Councils use tax payers’ money for Union Activities

 

Make it illegal for councils and other public bodies to use tax payers' money for Union Activities

See "Taxpayers spend millions paying for trade union activities" at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/7981717/Taxpayers-spend-millions-paying-for-trade-union-activities.html

Here are a few extracts:

Millions of pounds of taxpayers' money is being used by public bodies to pay the salaries of trade union officials, an investigation by The Sunday Telegraph has found.

Local authorities across the country are allowing hundreds of their employees to devote all or part of their working week to union, rather than council, duties – while their salaries are paid from public funds.

A survey of 77 English councils by this newspaper found that they spent around £11 million last year on the salaries of individuals who were employed by the councils, but in fact spent their time on trade union duties. [Apparently the actual figure is believed to be far higher.]

The Town Hall payments are made under local agreements struck between each council and the unions that are represented among its workforce.

In some cases, council officials who are also union representatives are paid by the council to work full time for the union. In other cases, councils allow members of their staff to spend a proportion of their working week on union matters, while continuing to pay their full salaries from council funds.

Among the findings of the survey were that: a full-time representative of the Unison union is paid £52,000 a year by Enfield council, while a full-time GMB official at Tower Hamlets is paid £58,106 a year by the council.  The Town Hall payments are made under local agreements struck between each council and the unions that are represented among its workforce.

[Apparently companies like the BBC are equally misusing taxpayers' funds.]

A spokesman for the Local Government Association, which represents councils, said: "The law says that employers have to give staff reasonable time for union duties. It helps ensure good industrial relations."

 

Why is this idea important?

 

Make it illegal for councils and other public bodies to use tax payers' money for Union Activities

See "Taxpayers spend millions paying for trade union activities" at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/7981717/Taxpayers-spend-millions-paying-for-trade-union-activities.html

Here are a few extracts:

Millions of pounds of taxpayers' money is being used by public bodies to pay the salaries of trade union officials, an investigation by The Sunday Telegraph has found.

Local authorities across the country are allowing hundreds of their employees to devote all or part of their working week to union, rather than council, duties – while their salaries are paid from public funds.

A survey of 77 English councils by this newspaper found that they spent around £11 million last year on the salaries of individuals who were employed by the councils, but in fact spent their time on trade union duties. [Apparently the actual figure is believed to be far higher.]

The Town Hall payments are made under local agreements struck between each council and the unions that are represented among its workforce.

In some cases, council officials who are also union representatives are paid by the council to work full time for the union. In other cases, councils allow members of their staff to spend a proportion of their working week on union matters, while continuing to pay their full salaries from council funds.

Among the findings of the survey were that: a full-time representative of the Unison union is paid £52,000 a year by Enfield council, while a full-time GMB official at Tower Hamlets is paid £58,106 a year by the council.  The Town Hall payments are made under local agreements struck between each council and the unions that are represented among its workforce.

[Apparently companies like the BBC are equally misusing taxpayers' funds.]

A spokesman for the Local Government Association, which represents councils, said: "The law says that employers have to give staff reasonable time for union duties. It helps ensure good industrial relations."

 

Stop funding “Faith” schools from our taxes

Religions exist to create "communities" who follow arbitrary laws just to stay "one of us". They are divisive in society, because they contradict each other, and encourage ignorance of proven facts such as evolution, or even violence against those not in their "community", or obeying their invented rules.

At least a third of all families now ask for a non-religious funeral when people they love die. When taxes are needed for public services for everyone, please will you insist that any "community" wanting a "faith" school pays for it themseves?

Thank you.

Why is this idea important?

Religions exist to create "communities" who follow arbitrary laws just to stay "one of us". They are divisive in society, because they contradict each other, and encourage ignorance of proven facts such as evolution, or even violence against those not in their "community", or obeying their invented rules.

At least a third of all families now ask for a non-religious funeral when people they love die. When taxes are needed for public services for everyone, please will you insist that any "community" wanting a "faith" school pays for it themseves?

