listened to our calls, and responded.

“We are keen to provide real help now for Council tenants. I have instructed officers to assess the revised position following this afternoon’s announcement with a view to making recommendations that will ensure that Council tenants can benefit. We are aware that tenants have already received letters outlining next year’s rent increase, and will be contacting them again as soon as we are in a position to do so.”

The Council’s existing rent increase of 6.84 per cent was agreed in accordance with the Government’s rent restructuring policy. This policy aims to bring the amount council tenants pay into line with people living in properties managed by other registered social landlords, such as housing associations.

As Council rents in South Tyneside are historically low, rent increases are often slightly higher than the Government’s guideline in order to close the gap with rents charged by other landlords.

Any change to the increase in rents for 2009/10 would have to be agreed by full Council.

Now compare this to the article below that appeared in the The Labour Gazetteer, formerly known as the Shields Gazette. The differences between the 2 articles have been highlighted in red and amount to a change of title, the addition of 8 words and the removal of 2 others.

TENANTS IN LINE FOR RENT CUTS

COUNCIL house tenants in South Tyneside could be set for a major reduction in next year’s rent increase after the Government announced a new package of financial support for local authorities.

South Tyneside Council had already agreed a 6.84 per cent rise in rents for 2009/10, in accordance with the Government’s rent restructuring guidelines.

But the council is now reconsidering that figure after today’s Government decision to slash its average guideline rent increase for 2009/10 from 6.2 per cent to 3.1 per cent.

The Government is providing up to £175m to local authorities in England in an effort to encourage councils to reduce the amount tenants would have to pay for the coming year.

The council’s lead member for resources, Coun Ed Malcolm, said: “This is welcome news from the Government.

“Both the council and the board of South Tyneside Homes wrote to the Government at the turn of the year to express our concerns that their average guideline rent increase was above what most people could afford at this difficult time.

“We have been pressing the Government to rethink its position, and we are delighted the Government has listened to our calls, and responded.

“We are keen to provide real help now for council tenants.

“I have instructed officers to assess the revised position after this announcement, with a view to making recommendations that will ensure that council tenants can benefit.

“We are aware that tenants have already received letters outlining next year’s rent increase, and will be contacting them again as soon as we are in a position to do so.”
 
The council’s existing rent increase of 6.84 per cent was agreed in accordance with the Government’s rent restructuring policy.
 
This policy aims to bring the amount council tenants pay into line with people living in properties managed by other registered social landlords, such as housing associations.

As council rents in South Tyneside are historically low, rent increases are often slightly higher than the Government’s guideline in order to close the gap with rents charged by other landlords.

Any change to the increase in rents for 2009/10 would have to be agreed by full council, at a meeting on March 26.
Well done Paul Myles Kelly, another worthwhile piece of investigative journalism worthy of your profession the Gazette.
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30
Dec
08

EXCLUSIVE: Journalists Plan Three Days of Industrial Action

EXCLUSIVE: Mr Monkey can reveal workers at Newsquest North East based in Darlington are angry about job cuts and a pay freeze and have voted for industrial action in a secret ballot.

They now plan to hold mandatory union meetings at noon on Monday 5 January, Tuesday 6 January, and Wednesday 7 January.

On 5 January journalists at the Newsquest centre in York – fifty miles down the road – will receive the results of their ballots for industrial action over similar issues.

Jenny Lennox, Assistant Organiser for the North of England said:

“The Newsquest chapels in the North East had both been offered pay rises during negotiations before the company snatched them away and imposed a pay freeze.

“At both centres there have been big job cuts and the heart has been ripped out of papers that played a significant part in the distinctive cultural life of the region – and helped to hold the communities together.

“Our New Year’s message is that members are determined to stand up for each other and to stand up for journalism.”

The Darlington Newsquest centre publishes the daily Northern Echo, the Darlington and Stockton Times, the Durham Times and the Advertiser series of free papers – employing around 100 editorial staff.

