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Jobs and services at risk as Lichfield District Council bids to save £1.7million

EXCLUSIVE: Jobs and services are facing the axe after Lichfield District Council outlined plans to help plug a £1.7million gap in its budget.

Staff and councillors have already been briefed about the widespread cuts which will impact on a number of services, with the local authority confirming that a number of community and partnership services will end.

Around 20 posts are affected as the first stage of filling a budget hole created by the Government’s decision to remove the £2.7million of funding it awards to Lichfield District Council each year by 2019.

As well as jobs and partnership services being on the line, council leader Mike Wilcox warned that leisure facilities, youth clubs, sport sessions and playschemes across the district could also be hit.

Cllr Mike Wilcox

Cllr Mike Wilcox

“Like councils across the country, we are facing tough decisions as a result of central government funding cuts,” he admitted. “Next year alone we need to save more than £1.7 million and we are facing significant cuts in future years.

“To help reduce our budgets, whilst protecting key services, we have launched a savings programme called Fit for the Future. It includes a fundamental review of the structure of the authority.

“As part of this, we have assessed local people’s views as well as ideas from across the whole council, to come up with a package of proposed measures worth around £1million. The proposals will be considered by councillors in the next few months. They will look at changes and cuts in community and partnerships, leisure and operational services.

“Under the proposals many of our community and partnerships services will be stopped, but we’ll continue to offer support in areas such as community safety, safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults, equalities, work clubs and our grant aid programme.

“Plans also include reducing opening times at King Edward VI Leisure Centre, running a smaller playschemes programme from 2014, and reducing sports sessions, youth clubs and exercise classes.

“With the scale of savings, it is inevitable some jobs will be affected. Our aim is to try to minimise the number of compulsory redundancies, but we know we will not be able to avoid them. From the changes identified so far, about 20 posts will be directly affected and this will regrettably lead to redundancies. We have informed these employees about the proposed changes and they are being provided with full support.”

And the pain may not end there for local residents with further money-saving measures being examined, including charging for access to public toilets in the city.

“The current proposals will be considered by councillors in the next few months,” Cllr Wilcox explained.

“Councillors will also look at proposals to charge for Shopmobility and public toilets, as well as reduce our emergency planning, grounds maintenance, street cleansing and CCTV budgets. These savings will be achieved by taking advantage of new contracts and won’t reduce the services customers are used to receiving.

“While we have found considerable savings so far, we will continue to review our services over the coming months to ensure that they are delivered in the most cost effective way for our customers and within the resources we will have available.”

One council worker – who did not want to be named – said the cuts marked the start of a “slippery slope” for the local authority.

“The local councillors haven’t got a grip on this at all,” he said. “They have been railroaded into this and haven’t stood up to the plans.

“How did Lichfield District Council not have the reserves to avoid this?

“There needs to be a debate about it. We’ll lose local control and services will have to be contracted out if these cuts go ahead.”

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

122 Comments

  1. Darren Ennis

    29th May, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    I know the council have been told cuts have to be made. Just sad to see things for the kids cut/reduced and security cut/reduced.

  2. Disgusted

    29th May, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Is the Garrick Theatre still getting it’s £100,000 per year subsidies?
    I read that it’s now a charitable trust and it’s still getting “Revenue Grants”.

    Everything from playschemes to health related funding gets cuts – we’re even going to be charged to use public toilets.

    But we’re still going to subsidise Theatre tickets for Posh People?

    Disgusting !

  3. Darryl

    29th May, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    That’s 17 years, even if they are getting it.

    Confusing that Lichfield turned down the government’s council tax subsidy and put up council tax, only to complain about a shortfall.

  4. Cllr Steve Norman

    29th May, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    The Strategic Overview and Scrutiny Committee will consider the proposals in the first instance on the 20th of June. There is no Party whip on Scrutiny and Cabinet Members will be there to answer questions. The Committee’s views will then go to Cabinet on the 2nd of July and Council on the 9th.
    The new Chief Executive has asked all staff members for ideas on reducing costs to the council and I expect to see a report on this at the Scrutiny Committee. However, these proposals are mainly about cutting services and whilst it is difficult to come up with more ways of doing things differently or sharing even more services with other councils to meet that £2.7 million cut in support from the Government we do need to ensure that that is done for the sake of our staff and the residents who currently enjoy those services.
    I am also confident that Mr Fabricant will want to defend his government’s treatment of, specifically, Lichfield District Council on these pages and will urge the Conservative Leadership on the District Council to grow more businesses and encourage building of houses as this is the only way the council is going to pay its bills over the next few years.

  5. Cllr Susan Woodward

    29th May, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Just to let “Disgusted” and others know, the subsidy by each and every one of us to the Garrick is far more that £100,000 – it’s over 7 times greater. £1.3 million over the next two years – to say nothing of the £millions spent so far, including huge investments to try to reduce costs!

  6. Jozef Nakielski

    29th May, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    This means services will be cut but we’ll pretend to be looking at jobs too. In reality we know that no over paid council shirker is going to get sacked. The ten tiers of the big C that cover many departments are safe. The chief exec, the execs, the managers, the department managers, the team leaders, the inspectors, the area managers, and of course the people that actually do the work, the contractors, in between sitting in their vans outside the chippy of course.
    Meanwhile our services get cut to shreds.

  7. Jozef Nakielski

    29th May, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    I’d rather my taxes go to the Garrick than some dozy uselful over paid un needed manager thats sat in an office drinking tea whilst pretending to be in a meeting all day

  8. GGAllin'sghost

    29th May, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    slippery slope indeed. maybe stop opening card shops and buying fancy cars

  9. Jozef Nakielski

    29th May, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    I bet there’s a few council workers on here reading and replying whilst we’re paying them to work.

  10. Jozef Nakielski

    29th May, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    You could easily lose half of the council staff and it wouldn’t make the slightest difference to anyone, other than building services wouldn’t know what to do with all the vacant offices

  11. Lizzie

    29th May, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    Would just like to let the incredibly ignorant “jozef” know that your comments are out of order as council workers are actually losing their jobs.. workers that have not shirked but actually worked incredibly hard to provide services for the community of Lichfield, workers who have famillies and for whom compulsoey redundancy will affect greatly. You also comment that services will be cut but not jobs… do you have a brain cell to talk off, the service is very obviously someones job so if the service goes then so does the job!!! And you certainly will miss them when they no longer exist just you wait and see. Cllr Woodward thankyou for your honesty about the Garrick and i for one would rather have a community service that serves its community than a theatre that is so busy its closed half the week!!. It is sad times for this City and i for one would like to know what public opinions cllrs assessed to reach the decision they have. I dont know anyone in the community who would choose to get rid of the service that serves them best

  12. Kate

    29th May, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    Jozef, you come across as very bitter and angry. I’ll guess that years and years ago a council didn’t give you what you wanted and you’re desperate to keep fanning the flame.

    For a council the size of Lichfield DC to lose 20 officers is actually a pretty big deal, let alone the loss of services that people take for granted until they’re no longer there. I appreciate the party line is that services won’t be affected, but this is just the start of the cuts; they will.

    ps Maybe they just say they’re in a meeting when they know its you calling?