Thank you.

Repeal all funding to ‘charities’ who lobby (ASH in particular)

Before it's suggested that this idea would be better placed on the spending challenge website, I believe it's essential that it's debated openly on this site – as it relates specifically to democracy and freedom.

 

To quote the website: Rules in society create good law and order. But too many nannying, unnecessary rules restrict freedom and make criminals out of ordinary people.

 

I'd therefore suggest that this idea sits best on this forum, as funding groups with public money, who then lobby politicians is restricting freedoms and making criminals of ordinary people.

Both areas that this site is specifically set up to combat.

 

Additionally, providing funding to these kind of groups is undemocratic – they aren't elected, and serve their own mandate. (ASH receives funding from the Department of Health).

 

To quote from an article written by them: It is essential that campaigners create the impression of inevitable success. Campaigning of this kind is literally a confidence trick: the appearance of confidence both creates confidence and demoralises the opposition. The week before the free vote we made sure the government got the message that we "knew" we were going to win and it would be better for them to be on the winning side.

 

The full article can be read here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2006/jul/19/health.healthandwellbeing

 

Not content with admitted confidence tricks, they also try to create the impression that any suggestion of compromise with the current smoking ban is being orchestrated by the tobacco industry – thus trying to undermine the legitimate debate and voice of smokers everywhere. See http://www.cieh.org/ehn/ehn3.aspx?id=31820 and another idea on this site http://yourfreedom.hmg.gov.uk/repealing-unnecessary-laws/time-to-review-the-libel-laws

 

I therefore submit that this idea fits perfectly with 'freedom' in a democratic country, as any unelected group having political sway should be closely examined.

Why is this idea important?

Before it's suggested that this idea would be better placed on the spending challenge website, I believe it's essential that it's debated openly on this site – as it relates specifically to democracy and freedom.

 

To quote the website: Rules in society create good law and order. But too many nannying, unnecessary rules restrict freedom and make criminals out of ordinary people.

 

I'd therefore suggest that this idea sits best on this forum, as funding groups with public money, who then lobby politicians is restricting freedoms and making criminals of ordinary people.

Both areas that this site is specifically set up to combat.

 

Additionally, providing funding to these kind of groups is undemocratic – they aren't elected, and serve their own mandate. (ASH receives funding from the Department of Health).

 

To quote from an article written by them: It is essential that campaigners create the impression of inevitable success. Campaigning of this kind is literally a confidence trick: the appearance of confidence both creates confidence and demoralises the opposition. The week before the free vote we made sure the government got the message that we "knew" we were going to win and it would be better for them to be on the winning side.

 

The full article can be read here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2006/jul/19/health.healthandwellbeing

 

Not content with admitted confidence tricks, they also try to create the impression that any suggestion of compromise with the current smoking ban is being orchestrated by the tobacco industry – thus trying to undermine the legitimate debate and voice of smokers everywhere. See http://www.cieh.org/ehn/ehn3.aspx?id=31820 and another idea on this site http://yourfreedom.hmg.gov.uk/repealing-unnecessary-laws/time-to-review-the-libel-laws

 

I therefore submit that this idea fits perfectly with 'freedom' in a democratic country, as any unelected group having political sway should be closely examined.

Abolish student loans

Student loans are a curse that gets students of all ages into debt, on the supposition that they will be able to get a job afterwords to repay the loan, which either may not exist, or may not pay half as much as they expected, and thus leave them in a serious long term debt problem.

The culture of personal debt, which benefits only the banks, who suck on the public like leeches, must end, except in the case of essential major purchases like a home and possibly a car.

Banks instead should be lending to (mainly in the form of credit agreements) to businesses, and not funding mass higher education, which except in the case of certan professional jobs like medicine (and I mean DOCTORS, not NURSES) nobody needs, to say nothing of the ridiculous number of ever high and mostly meaningless degrees like Masters and so on, which numerous people are now feeling obliged to take to distinguish themselves from the glut of people with first degree, should shouldn't actually have one in the first place because it neither represents any truly useful knowledge, nor does society need them toi have it.

