Richard Willis's Blog

First for local news and first for comment

The Wages of Spin….

moneyIt is no exaggeration to say that Reading Borough Council is suffering something of a financial crisis at the moment.  It is massively overspent this year and looking for savings and then facing a very tight central Government settlement next financial year.

It is all the more surprising therefore to read that the Council’s spending on self-promotion has jumped by 84% in a year.  According to the independent Tax-Payers’ Alliance survey, in 2006/07 Reading Borough Council spent £658,516 on self promotion but in the last full financial year 2007/08 this jumped to a massive £1,212,423.  Reading ranked fourth in the country for the percentage size of its increase and eleventh for its actual increase of £553,907.  Reading also spent the most of any authority in Berkshire on Council spin.

Now it is always possible that the Taxpayers’ Alliance have made some elementary mistake but I think it is unlikely.  I doubt the people of Reading would feel that this level of self-promotion was justified or appropriate in the current economic climate.

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December 20, 2008 - Posted by | Local

4 Comments »

  1. Funny this doesn’t seem to have been reported in the dead tree media in Reading. Couldn’t be because they rely upon the work of the Council’s spin merchants to write their stories for them?

    Funny the Council is able to spend money and attention on spin but not on looked after children. Shows where Reading’s ZaNew Labour’s priorities are under Zim 1 Lovelock.

    Incidentally love the possibly related posts including “UK Monarchy costs us at least £150M says REPUBLIC”

    Comment by Newspaper reader | December 22, 2008 | Reply

  2. I think you will find this was in the Evening Post on Friday December 19. So it was in the dead tree media. It perhaps wasn’t on the website – sometimes it really is better to buy the paper

    Comment by Hilary Scott | December 23, 2008 | Reply

  3. “I doubt the people of Reading would feel that this level of self-promotion was justified or appropriate in the current economic climate.”

    Or, indeed, ever.

    Comment by Phil C | December 23, 2008 | Reply

  4. Phil C – a fair point!

    Comment by Richard Willis | December 23, 2008 | Reply


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