  13. Disgusted (at work)

    29th May, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    As Cllr Woodwards just pointed out.
    It’s easy to see where £1.3 million can be saved.

    Put the ticket prices up!
    If people won’t pay –
    Board it up and Put a plaque dedicated to the Monsterous people involved in its creation.

    And as for having “assessed local peoples views”
    Really?
    “fit for the future”
    “tough descisions”
    I’m fuming.

  14. Laurence Skermer

    29th May, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    Whilst I support the Garrick, there comes a point when it should no longer be supported at the cost of other, more vital services. I must challenge a couple of comments though. Disgusted, the theatre tickets are not for “posh people”. I fear you reveal more of your own prejudice in this comment. Cllr Woodward, can you check your maths.. 1.3 million over 2 years is less than 7 times 100,000 a year, you have a good point but why spoil it by getting the facts wrong? Again I think you reveal your own agenda rather than seek to illuminate.

  15. Laurence Skermer

    29th May, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Also, for balance, Jozef should reveal that he won’t miss any of the services, living as he does in Atherstone.

  16. Rob

    29th May, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    Don’t know what “community and partnership services” are but I bet they cost a fortune and most hard-working taxpayers will be better off without them.

  17. BrownhillsBob

    29th May, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    Oh Jozef? Professional anti-council whiner and pot plant stroker. Not to be taken seriously.

    Just google his name.

    Good people have lost their jobs. I stand with them.

    Bob

  18. Lizzie

    29th May, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    Rob just for the record community and partnerships are the services the people actually see. The article mentions community safety, work clubs community information, community transport, equality etc and probably cost very little compared to other services as they are the departments that often get their own funding from outside the council… they say in the article that some will carry on but how can they when the workers wont be there to run them!!! Such as the very popular work clubs that actually help people find work.

  19. Lizzie

    29th May, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    And in last weeks Mercury it says that cllrs are to recieved a pay rise…
    how is that fair or right.
    I thought it was a voluntary role they did,
    i can see the freedom of information service being checked lots in the next few months

  20. BrownhillsBob

    29th May, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    Rob
    Someof the folk getting the poke run such frivolous services as credit unions, carer support, community transport and do most of the interfacing with the third sector – that’s the moderneuphemismfor charities that provide formerly LA andNHSservices we can’t run anymore. Losing that interface will cost us all in theming run.
    Damn fine people, doing hard jobs
    Bob

  21. Doopster

    29th May, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    Jozef – people have had their notices already you ignoramus. Real people, people that do far, far more than their contracted hours, and people that have got others that rely on them.

    I’m ready to get on the streets for this. This is my city, my people, being fecked over.

  22. fulloflichfieldpassion

    29th May, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    ditto to Lizzie.
    Dear Jozef Nakielski, you will notice the difference. perhaps not directly but when you are getting bored of the mess around the town centre, wary because of all da’kidz hanging around the town centre, stressing because there are no cheap holiday activities for your and your friend’s children, no support for local people searching for jobs, when the wonderful and award winning park starts to look neglegted and empty, when your nan can’t get to her social club and so on>
    then i hope you’ll feel a ickle bit sad for the wonderful hardworking peole at the district council who wark very hard to keep Lichfield District the lovely place you so obviously expect it to be. this doesn’t happen by magic.
    .
    these first services we are losing are not contracted, not sat outside the chippy and it saddens me to think that you really think that is all the council does. sigh.
    >

  23. Cynic

    29th May, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    “Laurence Skermer””theatre tickets are not for “posh people” Depends on your definition of posh.
    Do you think people who can not make “ends meet” use it instead of eating or is it used by people who have no problem paying their bills? I am not anti the theatre but I do think those that want it should pay for it.

  24. Rob

    29th May, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    If local government/communities have reached such a state it suggests to me that the wrong people are losing their jobs. I asked about “partnerships” because it’s oft quoted and lauded but personally I’ve never had anything to do with them. If the funding for them is largely from outside the council as Lizzie says why involve the council at all, they’re not generally regarded as economic or cost effective (employment overheads, absence etc).

  25. Gareth Thomas

    29th May, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    The council is loosing good hard working people who have put heart and soul into what they do despite jozef’s Snide remarks about people he has no knowledge of no idea what hours they work and how much effort they put into the community. You the community are loosing a hell lot more. Many of you have already named some of the work these people do, but there is more, they help young people via young enterprise, giving young people a chance to define their futures. These people provide and assist the most vulnerable in our district. These people provide a link between all the partners , making sure everyone keeps focused on what matters to the community whether you agree with this or not its a fact. It’s a fact that these people right now feel themselves vulnerable, no longer appreciated, no longer valued. But I tell you what irrespective of what people say here hating council officers , these people deserve some respect and not to be chewed over like pieces of meat or for some people to gloat

    These officers have done more for the Lichfield community than many of those posting on here.

  26. Kate

    29th May, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    Cynic, I don’t disagree in one way, but then we’re not talking about the Royal Ballet and the subsidies they receive, which truly are for the benefit of the few. I’d suggest looking at the bigger picture and seeing the benefits of having a theatre in the city. When people go the theatre (even working class oiks like me) they will often eat out before the show. This, of course is good for local eateries and of course Lichfield has a good reputation as a place to go to eat. Local people work in the eateries. Lichfield is a tourist destination. Decimate the tourism offer and you can sit back and watch businesses fail. Councils sometimes have to pay out for the greater good. Unpalatable? Fine. Ask yourself if (a) the Garrick could continue without the subsidy and (b) what would the effect of the Garrick closing be?

    I don’t live in Lichfield, so it isn’t really my call. You all have a vote.

  27. BrownhillsBob

    29th May, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    Rob, you’re clearly not aged, disabled or poor, so fortunately you don’t come into contact with those services.
    Whatever your perceptions may be, authorities and LDC run these well.
    Sadly, you’ll learn too late.
    Bob

  28. Laurence Skermer

    29th May, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    Cynic, so only posh people have disposable income? Everyone else just lives hand to mouth??? You obviously don’t like the theatre, fair enough, but other public facilities are subsidised. Should the people using Beacon Park pay to get in? How about people out at night, they should pay for the lighting? There is a debate to be had about what facilities we want provided and everyone is entitled to an opinion, but you are a broken record on this subject.

  29. Disgusted (at work)

    29th May, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    Laurence – or shall i call you Lozza?

    The Garrick was built at the expense of losing the civic hall and the arts centre. Both were affordable to large sections of the community.

    We cant even afford to put local bands on at the garrick, its too expensive.

    Of course we got New Minster house thrown in – a complete joke that never fulfilled its planning conditions of having a public gallery due to sneaking in a few extra luxury apartments, all topped of with the lease sold at rock bottom price.

    If you cant see gentrification so blatent,
    Check your privileges.

    A top flight luxury Theatre is the last thing you should spend council money on.

  30. Cynic

    29th May, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    “what would the effect of the Garrick closing be” You would have to travel a few mins down the road! This selection of comments is aimed at a theatre which is not needed or services/jobs which are.