What we need is people who can DO THEIR JOBS PROPERLY, regardless of whether they have a degree or not, and most jobs can be done by ON THE JOB TRAINING given to suitable candidates tested for aptitude and chosen at the discretion of the employer.

 

 

 

Why is this idea important?

Student loans are a curse that gets students of all ages into debt, on the supposition that they will be able to get a job afterwords to repay the loan, which either may not exist, or may not pay half as much as they expected, and thus leave them in a serious long term debt problem.

The culture of personal debt, which benefits only the banks, who suck on the public like leeches, must end, except in the case of essential major purchases like a home and possibly a car.

Banks instead should be lending to (mainly in the form of credit agreements) to businesses, and not funding mass higher education, which except in the case of certan professional jobs like medicine (and I mean DOCTORS, not NURSES) nobody needs, to say nothing of the ridiculous number of ever high and mostly meaningless degrees like Masters and so on, which numerous people are now feeling obliged to take to distinguish themselves from the glut of people with first degree, should shouldn't actually have one in the first place because it neither represents any truly useful knowledge, nor does society need them toi have it.

What we need is people who can DO THEIR JOBS PROPERLY, regardless of whether they have a degree or not, and most jobs can be done by ON THE JOB TRAINING given to suitable candidates tested for aptitude and chosen at the discretion of the employer.

 

 

 

Review the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008

Review and revise the HFEA to end research on embryonic stem cells, which has produced NO feasible treatments for any diseases. Re-focus the money on adult and umbilical cord stem cell research, which has already produced promising treatments for leukemia, Crohn's Disease, heart disease, with other treatments in the pipeline.

I'm not suggesting the government has to say that an embryo has a complete set of human rights, but the government must at least acknowledge that there are many people, both religious people, medical ethicists and philosophers, who are deeply uncomfortable with the idea that an embryo is created with the specific purpose of being destroyed in research.

Proposed European legislation to change the rules on medical testing may make embryonic testing even more common, and it is necessary that we legislate now to prevent this further attack on the integrity of human life at its' origin.

Why is this idea important?

Review and revise the HFEA to end research on embryonic stem cells, which has produced NO feasible treatments for any diseases. Re-focus the money on adult and umbilical cord stem cell research, which has already produced promising treatments for leukemia, Crohn's Disease, heart disease, with other treatments in the pipeline.

I'm not suggesting the government has to say that an embryo has a complete set of human rights, but the government must at least acknowledge that there are many people, both religious people, medical ethicists and philosophers, who are deeply uncomfortable with the idea that an embryo is created with the specific purpose of being destroyed in research.

Proposed European legislation to change the rules on medical testing may make embryonic testing even more common, and it is necessary that we legislate now to prevent this further attack on the integrity of human life at its' origin.

Make police forces share expensive resources

Cleveland  police force has this year bought its own helicopter because they could not agree with the other two forces locally that had previously shared one. This seems like a complete waste of resources and puts up the demands on Council Tax, in our area we have the 2nd or 3rd highest CT in England. It

Why is this idea important?

Cleveland  police force has this year bought its own helicopter because they could not agree with the other two forces locally that had previously shared one. This seems like a complete waste of resources and puts up the demands on Council Tax, in our area we have the 2nd or 3rd highest CT in England. It

LIMIT FUNDING OF THE EUROPEAN UNION

The UK government is looking to reduce the costs of our public services.  Private companies and individuals have had to make significant cost savings.  However the EU continues to increase its spending despite the cost saving measures having to be implemented by the member countries.

The UK government should advise the EU that, in line with it's own cost saving measures, the UK contribution to it will be reduced by 20% in the current year.

