Author Topic: donations  (Read 1076 times)

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Offline Terry Reynolds

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donations
« on: January 03, 2015, 06:51:27 PM »
after much hand wringing about cuts etc and the need to save money, 5 care centres were shut just before christmas, and the cries from the council were braking my heart, then on the 17th Dec, in the adver it was announced the council, in its wisdom, had given nearly half a million pounds to the forward swindon group, who they call their 'partners'.
I have raised this subject several times both in the adver, on here and on facebook\twitter, with no response what so ever from the council.
If any opposition councilors are on board and reading this, can you say what your party is doing about it and can you confirm that swindon pays the salaries for this 'partner'..



Offline Spunkymonkey

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Re: donations
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2015, 07:17:20 PM »
Terry

Try using Google.

http://www.forwardswindon.co.uk/about-us-forward-swindon/

http://swindon-business.net/index.php/2014/10/02/forward-swindon-appoints-councils-wichelstowe-development-manager-as-interim-chief-executive/

Quote from Forward Swindon website:

Quote
Forward Swindon is the company established by Swindon Borough Council in 2010 to deliver and facilitate economic growth and regeneration in Swindon. Forward Swindon is a limited company, funded by the Council, but operated independently with a private sector dominated Board. The staff includes specialists in economic growth and inward investment, property development, senior business management, marketing and communications, and project management, with a mix of backgrounds in the private and public sector.


SBC's Chief Exec, Gavin Jones is on the board. According to the website they have a team of 13 people. These are professional sounding positions so I very much doubt that £500,000 would cover salaries and other employment costs.

Offline Muggins

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Re: donations
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2015, 05:36:26 PM »
That was an interesting little digression Spunky, I liked this bit:

"Swindon has the 3rd highest proportion of private sector employment with four times as many private sector jobs to every public sector post.  A low reliance on public sector bodies for employment points to a strong and diverse economy, which Forward Swindon continues to support. Swindon’s economy offers a wide range of jobs in different types of industry: from financial services or computer technologies, to car manufacturing."

I can see the sense in that, if it had not been brought about by systematically annihilating reducing the number of public sector posts so that it would look like there was a greater ratio of private sector jobs.

 
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Spunkymonkey

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Re: donations
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2015, 07:15:29 PM »
I can see the sense in that, if it had not been brought about by systematically annihilating reducing the number of public sector posts so that it would look like there was a greater ratio of private sector jobs.

It would be interesting to know whether Forward Swindon staff consider themselves to be employed by the public or private sector.

A limited company wholly owned and funded by the council is still public sector in my opinion. I guess they could be described as a QUANGO.

Back to Terry's question about who funds them. I assume that if Forward Swindon didn't exist a similar number of staff would have to be directly employed by the borough in an Economic Development or similarly named department. Probably cheaper to have them in house, but easier to deny responsibility if they are arms length.

Whether we like it or not the UK economy and especially the public sector is based on a buy now pay later model. The working population is paying for the previous generations health care and pensions. People living in new houses pay the same council tax as the rest of us and are effectively subsidising maintenance in older areas of the town. Economic growth and development is necessary to pay off existing debts and future liabilities. The model is dependent on an ever increasing population to pay these bills. The fact that new development is regularly permitted regardless of environmental concerns if testament to this.

Forward Swindon's job is to ensure that Swindon gets a share of this growth. If an arms length Forward Swindon weren't doing it an in house SBC department would be. SBC would no doubt argue that Forward Swindon bring in more money than they cost, although this would be difficult if not impossible to prove.

The growth model is unsustainable in the long run, but unless we are prepared to accept an extended period of extreme austerity we are committed to it.

Offline Muggins

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Re: donations
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2015, 09:15:47 AM »
I would also think it was still strictly public sector as it is funded at least in part by our community charge - unless of course the government is offering grants to councils for such things.  Even then it's our taxes paying for it. 

I'm wondering if it's set up as a company either because that's all they know how to do, or to enable it to do some things that it can't if it were just a partnership.  Maybe the £500,000 goes on an offices or offices and one or two staff to bind the 'partnership' together.  Maybe the surplus is expenses for out of town conferences and is it called 'glad handing'? and networking with others they need on their side to achieve the aims? 
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)