  31. Cynic

    29th May, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    “Laurence Skermer””You obviously don’t like the theatre” How wrong can YOU be – but I do not mind paying for my luxuries and would not dream of FORCING others to pay for them!

  32. Cynic

    29th May, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    Kate “Lichfield has a good reputation as a place to go to eat.” Please tell me a good place with access for a wheel chair.

  33. Gareth Thomas

    29th May, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Cynic, the malt bar opposite the garrick, double doors that open wide, open plan seating ……

  34. Cynic

    29th May, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    “we’re not talking about the Royal Ballet” Now if we were I would be saying we should give them even more money – only joking. But there is little in life better than going to the top places London/ Europe in a box reserved for two.

  35. Cynic

    29th May, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    Gareth – Thanks for that – the last time I looked the seats were low and had to go to the rear on the left – a bit tight. Hope I don’t sound a snob but would like a bit more up market for dinner.

  36. Jozef Nakielski

    29th May, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    Ruffled a few feathers with the truth did I.
    Pot planter stroker says the bikelist with a camers that knows nothing about planning !

    TBH and to be fair to Lichfield council I have no idea how good or how crap you are. If you’re as crap as North Warwickshire Borough Council then ALL of my comments are true. However I find that hard to believe.
    My comments are based on NWBC kitchen refurbs to so called decent homes standard that 6 yrs on still haven’t been finished despite numerous complaints and partly based on my experiences with my roof garden and commercial quality christmas light display, my voluntary contribution to the community which cost me thousands of pounds each year. The comments on staff level and the two trucks, a van and an inspector with 5 staff an inspector and manager to oversee the forced removal of a grow bag off a porch roof because a spec of soil may go in someones eye, are all true.
    Meanwhile elsewhere in the borough other flats have window boxes and landings full of plants.

    IF you’re as useless as NWBC then it will be money well saved.
    Council staff are council staff, services are services staff. A library is run by library staff regardless of weather they’re paid by the council . It is quite obvious to anyone with a brain cell what is meant by that.

    “remarks about people he has no knowledge of no idea what hours they work and how much effort they put into the community.” dito

  37. Jozef Nakielski

    29th May, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    “Cynic, so only posh people have disposable income? ”

    posh people, bankers and civil servants Cynic.

  38. BrownhillsBob

    29th May, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    I’ve forgotten more about planning than you’ll ever know, Percy Thrower. You’re clearly an attention seeker, and your behaviour is akin to a three year old shouting newly discovered swearwords at nursery.

    You have insulted some very fine people. People with kids, families, committed to their jobs. People who gave a toss, and did stuff for their communities. Unlike the whiners like yourself, who just sit on your backsides and criticise, because it’s less risky than trying to achieve something positive.

    As I said before, you don’t half waffle.

    Bob

  39. Jozef Nakielski

    29th May, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    “ps Maybe they just say they’re in a meeting when they know its you calling?”

    Call them ? Only thing I call them is unrepeatable on here. Put EVERYTHING on email or paper with the cestapo and get it couriered and signed for cos they’ll pretend then never received it

  40. Kate

    29th May, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    LOL Oh my Jozef. You really are loop the loop then. Gold star to you for being nutter of the week.

  41. Cllr Steve Norman

    29th May, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    The Labour Group has supported proposals to reduce costs (and senior officers have reduced in number by the way) share services and look at new ways of working. I even proposed we looked at sharing a Chief Executive – but of course we needed a like-minded council to share with and that wasn’t forthcoming. We are a lean organisation but historic decisions have not helped the current leader who inherited the Garrick which.
    Let me say that I have enjoyed attending various productions and will still do so even if the general council taxpayer doesn’t subsidise my (and the regional audience it was designed for incidentally) ticket but let me give some more financial details.
    The Lichfield Garrick opened in July 2003 at a cost of over £5 million. The CAPITAL expenditure alone by LDC on it since then (to stem the losses in income) has been: 2004/05 £10,500, 2006/07 £69,000, 2007/08 £33,400, 2007–2009 £67,000 and in 2011/12 £29,931. The £1.3 million over the next two years may not be the last either.
    And it is worth noting that following the transfer of the Housing Stock Labour left the incoming Conservative administration £25.444 million in capital receipts in March 1999 – now all spent. This might be the weakness in any special pleading they may put to Eric Pickles through their Members of Parliament. I await Mr Fabricant’s defence of LDC in particular.

  42. Jozef Nakielski

    29th May, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    You don’t like to admit you’re wrong do you bob. You prefer to throw insults to try to cover your tracks.
    “People who gave a toss, and did stuff for their communities.”
    Again in NW no Councillor does anything for their community unless it involves council propaganda and browny points.
    I won’t list all of the events that I’ve helped put on because I won’t have them and the other good people, a few of them town Councillors (rather than council staff )dragged into your insults.
    I stand by my comments as they’re true of most if not all councils in Britain. Most civil servants are over paid, they under work or are not needed at all. Yet whinge , whilst sat on their hands in their offices that they’re over paid. They don’t know the meaning of low pay or hard work.

  43. Jozef Nakielski

    29th May, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    That’s whats scary about this country, you actually think i am a nutter.

  44. Gareth Thomas

    29th May, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    Cynic, fair point! I do agree that wheelchair friendly places in Lichfield is an issue that needs addressing as well as some of the weird positions of street furniture is a bug bear of mine!

  45. BrownhillsBob

    29th May, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    No, the scary bit is you know we’re right.

    Bob

  46. Kate

    29th May, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    Council officers aren’t civil servants. Do some research.

  47. Jozef Nakielski

    29th May, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    Bob you’ve not been right about a single thing that you’ve challenged me over to date and i’ve provided links to back it all up yet you still deny it. So no you’re not right about anything .

  48. BrownhillsBob

    29th May, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    Yes, Jozef. Of course. Whatever makes you feel like a big man.

    *sigh*

    Bob

  49. Gareth Thomas

    29th May, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    Jozef, your obviously entitled to your views, and i understand fully that you have issues with your own local authority and vice versa.

  50. Jozef Nakielski

    29th May, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    sivil servants, council officers, teachers, police plus many more, all over paid whilst real hard workers, grafters slogging their guts out in parcel hubs, picking your groceries for 12 hours on shifts are on minimum wage.

  51. Gareth Thomas

    29th May, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    Area council’s should be focused on is benefit fraud and false declaring of earnings to evade tax. Big areas for all council’s to improve on….

  52. BrownhillsBob

    29th May, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    Everyone except Atherstonian cacti fondlers, perchance?

    Hmm.

    Bob

  53. Jozef Nakielski

    29th May, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    they weren’t cacti’s bob, wrong as usual bob

  54. Jozef Nakielski

    29th May, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    Now look what you’ve made me do bob, I’ve let my tea go cold and I’ve missed NCIS . Shame on you bob

  55. Rob

    29th May, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    @Kate:
    If you think insults like “nutter of the week” are in any way beneficial to debate then maybe you’re the one who should “do some research”?

  56. Gareth Thomas

    29th May, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    seems to me Jozef you have big problems with authority and guess you have frequent run ins with authority. Thankfully your not the norm…. but at least you can have your say even if no one agrees or relates to you.

    I tend to find people who have issues with authority are their own worse enemy….