Also advise them that unless and until it produces transparent audited accounts then contributions in future years will not be increased.

Why is this idea important?

The UK government is looking to reduce the costs of our public services.  Private companies and individuals have had to make significant cost savings.  However the EU continues to increase its spending despite the cost saving measures having to be implemented by the member countries.

The UK government should advise the EU that, in line with it's own cost saving measures, the UK contribution to it will be reduced by 20% in the current year.

Also advise them that unless and until it produces transparent audited accounts then contributions in future years will not be increased.

Loss of schools improvment funding

 




Now that a lot of funding for school improvements has been pulled, why not offer the major banks the opportunity to sponsor schools, with the option to supply financial education (similar to Nat West Adverts) to their sponsored schools, this would give the banks a chance to promote their bank and a chance for some much needed money to help with improvements in the schools.   As the banks have caused a lot of the problems, this is an opportunity to give something back, with financial education and school improvements

Why is this idea important?

 




Now that a lot of funding for school improvements has been pulled, why not offer the major banks the opportunity to sponsor schools, with the option to supply financial education (similar to Nat West Adverts) to their sponsored schools, this would give the banks a chance to promote their bank and a chance for some much needed money to help with improvements in the schools.   As the banks have caused a lot of the problems, this is an opportunity to give something back, with financial education and school improvements

Raise taxes to fight wars or don’t fight them

If a government decides to war, and that war comes to a vote in Parliament, that vote would have to include a measure to increase taxes to fund the war. Perhaps add a penny to the basic rate of income tax if they wanted war.

Why is this idea important?

If a government decides to war, and that war comes to a vote in Parliament, that vote would have to include a measure to increase taxes to fund the war. Perhaps add a penny to the basic rate of income tax if they wanted war.

repeal the barnet formula

Stop the law that give inapropriate amounts to England Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland – Scotland wants indepenance then let them have it without the unnessary funds that come per head from central government  

This law is so out of date and we the English come off the worst – whilst Scotland and Wales get to make laws on Health like no Home care charges and prescriptions we have to pay for everything! and give them a greater proportion per head of the funds.

Why is this idea important?

Stop the law that give inapropriate amounts to England Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland – Scotland wants indepenance then let them have it without the unnessary funds that come per head from central government  

This law is so out of date and we the English come off the worst – whilst Scotland and Wales get to make laws on Health like no Home care charges and prescriptions we have to pay for everything! and give them a greater proportion per head of the funds.

ELQ policy should be reversed

The policy to remove support for HE students in England studying for Qualifications at Equivalent or Lower level than their highest current qualification needs reversing, especially for part-time students. The policy has been introduced gradually over the last few years and means that people who need to retrain, by obtaining an HE qualification in a new area, when they already have a degree in another, have to pay international student level fees, making it prohibitive for a great many to do so.

Why is this idea important?

The policy to remove support for HE students in England studying for Qualifications at Equivalent or Lower level than their highest current qualification needs reversing, especially for part-time students. The policy has been introduced gradually over the last few years and means that people who need to retrain, by obtaining an HE qualification in a new area, when they already have a degree in another, have to pay international student level fees, making it prohibitive for a great many to do so.

Third Sector Funding

Ensure that Pubic Sector funding to Third Sector organisations is paid up-front rather than in arrears. A large number of Third Sector organisations experience serious cashflow problems when their Public Sector funding is paid either monthly, quarterly (or sometimes even longer in arrears). After all, when making any purchase or paying for any service we normally expect to pay for it at the time rather than months later. Why should funding given to purchase Third Sector organisations services be treated any differently?

Why is this idea important?

Ensure that Pubic Sector funding to Third Sector organisations is paid up-front rather than in arrears. A large number of Third Sector organisations experience serious cashflow problems when their Public Sector funding is paid either monthly, quarterly (or sometimes even longer in arrears). After all, when making any purchase or paying for any service we normally expect to pay for it at the time rather than months later. Why should funding given to purchase Third Sector organisations services be treated any differently?

