Walsall Council priorities… how they work

Thanks to Walsall Co-operative Labour Councillor for Willenhall north, Gareth Illmann-Walker, I can share the following video with you published discretely by Walsall Council on 8th February 2013.

The video is made my the internal Print and Design team, and explains the ‘Smarter Workplaces’ initiative currently ongoing down at the Civic Centre. This initiative is costing Walsall Council eight million pounds, as stated in the video itself.

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Second in command, Councillor Adrian Andrew, seems a little warm as he explains how great his initiative is. This freeze-frame is at 3:18 in the video, the caption theirs, not mine.

The video is publicly available, but unlisted, meaning it’s not visible to visitors using the Council’s YouTube site, or findable with a search engine.

I can only imagine that the fact that the film is not publicly listed is an oversight, after all, why wouldn’t the burghers want to share this fine news with us all?

For all those shocked by the level of cuts ongoing at Walsall, this is a real slap in the face. They can find £8,000,000 for waterless urinals and follow-me printing, but when it comes to social and public services, including Greenspaces, not so much.

This, of course, in the wake of the great Allowances debacle, out of which nobody escaped unsullied. Councillor Andrew, whose initiative the Smarter Workplaces is, will of course be benefiting from a healthy rise, too. Austerity is too good to share with everyone…

Watch and learn, people.

Nice to see someone in the Labour group getting their teeth into the issues that matter. My gratitude to Gareth for sharing this.

This is scandalous.

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16 Responses to Walsall Council priorities… how they work

  1. stymaster says:

    I’d be very interested to hear if any Walsall MBC employees think that their working conditions have actually improved, or if it’s just a (8 million quid) layer of sheen that they’ve been fed by external consultants. Anonymous comments welcome :-).

  2. Walsall Observer says:

    Obviously the Labour Party in Walsall are against improving the working environment for the people who work for the Authority it is a pity they dont get so animated about some real issues in the town and for the employees oh and BTW most of us think the working environment is much better despite having to move around a couple of times.

    • I’m sure It was worth every penny, and everyone suffering at the hands of Social Care cuts, or who have lost their jobs will join me in saluting your wonderful new conditions.

      Churls, the lot of ’em.

    • Amazing spending says:

      And how many have moved out permanently due to this £8million being spent on desks with no drawers. They have the same environment as desks on the ‘customer’ side of the job centre have no drawers either. Any why is the emplyee who led this project leaving. Hardly a vote of confidence is it?

    • I think you’ll find that most of us ‘honestly’ see this as another one of those stupid ill thought out schemes that doesn’t really work, implemented by people who have no idea of the day to day working requirements of an extremely diverse workforce, one size does not fit all. £8m is a ridiculous amount of unnecessary spend on frippery when people are losing their jobs and important services are being cut.

  3. Wondrous says:


    The WMBC employee who drove this forward is so convinced of it that he is leaving. See last line of the above link report

  4. Andy Dennis says:

    More generally, and as I know most of the people “interviewed”, perhaps the most revealing thing is the people who were not interviewed. In the video itself most of the air time is given to managers or secretaries, with two stages of people who actually do things. In the “before” stage there are several staff who express apprehensions about, for example, using large sheets of paper (maps and plans) and storage, but these are not re-interviewed in the “after” stage to see whether their concerns were well-founded or not. Of the people interviewed in the “after” stage the majority seem to be saying they don’t like it, which is consistent with the off-the-record comments I have heard.

    The office accommodation was definitely in need of modernisation and restructuring and in the long term it probably will save money as suggested, but is so sterile a workplace conducive to the kind of creative thinking necessary to deliver responsive public services? Or does thinking now have to be kept inside the box to avoid contamination from the real world?

  5. Pedro says:

    If it sounds too good to be true…

    8 million quid in order to “release annual savings of at least £68 million by 2014/15, while safeguarding priority front-line services and improving customer service.”


  6. Rob says:

    Anyone reading this could easily conclude that this level of waste by Walsall council is exceptional for local government.
    Right, about these “savage” cuts…………….

  7. interested says:

    Doing wonders for the parking situation around The Butts ay it?
    Cram em all into one small area and charge them 40 quid a month for the priviledge … Works out to yet another pay cut bless them…

  8. Lynn Fellows says:

    Make sure Walsall council when consulting residents that you consult those paying council tax and not those receiving handouts.

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