  57. Jozef Nakielski

    29th May, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    Now to get back to more serious comments I stand by my comment that jobs should go at council HQ over getting rid of services (and thus jobs) There are far more than needed. I don’t believe that Lichfield is so much different to this or any other council , there are layer upon layer of management that just aren’t needed

  58. Jozef Nakielski

    29th May, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    Comment removed by editor

  59. Jozef Nakielski

    29th May, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    The more red you get in this debate, the more impact your comments have made Gareth .

  60. Kate

    29th May, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    Rob, ‘nutter of the week’ was a mild, yet well deserved accolade. I’ve farted more worthy arguments than this tosser could articulate.

  61. Jozef Nakielski

    29th May, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    You’re a good advert for the council kate and an excellent example of the type of staff they’ll be getting rid of. I’ll lose no sleep I can assure you. Fart arguments is about all council workers do all day

  62. Rob

    29th May, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    @Kate:
    Thank goodness you’re not judgemental on top of your er linguistic talents.

  63. Gareth Thomas

    29th May, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    oh dear Jozef, you do seem to be a lost soul. No one bullies or threatens on here chap. You have to accept like I do that not everyone agrees with our own views… and hence the comments back and no one would expect you to keep quite. Your entitled to your views and entitled at any time to express them and well have to accept the consequences….

    In terms of your view on loosing services , you maybe right, but what about those people directly affected both consumers and those employees?

  64. BrownhillsBob

    29th May, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    Rob – meet Mr. Kettle. Welcome to the dark side. You’ve never, ever been known to be judgmental.

    I admire your chutzpah

    Bob

  65. Rob

    29th May, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    @GT “No one bullies or threatens on here chap.”
    Seems to the casual observer that Kate takes a somewhat different view.

  66. Jozef Nakielski

    29th May, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    Councillors will also look at proposals to charge for Shopmobility and public toilets,

    More charges to keep shoppers out of the town centre. Why not go the whole hog and get rid of the toilets altogether like Bedford has. Its charges like that keep people out of a town centre. (We’ve got Mary portas backing me up bob) and here’s Lichfield introducing them. When you’ve got a town full of empty shops and hard working people have lost their jobs you’ll be wanting grants to start a regen fund. If you haven’t already.

  67. Rob

    29th May, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    Bob, admire away.
    The relevance to the debate at hand is?

  68. BrownhillsBob

    29th May, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    Oh, totally irrelevant. I took your lead.

    Bob

  69. Rob

    29th May, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    Did you – so you’ll be gracious enough to highlight the irrelevance of my remarks?

  70. Jozef Nakielski

    29th May, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    Comment deleted by editor

  71. Asellus aquaticus

    29th May, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    Jozef – you state that “to be fair to Lichfield council I have no idea how good or how crap you are” and yet you gloat about people about whom you know nothing, losing their jobs. Any feather ruffling is mainly to do with your shameful and crass insensitivity.

    As you are clearly so well informed, which jobs specifically do you think aren’t needed? And try and give us something a little less cliched than “layers of management”. Some informed examples please, not just a broad generalisation about some bad experience you’ve had with a different council.

    Unbelievable.

  72. Gareth Thomas

    29th May, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    Jozef why should councils provide toilets? You want rid of council’s so surely in your world toilets can be provided by the private sector at cost per use?

  73. Kate

    29th May, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    Rob, my linguistic talents are way beyond your dreams. Bullying? Wow. Hope growing up shrouded in cotton wool didn’t hamper your hearing too much.

  74. Rob

    29th May, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    @Kate:
    Not only judgemental, presumptious too.

  75. Jozef Nakielski

    29th May, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    Asellus aquaticus someone with intelligence to see the depth of my posts.
    TBH I don’t know because I don’t know lichfield council but here the housing department has the layers I’ve listed. There’s about ten people or layers with sevral people in them going from the cheif exec to the guy on the tools. Here we area forum, tenant partner ship agreements, borough wide tenant forums, tenant improvement groups, tenant empowerment and involvement groups, customer and performance services group, maintenance services group, neighbourhood and community services group, tennant matters group, tennant led community panels, A tennants participation officer, a neighbour hood services , neighbourhood wardens, neighbourhood walks, the list goes on and on, Forums, groups departments, all duplicated, all either needing staff or staff time for involvement. You;ve got a repair man, a team of inspectors to inspect the repair, a repairs team manager, a secretary to write the repair card, a team of office staff divided up into areas, a manager of those areas, a manager of the managers, a manager of all the departments, an executive , a chief executive.

    I don’t pretend to be an expert and some of that may not be accurate at the end but generally it’s correct. It seems a very very wasteful way of running a social housing letting and repair department that seems to inhabited by paranoid insecure tenants. I’ve got that list of forums and groups here with a brief explanation of all of them and the mind boggles, they all seem the same thing to me.
    Perhaps this explains my harsh comments that half could be gotten rid of. Perhaps half is harsh, but our councils need trimming down, made lean, everyone else has had to do it or go bust. I don’t see hwy tax payers money should treated so frivolously or our (your) services.
    I don’t get what is so wrong about preferring to let office staff go over services , libraries, front line offices, museums, leisure centre staff.

  76. Jozef Nakielski

    29th May, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    Jozef why should councils provide toilets? You want rid of council’s so surely in your world toilets can be provided by the private sector at cost per use?

    i’d want to know that we’d benefited by council’s not running them. To me and many others, when things are cut as a cost cutting measure it feels like we’re still paying but have simply been deprived of our services to save money. We’re still paying the same. In fact it goes up, and then we have to pay again to use them.
    Plus charging puts visitors off, they object to being charged for visting a town. and quite rightly so, if someone is going into a town to spend money they expect toilets to be free, car parking to be free, a nice clean environment. In fact the cost of all this shouldnt even come out of our taxes, it should be paid by government from the business rates. That is what business rates should pay for, the running of a town centre. We certainly shouldn’t be forced to pay car parking.

  77. Gareth Thomas

    29th May, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    Jozef, your point is valid. Tenants needs a streamlined system that makes sense to them. clearly your experience with housing services is showing a classic example of too much layers as you say. A lot of councils have got rid of those layers. Not by choice I might add but because they had too. The councils that still have these layers will soon loose them, not by choice but by necessity.

  78. Kate

    29th May, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    Rob, you stated early on in this debate that you didn’t really have a clue about the council’s finances. Why not leave it there, eh?

  79. Asellus aquaticus

    29th May, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    So you accept you don’t actually know anything about the situation at Lichfield District Council. You’re just happy to sneer at people losing their jobs on the basis of some vague paranoid notions, and a list of job titles from a different local authority.

    I really don’t think I need post anything else about what I think of you.

  80. John

    29th May, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    It looks like their back. I wonder who remembers a couple of years ago about the Garrick bloodsucking the council dry, what happend to them? I shall tell you. they were blown out of the water because the impact the theatre had to the community.