Stop focusing specifically on the ‘obesity crisis’

Yes, Britain is fat. Yes, we need to have healthy eating regimes and programmes for excersise for our children so that in the future, heart disease and all manner of other ailments can be reduced. Yes, the public need to be aware of what constitutes an unsafe diet and how to incorporate activity on a day to day basis so that we can all remain ticking over nicely.

 

However, there are many other eating disorders out there that also affect millions and millions of people all over the UK. Anorexia and Bulimia are some of the most prevelant eating disorders in society today and most of the time, we have no idea that they are happening. Anorexia kills on average, 10% of all sufferers and can leave others with irreversable organ damage, osteoporosis and infertility.
From personal experience, I have met more people at my college suffering from either of these disoders than I have met overweight induviduals. I understand that this is only one specific place, but I find this emphasises the problem to see that there are more young people wanting to starve themselves than there are people binge eating purely at my institution. What does that say about the rest of the UK?

I think there should be much more awareness at present about these disorders, considering they affect 1.1 million young people a year . Males and females alike are bombarded by rediculous advertising images of 'perfect' models pretty much dictating how they should look. Newspapers and magazines are filled with fad celebrity diet plans and lists of who appears fat or not. I think it's disgusting.

So, to summarise – Keep awareness high on the obesity crisis, BUT also include other disorders on the same level. Binge eating itself is disordered and I think these should all be grouped together so that we can determine what is safe to do about the situations we are faced with. 

Having suffered from Anorexia myself, there was a disgusting lack of available help in my area and after being passed from place to place, I'm left feeling demotivated and unwilling to try and recover. I WANT to, but the help just isn't there. If the government need a place to spend their money, I feel this is one thing that would help millions of young people UK wide if it was put into place. 

Why is this idea important?

Yes, Britain is fat. Yes, we need to have healthy eating regimes and programmes for excersise for our children so that in the future, heart disease and all manner of other ailments can be reduced. Yes, the public need to be aware of what constitutes an unsafe diet and how to incorporate activity on a day to day basis so that we can all remain ticking over nicely.

 

However, there are many other eating disorders out there that also affect millions and millions of people all over the UK. Anorexia and Bulimia are some of the most prevelant eating disorders in society today and most of the time, we have no idea that they are happening. Anorexia kills on average, 10% of all sufferers and can leave others with irreversable organ damage, osteoporosis and infertility.
From personal experience, I have met more people at my college suffering from either of these disoders than I have met overweight induviduals. I understand that this is only one specific place, but I find this emphasises the problem to see that there are more young people wanting to starve themselves than there are people binge eating purely at my institution. What does that say about the rest of the UK?

I think there should be much more awareness at present about these disorders, considering they affect 1.1 million young people a year . Males and females alike are bombarded by rediculous advertising images of 'perfect' models pretty much dictating how they should look. Newspapers and magazines are filled with fad celebrity diet plans and lists of who appears fat or not. I think it's disgusting.

So, to summarise – Keep awareness high on the obesity crisis, BUT also include other disorders on the same level. Binge eating itself is disordered and I think these should all be grouped together so that we can determine what is safe to do about the situations we are faced with. 

Having suffered from Anorexia myself, there was a disgusting lack of available help in my area and after being passed from place to place, I'm left feeling demotivated and unwilling to try and recover. I WANT to, but the help just isn't there. If the government need a place to spend their money, I feel this is one thing that would help millions of young people UK wide if it was put into place. 

Give state schools freedom to charge fees

Our schools are underfunded and the public sector cuts are going to make things worse. The rules stopping them charging fees are unnecessary and hold down the aspirations of millions of families to give their children the best start in life.

If schools were allowed to charge means tested, top-up fees in the same way as universities, capped at (for example) £3,000, with financial assistance for those who cannot afford them, this would be a huge boost to their funding and greatly improve the quality of school education in Britain.

