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Old 31st Aug 2019, 16:10
  #53 (permalink)  
Gertrude the Wombat
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Cambridge, England, EU
Posts: 3,437
Originally Posted by Wyler View Post
I have, even recently, had numerous meetings with local/county/national bodies that send 2, 3 or 4 people to nod and tut in the right places. All have fancy job titles, all in the public sector and 99% of them contribute nothing.
Which in most cases will be because they have nothing (ie no cash) to contribute.

Central government requires that all these quangos and "partnerships" and "joint bodies" and all the rest exist, and gives then all targets that they have to report on back to central government, but doesn't these days, let them spend any actual money on actually helping to achieve any of those targets. So all they can do is turn up to meetings with the voluntary sector and report, in umpty-ump different ways from different bodies, what the voluntary sector is up to.

They (or at least the decent ones amongst them) will be just as frustrated about this as you are.

(Some history for people outside the loop: Once Upon A Time public bodies like local authorities used to be able to do things themselves, by running premises, hiring staff, buying stuff, things like that. Then there was this idea that these public bodies shouldn't do stuff any more, they should just commission stuff. And of course this would cost less, because the theory went that everybody in the universe except councils could do councils' work more efficiently, so, obviously, budgets were cut.

And then budgets got cut some more, and then some more, and then some more, because ... well, just because.

So, the public bodies in this middle phase used to commission services from the third sector, and then go along to meetings with them and write reports on how well the money they'd spent on these contracts was being used (fair enough, you might think - public money, needs to be accounted for). These days there's no money, so no "commissioning" of services as such, so the third sector are expected to do their thing using thin air, but the local authorities are still held responsible for the things getting done, despite not having the means to get anything done, hence they still have to have the bureaucrats and the meetings. Good, innit.)
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