    Close the garrick tommorow what will happen? I shall tell you
    + local independent hotels touring companies use will loose a mass amount of income and close
    +local printing companies and designers will loose massive income – redundancies
    + The lichfield Garrick youth theatre and youth choir – dead, all that talent gone
    + All of the local jobs the Garrick Employees – On the dole
    + The town centre that is heaving during shows – less income for shops – more closing down sales
    + No Lichfield Garrick productions moving to london – not showing Lichfield has talent – less revenue – less tourism
    + No venue for the tourism office – more money needed to pay for that!
    + South staffs will move its drama facilities becuase it has a massive link with the garrick – bye bye student pound
    + Local people move elsewhere to go to the theatre – less local revenue
    +Most of the lichfield festival events would be without a home

    Do I need to go on? because I will. You are right the Garrick has moved to a charity status and received SIGNIFICANTLY less in grant in comparison – also means if the garrick makes a loss the council does not take than loss on board.

    It’s unfortunate all of you arts haters it really is – only the other day people were campaigning for the opening of the old cinema?!

    Close it tomorrow and see where it leads lichfield – DEAD! why else would people come to lichfield? The garick is growing so much and in the future that will mean less grants is needed. The mousetrap is arriving next year, you look at that tour and its venues – Birmingham hippodrome, Wolverhampton Grand, Stoke Regent. All major touring houses – if they can attract the mousetrap, this shows how much producers are starting to trust the garrick to bring bigger tours and attract even more revenue for the city.

    As for local bands, are you having a giraffe? 1)they offer local bands to go along regularly to play in the green room bar. If you haven’t guessed to you hire the venue – you sell tickets – you make profit. If you can’t fill the spaces then that’s your problem – don’t blame the Garrick.

    I’d love to know any local theatre that offers the variety and adoration towards the community that the garrick does. I can’t and I know a lot of theatres.

    I’d also like to know a theatre that offers local am dram and youth companies the prices they do. Most theatres that house a dram as well as professional tell am dram groups they have to work around the theatres calender, For the Garrick this is different am dram get first dibs, this has always been in the garricks policy.

    Just some of my views – and no I am not an associate of the Garrick – but a regular visitor – who spends the day in Lichfield before going to see a show. If the Garrick closed Myself as well as many others wouldn’t make the journey into Lichfield. Please think before you criticise and as for local councillors getting on the bandwagon – you should know better, it’s a bit worrying when you don’t know how much this theatre brings to the local economy.

  81. Jozef Nakielski

    29th May, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    I said quite early on that it is based on my experiences with NWBC. I may live in Athestone but I’ve experiences of more than one town, I’m well travelled, I’ve worked all over, I’ve dealt with a few councils.
    I doubt that Lichfield is any different. Their attitude to the public may be but I doubt they’re any more streamlined. Sorry if you don’t like my assumptions.

    If they’re nice, helpful polite people then I’m sorry they’re losing their job. But times are harsh and plenty others have been made redundant or took a pay cut that has gotten them into financial trouble. We’re all in the same boat.

  82. Some Bloke

    30th May, 2013 at 12:10 am

    Well, Jozef, with your last comment, you’ve managed to negate everything else you’ve said.
    Can you think more carefully next time you comment, please? Some of the things you’ve had to say about our Council have been very hurtful and upsetting to the Council Workers involved, and their families, who have worked hard, honestly and faithfully to serve their community and are now facing an uncertain future. Maybe you should consider an apology?

  83. Jozef Nakielski

    30th May, 2013 at 12:33 am

    its comments like worked hard, honestly and faithfully to serve their community that make me be so negative. I’ve yet to meet a council worker in area that i’ve had the pleasure of gracing that is hard working, honest or faithful to serve their community. They do a job that they get too well paid for in times of austerity.

  84. Some Bloke

    30th May, 2013 at 12:40 am

    Well, Jozef, I have and I know. So you base your comments on your own admitted ignorance. Fine.

  85. Adam

    30th May, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Why does EVERY thread on here become hijacked by Jozef Nakielski, a man who doesn’t even live in Lichfield?

  86. Ross

    30th May, 2013 at 9:16 am

    A quick note to all commenters: We are aware that this story is going to spark debate (that’s why we ran it after all!), however, given that our comment updates get posted on our social media profiles it’s worth noting that a number of people have become annoyed with the tit-for-tat exchanges that have nothing to do with the issue at hand and more about personal grievances and ‘my dad’s bigger than your dad’ exchanges that are filling their timelines.

    We don’t want to discourage people from questioning, debating and discussing the issues relating to the article, but please note that we do have a set of rules about keeping discussion “civil and healthy” (see the blue link above the comment box). Generally, we don’t like to get too involved in moderating or deleting comments unless they have potential legal issues associated with them. However, we will need to clamp down for the benefit of all if we can’t all play nicely (well, nicer at least).

    Thanks for your understanding on this.

  87. Andy

    30th May, 2013 at 10:31 am

    While I sympathise deeply with staff who will lose jobs this is just the result of the steep spending curve that the previous government put into public services hoping the good times would last forever. In 4 years ago it was private sector companies facing these challenges, the writing has been on the wall for some time for councils and plans should have been well documented. I have sympathy with cash strapped councils but this is reduced every time a government department is asked to reduce costs, take the fire service, reduced demand and workload but more expense and they refuse to look positively or openly at change but just threaten and play politics, teachers, defence, councils, defence especially, we have the 4th highest expenditure in the world on defence by some measures…surely this is not more important than new schools. If the Garrick is targetted it could have been more dynamic with local business in the past, we have plenty of events locally all booking seminar space, I’m attending one in Birmingham next week for which the Garrick would be perfect. Unfortunately this is the real world and tax payers money shouldn’t subsidise theatre tickets for people like me who enjoy the Garrick, nor breast implants on the NHS nor soldiers acting as police in countries miles away. Not when tax payers in both public and private sector are feeling such a squeeze on household budgets.

  88. Jozef Nakielski

    30th May, 2013 at 10:46 am

    I’d put education at the top of the priority list. It is way under funded now. We should have the best education system in the world. Our lives have been ruined by successive governments greed and short term measures, frightened that another party will get any credit or it will look bad on them for spending money on the future. These children are our future, the countries future, the worlds future. In 18 yrs time we could be churning out the worlds brightest. But its not just the brightest that make a difference, the difference runs all the way down through the classes. We will do better in every industry, every profession.

  89. Jozef Nakielski

    30th May, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Ross most of the people on here are Councillors or council workers, and they’re only on here to check people aren’t truthful about them and to give red marks if they are. What you need is some outspoken Joe Bloggs to give a balanced and healthy debate.But that will of course cause complaints from the council and Councillors, frightened that they’re ideas, and delusions of grandeur will be challenged.

  90. Darryl

    30th May, 2013 at 10:54 am

    take the fire service, reduced demand and workload but more expense and they refuse to look positively or openly at change but just threaten and play politics

    I would say it is the government playing politics with the fire service.

    It doesn’t matter whether fire safety means there’s only 1 fire a month, if there’s people trapped in a building I want that fire service on call and ready to respond.

    Retained services are not the same thing.

  91. Ross

    30th May, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Jozef – this is not about who is who etc it’s about the standard of debate and discussion about the issues at Lichfield District Council. We also have defamation laws to consider. We don’t want to stifle debate by pre-moderating comments, but we will do if users don’t respect our site and its rules on the subject.

