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Tameside Propaganda reaches new lows

December 22, 2009
TMBC propaganda

Waste of money and factually wrong

TMBC have been wasting our money again.  However with this latest series of full page adverts they are reaching new lows.

You will see the advert clearly boasts: Tameside “Best in the Country”, identifying the 2009 Audit Commission Comprehensive Area Assessment as the source of the quote.

Put aside for the moment whether you think this is a good use of taxpayers funds and you are left with only one problem:  nowhere in that report will you find this phrase!

The nearest this years report comes to such an accolade is in describing the Adult Social Care service as “One of the best in the Country”.  The wider Organisational Report adds ‘Support for older people and those who are most in need of support’ to the roll call, which is rated as “among the best in the Country”.  Congratulations to both of those teams.

In choosing to use the headline, TMBC under Cllr Oldham’s Executive Leadership have clearly misrepresented the work of the Audit Commission.  TMBC are clearly experienced and well practised in this box ticking exercise, (more on this later) and there are several quotes in this years report they could have used to flatter their egos.  I’m left to wonder at their motives for having to make up quotes.

If you like to check for yourself, the reports can be downloaded and examined from the new Oneplace website or found here and here.

On a slightly different tack, the performance of most organisations (and bosses) are measured by data rather than the rather flowery text you find in these reports.  However if you delve around the Oneplace website, you may come across the “All performance indicators” (shortcut here) which paint a very different picture of life in Tameside.

Comparing the facts and data for Tameside to other Metropolitan Councils, you will find that:

  • Tameside’s “Serious acquisitive crime rate” is only matched in the worst 25% of comparable Councils.
  • Our “% overall / general satisfaction with local area for Tameside” is in the worst 10% of comparable Councils
  • The “Percentage of residents who are very or fairly satisfied with doorstep recycling” is in the worst 5% of Councils
  • “Children and young people’s satisfaction with our parks and play areas” is matched in only the worst third of Councils.

There are many more, and if look at the comparison with different groups of Councils, the results are often worse.

Quite how these numbers are meant to correlate with a generally positive written report, I’m afraid I don’t know.  My personal view is that I  recognise neither TMBC’s made-up boasts, nor the very negative picture painted by some of the statistics.  Services here are similar to other places I’ve lived in the UK.  What is different here is the amount of money wasted (and no doubt effort expended) in trying to persuade residents into believing the Council’s performance is great and therefore the Political status quo must be maintained.  The problem becomes particularly acute when TMBC is forecasting a £2.8 million budget deficit by the end of the current financial year.

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