I didn't intend to mention the EU again this week, in fact I felt a good deal lighter having got all it all of my chest.
You will therefore imagine just how surprised I was when it was announced it work this afternoon that there is to be a change in the way we get our council handout. It's all got very exciting the Scottish Government have ordered the council to offer contracts for various services and get all the charities and private companies competing with each other. I have no idea whether this in itself is a good idea or not. As the council are actually foolish enough to believe the statistics we submit I very much doubt this change will do anything at all for service quality.
What I did imagine it would do is cut costs. Ha Ha Ha Ha! Unfortunately the whole process must conform to EU rules. Naturally the management have looked at these and quickly become baffled. I had a quick peek and swiftly concluded that this was a job for the professionals -a rare moment of agreement between me and my manager.
As far as I can make out in order for the council to get value for money they are having to provide additional financial assistance to various charities so that someone can help them put in money saving bids. In other words money is being taken out of one budget and hidden in another. This is in addition to the full time member of staff we have who actually understands how lottery and charity funding works paid for by the council to allow us to seek alternative funding sources so that we would be less reliant on the council. Oh and the staff member the council paid for to help record the statistical reports required to see if we're worth funding or not.
Every time they change the funding structure another five pointless jobs are created. Given that the charity I work for does work which is currently the responsibility of the council -hence why we get a share of the saved council staffing costs. Would it not be easier and cheaper just to hand over the cash and let us get on with it. Or am I over simplifying things?
If I were in charge I'd tell them to shove it and raise the money through jumble sales, donations and sponsored things. An individual begging on the streets might feel demeaned but an organisation wasting its time and energy begging on forms for a measly £40,000* is pitiful.
*Plus the further £40,000 required to pay folk to record statistics and apply for grants. I'd imagine the EU funding consultant could trouser at the very least £25,000. If they'd just given us the £40,000 we wanted in the first place they could have saved at least £65,000 finding out if we were worth it.