  92. Alan White

    30th May, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    I am writing this post in response to some of the defamatory comments made by Jozef Nakielski about council staff.

    I am a councillor with Lichfield District Council and Staffordshire County Council. In both authorities I have held a number of posts.

    Many council staff work tremendously hard to deliver local services. Some of the staff are in the frontline day after day, often for little reward. For example, at LDC our refuse collection teams each collect around 1,000 bins a day, five days a week for very modest pay. And at SCC, our care workers are out there looking after profoundly disabled children week in, week out, again for very modest pay.

    Councils across Britain are facing up to the fact that they have to deliver services with less money. The debate to be had is what services we should continue with, and what services we can no longer afford, or can live without. During the debate, council workers are facing a period of uncertainty whilst choices are made, this comes on the back of a 3 year pay freeze.

    As an elected member, I welcome the debate that must be had. But I do not welcome unfounded and snide comments about the council staff.

    I would say to Mr Nakielski that if he has such strongly held views about the way councils are run, then he should put himself up for election. He will not be able to stand for Lichfield District Council because he doesn’t live in the District, but given his obvious level of interest in our affairs I am sure he would want to move into the District soon to make everything right in our world.

  93. Lizzie

    30th May, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Well said by both Ross and Alan white… the debate is about Lichfield district council and its services and staff.
    Jozef you are entitled to your opinions but i urge you to do some research about LDC before passing comment. The issues you have raised are about NWBC and their social housing and treatment of tenants.LDC does not own any housing stock therefore has no tennants or advisoey boards for tennants. Majority of Staff are payed an average wage like any other worker in this country. We do not need to hear the same opinion from you again and again

    And just for the record a growbag on a roof does not equate to a roof garden and i agree with your local council asking you to take it down. Please do not act on the advice of Alan White and move to our district as we do not wish to have people with opinions like yours about good hard working people, representing our council.
    Please let the debate about the article continue

  94. Comment is Free

    30th May, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Stop feeding the trolls!!

  95. Andy

    30th May, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    ‘I would say it is the government playing politics with the fire service.

    It doesn’t matter whether fire safety means there’s only 1 fire a month, if there’s people trapped in a building I want that fire service on call and ready to respond.’

    Daryl are you seriously saying that there is no scope for cost saving in the fire service?? Centralising certain functions in other emergency services has saved a fortune, just look at the appliances, centralised maintenance facilities perhaps combined with other blue light vehicles could save a fortune and increase reliability?

  96. Cllr Steve Norman

    30th May, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    IN DEFENCE OF COUNCIL OFFICERS
    Is this the Jozef who complained about the publicity a Lichfield restaurant got when it scored zero stars for hygiene? Well just to go back to that for a second. I was the Environmental Health Chair in his beloved North Warwickshire and had to close down two or three eating establishments because of the danger to public health. I make no apologies for that or doing the same when I found myself the Chair of Environmental Health in Lichfield in 1995. The restaurant in question, when I checked with officers, had made dramatic improvements following the inspection and that’s what we want don’t we? Environmental Health Officers save lives! The legitimate issue he raised about such reports (and Trip Advisor comments for example) staying in search engines was a good one that made me think and there was a good article on this very subject in last Sunday’s Observer. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of “bad” officers I have tried to work with in the five local authorities I have been elected to in my political life. Councillors are a legitimate target but officers rarely are – despite government ministers and newspaper editors actions.

  97. Jozef Nakielski

    30th May, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    Alan white, If bin men were to be made redundant that be akin to a library staff being made redundant wouldn’t it. They’re services not office staff.

    ‘Please do not act on the advice of Alan White and move to our district as we do not wish to have people with opinions like yours about good hard working people, representing our council.
    Please let the debate about the article continue’
    you mean rather than attacking my opinions.
    I was thinking of moving to the area but you’ve put me off. It was a garden and many local authorities adorn similar roofs that are above shop fronts in towns up and the country as a cheap way of providing planting space for public displays.
    It is this kind of hypocrisy that wastes thousand of pounds of our money on needless red tape and perceived H&S risk enforcment that takes money off needed local services.

    ‘I would say it is the government playing politics with the fire service.

    It doesn’t matter whether fire safety means there’s only 1 fire a month, if there’s people trapped in a building I want that fire service on call and ready to respond.’

    so do I

    “IN DEFENCE OF COUNCIL OFFICERS
    Is this the Jozef who complained about the publicity a Lichfield restaurant got when it scored zero stars for hygiene? Well just to go back to that for a second. I was the Environmental Health Chair in his beloved North Warwickshire and had to close down two or three eating establishments because of the danger to public health. I make no apologies for that or doing the same when I found myself the Chair of Environmental Health in Lichfield in 1995. The restaurant in question, when I checked with officers, had made dramatic improvements following the inspection and that’s what we want don’t we? Environmental Health Officers save lives! The legitimate issue he raised about such reports (and Trip Advisor comments for example) staying in search engines was a good one that made me think and there was a good article on this very subject in last Sunday’s Observer. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of “bad” officers I have tried to work with in the five local authorities I have been elected to in my political life. Councillors are a legitimate target but officers rarely are – despite government ministers and newspaper editors actions.”

    It is what we want and again they provide a much needed and valuable service, but is at as lean as it could be?
    Again I’m very unhappy with NWBC enviromental health, also the planning department. I won’t go into details as has been pointed out its irrelevant to Lichfield. But as you mention NWBC and this specific subject which applies to both councils. I would like to point out today the head of NWBC has written in his column in the newspaper that a certain restaurant that was named specifically was fined and goes on to list the reasons. It will have put many many people off going there for life. regardless of weather he keeps an immaculate restaurant for the rest of his. Naming and shaming is wrong by any other means that the 5 circle sign rating AT THAT TIME. Interesting he also brags about closing a pub down for underage drinking and claims it was a public service down. Elsewhere on Lichfield live we have a discussion about a pub being closed and turned into housing. Whilst stopping underage drinking is a good thing i’d say any council closing a pub by removing its license is certainly not a public service and should be a last resort, not a first and not something to brag about. Its a strange mentality to things that make or break a town. All of which cost money. I urge all council employees and Councillors to look at the long term consequences of knee jerk reactions to the prosperity of town business and thus town trade.

    I think i should bow out of this as there are clearly differences between our two councils. I’ve made my point and I stand by it that the first thing that should be done before any services are cut is to make sure that the offices and management of all services are as lean as possible before cutting front line staff or services.

  98. Sabcat

    30th May, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    Why is you don’t hold the Garrick itself to these standards? It can’t fill the space, it can’t break even let alone make a profit. These uncomfortable facts make a none sense of the rest of you comment – it doesn’t support business in the rest of Lichfield because it’s a failure.

  99. Lucas

    30th May, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    Why doesn’t the government realise the importance of providing outstanding local services? Everything is just a numbers game now and no politician provides a compelling vision for the future of this country.

    I have sympathy for LDC, but when did this ‘public feedback’ thing happen?

