Why did Wirral Council pay £700.43 for a private company to check when a fire alarm went off at Irby Library?
Above are a couple of invoices from Dante Group to Wirral Council. Of course on the Dante theme, Wirral Council has its own version of the nine circles of hell in Dante’s Inferno.
Limbo is the circle that whistleblowers are sent to, lust has already been covered by the more tabloid leaning Wirral Leaks, gluttony (some politicians have fallen into this trap and it’s a shame unlike the House of Commons they don’t have to get up and stretch their legs when voting), greed is too massive a topic to go into in detail, anger (again too many examples of politicians losing their temper), heresy seems to be the circle of hell politicians fall into when somebody disagrees with them, thankfully Wirral Council is not in control of the Armed Forces so violence is rare, but allegations of fraud (which whistleblowers repeat until they’re blue in the face) still ring in the ears of those who have given up listening and of course the ninth circle of hell is one that’s wrapped up in the tapestry of Wirral’s politics treachery.
However back to the invoices (the thumbnails above link to more readable versions), the first is for one of the two most sensitive issues in Wirral’s politics that begin with l which is libraries (the other being Lyndale).
I explained to a colleague (not hard to work out who) that this invoice was for being called out to Irby Library because a fire alarm was beeping and asked her to guess how much is was for. As readers of this blog may already know Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service since 2012 don’t attend non domestic premises when an Automatic Fire Alarm goes off.
So on the 28th July 2014, Wirral Council asked Dante Group to attend Irby Library. According to something scribbled on the invoice it states "mess left (something undecipherable) by library staff Sat 26".
The public are being told that public sector bodies have no choice but to outsource to the private sector because it’s cheaper. Wirral has what used to be called the Community Patrol (before enforcement of littering got outsourced to Kingdom Security earlier this year and I think what’s left is now called the Corporate and Community Safety Team). Part of the role of the Community Patrol was to keep an eye on Wirral Council’s buildings and land.
If it was still dealt with in-house and if the Community Patrol took the long way round to Irby library, spent the whole day there and sent a team of three to investigate (along with meal expenses) I’m sure the costs wouldn’t never be as high as £700.43.
However that’s what Dante charged Wirral Council for the call out.
The other invoice for £671.33 is for fitting 1 x 8W emergency lighting tube and 4 emergency light fittings at Wallasey Town Hall and 4 12 volt batteries. Surprisingly (despite the parts) the invoice comes to £671.33 (less than the call out to Irby Library).
So if Wirral Council are paying out £700.43 each time the fire alarm goes off in a library, can they really honestly say the reason they have reduced library hours (which no doubt has led to more expensive invoices as it’s increased the hours each week libraries are closed) is because of lack of money?
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