Friday, 2 December 2011

Missing costs from proposals

They have upped the volunteer group from 66% staffing cuts down to 50%. They are now saying the savings from the proposal are 313k. In Wychwood library this means the cuts from 27k to 9k are now 27k to 13.5k. Obviously its a bit better but still not good.

I have been through all the documents for the revised library proposal and it is missing three crucial pieces of information.

1. How many volunteers are required?

2. How much per year to train them?

3. The annual costs of the self service machines?

OCC have provided no such calculation other than to say in the document that they encourage the groups to recruit more volunteers than they need to cover for contingencies. We did our calculations early in the year and came out with a figure or about a 1000 for all libraries.

OCC have provided no costs on the training per volunteer per year. We did our own, based on the costs of the certificates on the wall in the library and this came out at £509 per volunteer.

OCC have not mentioned anywhere the cost of the self service machines. In Warwickshire they have provided the friend groups with the costs and it is 1500 per unit per year support costs (includes VAT). They're putting in 21 of these, one for every cut library.

You can do some very simple maths with these numbers:

1000 * £519 = £519,000k (or £0.519 million as OCC likes to express numbers)
21 * £1,500 = £31,500 (or £0.031,500 million)

This gives a total of £540,500 (0.540,500 million)

This doesn't include the cost of the volunteer coordinator. We were given a figure of 60-70k in a meeting with the head librarian.

You have to push the numbers or the costs we have worked out quite a long way before this proposal breaks even.

I have FOI'ed the actual costs from OCC, I don't think they have even attempted to work out the numbers. There is nothing on these costs in the proposals to go before cabinet or the scruity committee. How can they vote on something if they haven't been given the information on whether it saves money or not? And if they have been given these costs why are they not in the documents? I will have another read through, it is possible of course I have missed them. I doubt it though, there is very little in the way of spreadsheet data in the whole thing. Just lots of meaningless corporate waffle. I looked on one of those sites that tell you how many days a year you have to work until your taxes are paid. Mine was 149 days until the money I earn is actually mine. If I do two hours a week in the library this rises to 165.5. George Bush senior once said "read my lips, no new taxes". The big society is a new stealth tax.

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