  100. suzy

    30th May, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    We are talking about people’s livelihoods here, their mental and physical wellbeing is going to be affected by their redundancy.
    We need people in work to make Lichfield economically sound. It does not make sense to fund anyone from the public purse not to work.
    We need to show these workers support as they have served this community. Many of them are on low wages and public sector workers are not always paid enough to keep them out of tax credit brackets.
    We must remember too, that when there are fewer Council employees, the remainder are not going to be able to provide the same level of service and show those some consideration.
    I would add, I am not and have not been a Council worker.

  101. Gareth Thomas

    30th May, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    Sorry I am an employee of Lichfield District Council. No other business is subjected to the abuse on this thread.

    We are employees of an organisation we are entitled to be treated lawfully. We are entitled to be treated with dignity. We are not political pawns we are human beings. WE live in lichfield. WE pay council tax ourselves, we PAY our taxes. WE contribute more than most to making OUR society a better place to live. WE also have the power to vote.

    District Councillors need to think LONG & HARD about the decisions they make. Understand the long term impact and more importantly understand the implications beyond a spreadsheet.

    Seriously do people understand the true implications beyond a simple spreadsheet? I think not

  102. John

    30th May, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    In reference to the Garrick not been full…have you looked at it’s website? and that doesn’t include the events private companies hold. The garrick is a mixed venue which is largely a touring house – this means the artistic director gets tours to perform in the venue. For those who didn’t know – who don’t know the business and just jump on the bandwagon, the amount of decent touring productions touring the country has dropped. The garrick rightly wants to fill the theater with as much top quality theatre it can, rather than having a event on everyday which is crap. If it did that it would get a bad reputation and well that’s that.

    For those who didn;t know the royal Shakespeare company around 5 years ago was in financial turmoil their debt was humungous and were constantly making a loss, now it’s one of the most successful venues in the country and it key to statfords tourism income. A theatre does not make profit from day one – it won’t do for several years, it has to gain it’s reputation. The garrick produces two productions a year – the christmas show and a studio play. It’s not common sense to know these are risky ventures – althought all of them been sucesful. The christmas show is growing year upon year, and their studio play has twice been transferred to london.

    You say why isn;t the garrick accountable? actually it is. The artistic director is responsible for any decisions at the theatre- and would have to appear in front of the council to explain successes and failures and what needs to improve. If the council isn’t happy – like a football team the artistic director is scrapped. The same will happen now it is a trust – it will appear in front of trustee’s. Meaning the council is obviously pleased with the state of the theatre.

    Eventually – yes again it will take a bit of time, the garrick will attract investment from the arts council and other organisations- as well as increasing revenue themselves. Anyone who takes an intrest in the theatre will know it has extended it’s balcony seats and also is currently building a couple of buisness rooms.

    Here’s a fact the stoke on trent regent theatre – own by a prvate profit making company recieved over £500,000 a year – this goes into a profit making organisation that does little for the community. Now is that right? I would agree if you kicked up uproar about that. But it is not.The local community kicked up uproar when the council was going to give the regent more money but cut the new vic ( local producing theatre) funding all together. Becuase the council like many on here believe the money goes into subsidising theatre tickets.

    Actually you are wrong, the money given especially now it is a grant is to help fund the community and youth and education schemes a theatre does.

    Since the garrick has become a trust do you know its focus? young people and education. This is what a community theatre should do. If that means subsidising young peoples tickets then so be it. It does not pay for subsidy for the general ticket- it contributes towards the running of a theatre.

    that being said if the garrick raised it’s ticket prices to make sure it did break even – well you would see a massive drop in people attending, and again there would be a massive kick off in the local community about being priced out of their own theatre.

  103. Gareth Thomas

    30th May, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    Actually reading the ingnorance on this thread. Lets go pay per service, All go and getyour taxes revoked, go and get a quote for the private sector to collect our bins, and provide the services we do. Please go and get a quote. Yes stop paying council tax and all other taxes and pay as you go. Believe me you will scream blue murder, you will want public services funded. I wish tomorrow we could cancel all services in the public sector and wait to see how long it is before people cry wolf…..

    Jozef you have your views, just like the woolwich offenders, they had there views.

    Its about time people had respect , its about time that politicians take responsibility of their actions. We do

  104. Gareth Thomas

    30th May, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    PS The issues we face is Jack Sh** to do with the Garrick.

  105. Gareth Thomas

    30th May, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    oh and also why is the public sector being punished for what the bankers have done? Why are we being made the escape goats for what the banks have brought upon us?

    Why are we the public sector being abused in this way due to bankers?

    Any one got the balls to justify this?

  106. Cynic

    30th May, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    “A theatre does not make profit from day one – it won’t do for several years, it has to gain it’s reputation” I was not going to post in this section again but could not let that comment go unanswered. You are implying the theatre is fairly new – in one name or another – or positioned as it is or back to front – it has been around for how many decades? How many of those many years has it made a profit ZERO big fat ZERO – £Millions in ZERO out!
    Right now you appear to be saying its ok to PAY for the theatre with 20 persons livelihoods.

  107. Cynic

    30th May, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    “that being said if the garrick raised it’s ticket prices to make sure it did break even – well you would see a massive drop in people attending”
    My point exactly – insufficient people want it badly enough to pay for it so lets force everyone to pay – like it or not!!

  108. John

    30th May, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    10 years it is celebrating this year, they are throwing a gala evening concert the end of june…and guess what It’s sold out! I can’t remember how much tickets were but since it was a gala celebration they were slightly more,

    again it shows the knowledge of people when they think 10 years is old. 10 years is still pretty new considering it has built up from nothing!

    Let’s look at the fact’s again shall we, let’s compare how many sell out events the garrick had in it’s first year of running in comparison, let’s have a look at the success of it’s christmas show in comparison to it’s 1st year. Oh look record breaking. Proof that the garrick is growing.

    It’s not factually correct you pointing out that people don;t want it badley enough. Again i;m going to look at the royal shakespeare company hear. When it was going through it’s financial difficulties according to you everyone should have pulled the plug. Where would stratford be now? well nowhere, that is indeed where. Please look at the fact’s before you assume thing’s. Many people in lichfield don’t use public toilets…yet they have to pay for them and they add nothing to the local economy. A minotiy of people use shop mobility…do you wasn’t to stop that aswell? In times like this people need to look at the bigger picture.

    An independent company published this finding a couple of years ago for every £1 the tax payers gives to the garrick around £3 is given back to the local economy. This is not the garrick’s figures, this is a independent financial accountant. So 1.3 million over the next 2 years… that’s 3.9 million to the local economy. Hmmm

  109. Curious

    30th May, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    Why has this thread been hijacked about the Garrick. People are losing their jobs, services to our community are being cut, Democracy isn’t working (Councillors didn’t know), yet all people are now writing about is the Garrick? Is this all people think LDC does???

  110. Laurence Skermer

    30th May, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    Well,Curious, it’s Cynic’s particular hobby horse – sooner or later all threads are steered in this direction.

  111. Rob

    30th May, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    @Kate:”Rob, you stated early on in this debate that you didn’t really have a clue about the council’s finances. Why not leave it there, eh?”
    I have absolutely no recollection of that statement, perhaps you could link to it?
    NB Hope last night’s unfortunate typo didn’t cause you too much distress.