Mr Monkey reckons that if the financial problems at the Gazette’s parent company, plummeting advertising revenues and falling circulation figures continue, staff at Chapter Row may be forced in to taking similar action to protect their jobs.

So if it’s about cost cutting, perhaps it’s time to carry out a job evaluation – what better place to start than with the editor because he seems to spend most of his time hiding up Malcolm’s arse.

16
Dec
08

EXCLUSIVE: Creative Accountancy or Cooking The Books?

EXCLUSIVE: Seems South Tyneside is about to cover up reveal another black hole it’s finances.

Readers will recall that several years ago an £11 million  ‘Black Hole’ mysteriously appeared in the council’s finances and in the best traditions of local government spin they some how managed to pass the buck and keep their jobs. But this time a source close to the leadership has expressed concern that they might not be able to get away with it.

Apparently senior councillors and officers are concerned that a combined opposition will latch on to this latest financial scandal and demand answers which may prove difficult to provide without incriminating themselves. They’re also concerned that this issue will unify the opposition parties in the run up to 2010 local elections and fuck any chances Miss Piggy might have of doing a deal to stay in power should Labour lose it’s majority.

Mr Monkey has been told that Corporate Governance and Adult Services are the two departments affected and between them they’ve managed to overspend by a massive £12 million pounds.

Seems Miss Piggy, council leader Iain Malcolm’s pledge to keep the council tax down is just pie in the sky. Either that or they are going to have to cook the books do some pretty creative accountancy between now and March.

04
Dec
08

Read All About It .. A Day Later

Mr Monkey was the first blogger to bring you news of Roy Keane’s departure from Sunderland Football Club.

Once again the Shields Gazette netty paper that has the nerve to call itself a newspaper was scooped by Mr Monkey.

It seems the days of this antiquated news medium are numbered – take today. As the Gazette was hitting the streets with a front page ‘scoop’ – KEANE CRISIS, Boss locked in talks with board – Mr Monkey was breaking the news that he’d quit the club – talk about yesterday’s news.

With cutting edge journalism like this it’s no wonder the Gazette’s circulation is falling faster than the share price of parent company Johnston Press.

03
Sep
08

ARE COUNCIL STAFF SET TO RECEIVE REDUNDANCY NOTICES?

Today’s Cabinet meeting looks to be an interesting affair!

There are a number of publically available reports being ‘considered’ which relate to the financial position of the council. However, a document unwittingly leaked to Mr Monkey reveals a very different picture to the one being spun by the council’s senior officers and the Labour leadership, especially when it comes to the true state of the council’s finances.

Mr Monkey can reveal that the council has once again massively overspent it’s budget and that as a result of this latest failure to manage the borough’s finaces the future looks very bleak, especially if you are an employee of the council or a resident of the borough.

Whatever the spin Iain Malcolm and Irene Lucas puts on this financial disaster, the facts are that there will be some drastic cost cutting measures. These are likley to include; further increases in ‘optional’ charges, scaling down of front line services, suspension of non essential services, the sell off of more publicly owned assets such as school playing fields and buildings, a freeze on recruitment and redundancies amongst council employees.

Residents can also look forward to a whooping increase in the community charge bills of at least 5% in 2009.

There’s no local election in 2009 so Iain Malcolm won’t worry about losing power and hope’s he can ride out the storm by the 2010 elections.

Mr Monkey predicts that in 2010 Labour will bribe the electorate with another headline grabbing artificially low increase in the community charge in a desperate attempt to hold on to power. The bribe will be paid for by allowing officers to ‘secrtely’ borrow millions behind the scenes.

Mr Monkey has learned that Iain Malcolm is so concerned about the political fallout and negative impact this will have on his leadership, that he has called an emergency meeting the Labour group immediately after today’s Cabinet meeting.

Apparently the meeting is to discuss how Labour are going to get out of this one without getting covered in shit.

Mr Monkey is so looking forward to hearing Iain Malcolm squirm later today!




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