Why is this idea important?

Our schools are underfunded and the public sector cuts are going to make things worse. The rules stopping them charging fees are unnecessary and hold down the aspirations of millions of families to give their children the best start in life.

If schools were allowed to charge means tested, top-up fees in the same way as universities, capped at (for example) £3,000, with financial assistance for those who cannot afford them, this would be a huge boost to their funding and greatly improve the quality of school education in Britain.

small business rate relief and micro companies

The rating sysyem on small industrial premises where most small business operate is disproportionate to the revenue that these companies make. Currently there are only two provisions in the system either you own a small business defines as having a turnover of, I think a million or less and large business as having a turnover exceeding this amount. How about emerging micro companies. I myself have a micro company operating making small boats for the uk market our turnover is less than £175,000. However I pay rates the same as a company doing almost 6 times the turnover. I propose that micro companies in manufacturing should get a quarterly sliding scale of rates defined from the profits made and not set down as a fixed monthly figure which sometimes is not achievable on a monthly basis to pay. I have only 2 full time workers and 2 part time. I am doing what I can take drive the business forward but realistically, a sliding scale set within the current system would ensure that the business could grow much more quickly and not have the headache of facing court enforced payments when things are slow. This would also save money on courts and other areas..  I am fairly sure no one will even read this but who knows.. Best regards Jonathan www.jrsmarine.com

Why is this idea important?

The rating sysyem on small industrial premises where most small business operate is disproportionate to the revenue that these companies make. Currently there are only two provisions in the system either you own a small business defines as having a turnover of, I think a million or less and large business as having a turnover exceeding this amount. How about emerging micro companies. I myself have a micro company operating making small boats for the uk market our turnover is less than £175,000. However I pay rates the same as a company doing almost 6 times the turnover. I propose that micro companies in manufacturing should get a quarterly sliding scale of rates defined from the profits made and not set down as a fixed monthly figure which sometimes is not achievable on a monthly basis to pay. I have only 2 full time workers and 2 part time. I am doing what I can take drive the business forward but realistically, a sliding scale set within the current system would ensure that the business could grow much more quickly and not have the headache of facing court enforced payments when things are slow. This would also save money on courts and other areas..  I am fairly sure no one will even read this but who knows.. Best regards Jonathan www.jrsmarine.com

Party Funding

No political party should receive funding donations in excess of £50 from any individual or organisation. Parties could be funded by a grant from the state, based on the number of MPs they had in the last parliament and by charging (reasonable) membership subscriptions.

We should all have an equal right and fair chance to be elected.

Why is this idea important?

No political party should receive funding donations in excess of £50 from any individual or organisation. Parties could be funded by a grant from the state, based on the number of MPs they had in the last parliament and by charging (reasonable) membership subscriptions.

We should all have an equal right and fair chance to be elected.

Stop public funding for schools that discriminate children based on religion

Nearly all church schools in England openly discriminate (based on religion) in the admissions process. Yet, most are publicly funded. This creates strange and complex problems (postcode lottery?) for people of all religions as well as for those that don't practice religion at all. In the case of my family, we are paying taxes through the roof but don't have access to local schools as most other people do. I had a hard time explaining to my kid that he can't go to the local school where all his mates go despite his top grades.

This is a complete outrage and goes against everything a 21st century european country should be.

 

Schools should be given the choice of either stopping discrimination or losing public funding.

Why is this idea important?

Nearly all church schools in England openly discriminate (based on religion) in the admissions process. Yet, most are publicly funded. This creates strange and complex problems (postcode lottery?) for people of all religions as well as for those that don't practice religion at all. In the case of my family, we are paying taxes through the roof but don't have access to local schools as most other people do. I had a hard time explaining to my kid that he can't go to the local school where all his mates go despite his top grades.

This is a complete outrage and goes against everything a 21st century european country should be.

 

Schools should be given the choice of either stopping discrimination or losing public funding.