  112. Rob

    30th May, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    @ Gareth Thomas:
    “oh and also why is the public sector being punished for what the bankers have done? Why are we being made the escape goats for what the banks have brought upon us?

    Why are we the public sector being abused in this way due to bankers?

    Any one got the balls to justify this?”

    Looking like a new variant on Godwin’s Law is well overdue regarding bankers.
    As for goats, masters of escapolgy, as eny fule no.

  113. Lucas

    30th May, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    The article stated that LDC assessed local people’s views, amongst other things, as part of this savings programme. Can somebody actually clarify how and when this happened? I think we deserve an answer.

  114. Andy

    30th May, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    In response to Robs notes….the public sector are not being punished for the banks failings alone…2 things happened. 1 the banks made bad decisions and plunged us into a recession but secondly before that recession the then government rapidly upstepped the spend on public sector in the hope that the good times would last forever, the chancellor promised ‘an end to boom and bust’ which is naive to put it mildly, the laws of economics demand a up and downturns, we were heavily exposed by the level of debt so yes the banking crisis was the catalyst but the strategy prior to this left no contingency for a downturn that simply had to happen. What is sad is that normal people like you and I suffer and a few years ago it was private sector that cut hard and deep with many losing jobs. Both public and private sector employees are so pushed month by month due to the diminishing value of their salaries, we can’t afford to subsidise certain facilities which only give value to a tiny minority of people at the expense of my and your children.
    If that minority is very vulnerable they demand support but if the sacrifice has to be the Garrick or extending collection of bins or similar that inconvenience some then it is a sacrifice that should be considered.
    I have been around public and private sector companies long enough to know there is always scope however to cut costs without it leading to headcount reduction. Take the Garrick, a strong marketing strategy could make it self sufficient. The waste in councils transport spending is usually huge.
    As an owner of a business in Lichfield the council could do so much more to encourage business, were 1hr 20 mins from London, perfectly placed but business rates are punitive for start ups and there is a distinct lack of quality office and small industrial complexes for start ups. Most have to look to Cannock or Tamworth.
    The real shame is that these cuts have been coming for years yet little has been done to make the changes needed to avoid the cost of the cuts being a human one.

  115. Cynic

    30th May, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    Curious “Why has this thread been hijacked about the Garrick. People are losing their jobs, services to our community are being cut” Because one has to make choices – pay the Garrick or sack 20 people!

  116. Cynic

    30th May, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    John”10 years it is celebrating this year” Can you point me to a notice which in effect states the council are demolishing a theatre and building a new one circa 10 yrs ago?

  117. John

    30th May, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    It opened it’s doors 10 years ago. Put it this way if the Garrick makes a loss from one building, think what the loss would be to 2 old buildings that do not save energy, and cost even more to maintain? What would you do then? both of them were fully owned by the council and therefore the loss must be full absorbed for the council. If the garrick makes alot next year it is the garrick trust who will have that debt not the council.

    I also think you will find you will still have to sack many people even if you didn’t pay the garrick. The garrick is supposedly getting 1.3 million over 2 years. 650,000 per year. And that will only remove 650,000 per year for 2 years. Meaning another 650,000 will have to be cut in the budget shortfall for all the future years. The cut wouldn’t be a full time permanent solution.

    This sounds harsh but 20 jobs actually is nothing, yes 20 jobs is 20 jobs. You compare this to other councils across the country, you will find it’s at least double.

    On top of this does anyone realie the Garrick is now leased from the council to the Garrick trust, meaning the Garrick pay the council for the lease? I wounder how much this is per year?

    The council is cutting back leisure centers opening times, why doesn’t it sell it off to a private charity? cannock chase recently did something similar you do schemes like this they will raise the money without cutting jobs. It can be written in contracts about making sure jobs are kept, no profit is made etc.

    Whichever way around it there will be job cuts, whether from the council, or the Garrick – yes it employes local people believe it or not, or by both. As someone has said this is not a debate about the garrick, this is a debate about how the council can renovate so it is fit for purpose.

  118. Cynic

    30th May, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    John So are you now stating it is not ten yrs old?
    “This sounds harsh but 20 jobs actually is nothing” unless it was your job.

    Most people have to prioritise where they spend their money – a fun palace is not top of most peoples list!

  119. John

    31st May, 2013 at 3:25 am

    No I am saying the Lichfield Garrick opened it’s doors 10 years ago. Obviously the building work etc started before that.

    I myself have been told to leave and becuase I was only a casual worker didn’t have the luxury of a lovely redundancy pay out. Crap happens the at the end of the day, you loose a job you have to find one – and yes that can be hard.

    You obviously do not know what the garrick is – yes it is first a foremost a theater, i0t is an educational theatre that believe it or not educates,eployes, assists in teaching young people about enterprise and offers a *hub* to the local community and the first port of call for tourists. If you would get rid of that if you were on the council then good look in attracting investment into the city.

    Many councils across the country tried to target cutting the arts first – pretty much nearly all of them backtracked their decisions. Ofcourse the garrick should not be exemot from cuts, and I am pretty sure it will see a slight cut to it’s annual one off grant from the local council that helps pay for the youth theaters and subisidise for local am dram groups to use the space.

    It does make me question have you visited the garrick? know what it does for the community? because I’m afraid we are going around circles and you’re reply’s simply have already been answered previously.

    If I was artistic director of the garrick – and saw some of the post’sin here I would make sure the garrick broke even by cutting where it hurts, making it what you think it is just a theatre. Telling the youth groups to find somewhere else to perform, tell the am dram groups discounts have been scrapped.Killing the community element of the theatre all together. It seems to be what the minority of people in lichfield want – again I compare the views to that of the good old failed campaign of *the theare that sucked the council dry*. Where did that end up – embarrassed.

    I finish on this…How many more jobs would it costs the council to move it’s tourism office from the Garrick elsewhere? How much would it cost the lichfield festival oruganisers to move elsewhere?

  120. Rob

    31st May, 2013 at 9:01 am

    Andy, I was replying to Gareth.
    You’re preaching to the converted here mate.

  121. Cynic

    31st May, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    “You obviously do not know what the garrick is ” Oh I think I do – for example the theatre has been there for 3 or 4 decades not one. Yes it has had work done on it – but haven’t most of us in that time – look at the description the council supplied when the work was stated to “move the door”.
    Good luck with your job hunting.

  122. John

    31st May, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    There is a reason to a name change, The Lichfield Garrick is not the civic hall. Yes it built and converted around it, but it is not. If it was it would today still be called Lichfield Civic Hall. Many additions were added to make it a theatre including a fly tower. any type of performance centre without a fly tower is destined to fail – the assembly rooms in derby – derby council admit it’s going to have to move eventually as the rooms just aren’t fit for modern theatre. he civic’s reputation was starting to dwindle, interest in the city started to dwindle. Something had to change and it did. And to the good old phrase *move the door* this kind of phrase is a key feature of many successful venues whether it be a shop or a theatre. There was a lot more wrong with the venue than a door. Anyway enough about the history as someone has previously said this should not be just about the Garrick and if you think cutting the Garrick grant you are massively mistaken.