Monday, 14 November 2011

Yet more places to look for savings

There was a Oxfordshire County Council good news story in the Oxford mail today:
The basic gist is they have spent some money on replacing schools lights new energy saving LED lights. This has saved them (or in fact us) 40% on their electricity bills. 

In a totally unrelated article, Keith the other day quashed any suggestion of spending the five million released from the Icelandic banks on libraries saying:

“It could go into a capital project such as a school or a road scheme, but it will not fund youth services or library services because it is one-off money.
“Given the current state of the finances, if there is a bit spare we have to hang onto it for a rainy day, because it is going to pour down for the next years as far as I can see.”
Now here is a mad idea: why don't you use the five million and put those same lights in all the libraries? That way you could save money each year on the library budget and would be using the money in a way you suggested. This one off money would make savings each year and decrease the councils carbon output. The prices are only going to continue to rise so it is a very sound investment. Here is a link to the data:
If the 40% figure is correct, the actual savings on electricity costs would be £51,721.09, this is based on 09/10 data . Since then electricity has gone up quite a bit. If their electricity has gone up as much as most peoples has, the saving could be up to 60k. Since OCC have the cash, why not put these lights into as many other buildings as the 5 million will stretch too? Obviously I don't know the electricity costs for all the buildings but I would imagine with a initial one off investment of our cash from the Icelandic banks then the 350k to save all the rural (and one city) library would be easily achievable. 
The problem is are they listening at OCC? Yes it is a representative democracy but they are supposed to listen to our views not just ignore them. You are allowed to change your mind Keith, Thatcher once famously said "The lady is not for turning" but in reality when the facts change she saw reason and changed her mind, don't try and push this through. It won't save money, there isn't the volunteers and you are going against your own policies.  
Replacing staff with volunteers isn't what the big society is supposed to be. The big society stuff we already do and it will be lost because we will be too busy stacking the shelves and trying to teach the elderly how to use the stupidly expensive self service machines. 
There are lots of other options, if one of the assistant county librarians left and wasn't replaced for example, that would save around 70ish, depending on the pay grade, pension and other perks.
There are 32.11 staff in the management and professional, the top 15 of them are on 700k salary between them.  Below is the structure:

No leaning out here? Or do you need every one of the customer service people or all those principle librarians? They cannot be shared with another county? It wouldn't take much sharing to save the front line. Then there is the 3.2 million internal recharge, this cannot be leaned out either? The only option is the one on the table, take it of leave it? I will leave it if its all the same. When the volunteer thing doesn't work and you come to close my library down,  I will be the one handcuffed to the heating pipe in the toilet in our library. You send your boys down and try and move me.

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