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#1005558 - 29th Mar 2016 10:54pm Retired council staff told to hand back gifts.
j_demo Offline
Forum Addict

Registered: 4th Nov 2011
Posts: 1880
Loc: Wallasey/New Brighton
Wirral Council staff told to hand back lifetime leisure passes - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-35919420

The tl;dr is basically - in order to save money, anyone who had over 25 years service and who opted for a lifetime leisure pass instead of vouchers or cash upon retiring has been told to hand back their pass as part of a money-saving thing.

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#1005560 - 29th Mar 2016 11:18pm Re: Retired council staff told to hand back gifts. [Re: j_demo]
hagar Offline
Member

Registered: 8th Jan 2015
Posts: 73
Loc: wallasey
About par for the course for this farce council & why do they still have 5 shift managers @ woodchurch leisure centre when all smaller centres only have 3? & how did 6 people who worked @ one leisure centre all become managers within 2 years?

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#1005564 - 29th Mar 2016 11:58pm Re: Retired council staff told to hand back gifts. [Re: j_demo]
ludwigvan Offline
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Registered: 6th Jan 2010
Posts: 1129
Loc: Middle Earth
Quite right Hagar, promotion in the Corpy's leisure service has always been a case of whether your face fits and whose buttocks you have osculated. Do you remember a certain Phil Nipples? Membership of his coterie almost guaranteed promotion. Never in the History of Corpy nepotism have so many dim people owed so much to so few.

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#1005565 - 30th Mar 2016 12:22am Re: Retired council staff told to hand back gifts. [Re: j_demo]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 10273
Loc: Birkenhead
While morally I agree that this is completely unfair, it does raise some questions.

Was this retirement gift a contractual obligation, if so I don't see how it can be withdrawn.

If it wasn't a contractual obligation, what the hell are the council doing handing out gifts of this scale to people using OUR money?
_________________________
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

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#1005566 - 30th Mar 2016 12:23am Re: Retired council staff told to hand back gifts. [Re: j_demo]
granny Offline

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Registered: 29th Jun 2011
Posts: 14434
Loc: Wirral
It doesn't make sense. They are hoping to 'save' in excess of £500,000 by removing free passes for 400 former employees. I assume those figures are against all 400 using the facilities. I bet half of them have kicked the bucket and another half of the half, don't use them anyway.

The council can't save, what they haven't spent !

On those figures, and I assume they are talking about £500,000 over a twelve month period, which would mean that every one of the 400 users would be using the equivalent of £24 per week. Does that seem real ? NO ,it doesn't ! More eye wash, bad accounting or wishful thinking. How much is an 'Invigor8 Pass' each month, about £35 x 400 x 12 ?

Answers on a postcard please.
_________________________
Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.
~Chief Seattle

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#1005567 - 30th Mar 2016 12:36am Re: Retired council staff told to hand back gifts. [Re: j_demo]
diggingdeeper Offline

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Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 10273
Loc: Birkenhead
I think you've hit the nail on the head granny - maybe the council have to pay invigor8 for these free-passes, whether they are used or not, because they have been issued.

The £500,000 does include other cuts such over 65 and under 18 concessions.
_________________________
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

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#1005568 - 30th Mar 2016 12:41am Re: Retired council staff told to hand back gifts. [Re: ludwigvan]
Capt_America Offline
Forum Addict

Registered: 26th Jul 2008
Posts: 1503
Loc: Wallasey
Former employee calls them 'morally bankrupt', local councillor asks 'how does this save money’? I've lost my ability to be surprised by how low this mob & its leadership will stoop to try & save themselves. Mark my words, this has the stamp of the person who wrote a business plan based on 100% occupancy of 5-a-side pitches at the Oval smeared all over it.

Never a truer word said than the phrase ‘if your face fits’.

The so called £500,000 saving is actually an income improvement target. I suppose they think that all ex-employees with a passport for life will be so grateful it's been taken away they will swarm to join the Invigor8 gym membership. ‘Morally bankrupt’? No, delusional in the most intrinsic sense of the word.
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#1005569 - 30th Mar 2016 12:41am Re: Retired council staff told to hand back gifts. [Re: j_demo]
ludwigvan Offline
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Registered: 6th Jan 2010
Posts: 1129
Loc: Middle Earth
I wouldn't worry too much D.D. Very few council workers who have worked 25 years have either the will or the capability to make use of a free leisure pass. They should just feel a deep sense of gratitude to the people of Wirral who have paid their wages and crawl away tugging their forelocks ever so 'umbly.

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#1005570 - 30th Mar 2016 12:57am Re: Retired council staff told to hand back gifts. [Re: diggingdeeper]
Capt_America Offline
Forum Addict

Registered: 26th Jul 2008
Posts: 1503
Loc: Wallasey
Originally Posted By: diggingdeeper


If it wasn't a contractual obligation, what the hell are the council doing handing out gifts of this scale to people using OUR money?


It's not 'OUR money'. The passes cost nothing other than the paper they are printed on. It is an alternative to cash or high street vouchers as a retirement gift only given out for long service. It costs nothing for the pass to be used. No money changes hands and it costs the Council absolutely nothing. For people who have retired after long and sterling service this is a kick in the teeth. I’m only surprised they haven’t asked for the high street vouchers back.

Lets not forget they are axing free swimming for pensioners as well. This is a massive blow to the health benefits it generates. It cost them NOTHING to give this concession. Yet someone in an ivory tower thinks the people who enjoy this concession will be flocking back with a handful of tenners to pay for the privilege.
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#1005571 - 30th Mar 2016 1:48am Re: Retired council staff told to hand back gifts. [Re: j_demo]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 10273
Loc: Birkenhead
Aren't the running of the Leisure Centres contracted out? Maybe not?

Cheshire leisure centres used to be contracted out to a company with a similar (or identical) name to invigor8 (they are now using a company called "Brio Leisure") which is what led me to think it was contracted out.

If customers of leisure centres cost "nothing" then they could be free to everyone but unfortunately this isn't the case.

There are overheads directly linked to the number of users eg administration, wear and tear, energy use and supervision.

There is also loss of income where a free person is using a facility and a paying person cannot then use it.

Then there is distortion of the planning/availability of resources due to free users.

Extra users will also lead to longer opening hours and the associated costs.

There is no such thing as free!
_________________________
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

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#1005582 - 30th Mar 2016 9:29am Re: Retired council staff told to hand back gifts. [Re: diggingdeeper]
granny Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Jun 2011
Posts: 14434
Loc: Wirral
No, Wirral LC's are not contracted out.

I think you're getting a bit carried away there DD, with the words 'cost nothing' and 'free' and 'wear and tear'. If the centres were being overrun with 'free' admissions maybe you'd be right, but I think they are not.

For example, the pools are full, heated, and staffed, and if not used, then empty. The buildings are heated, the staff are there, the admin is there, anyway. The classes could be different, due to limited spaces, but they are run by trainers for a fixed fee, not the amount of people.

A more profitable idea would be to take away the concessionary memberships for those on low incomes or working tax credits etc. Then you would see the numbers change dramatically. That's mostly what the council tax payer contributes towards.. again, and again, and again. Those on benefits, who get massively reduced council tax, paid for by people like myself who can barely afford to pay my council tax .....but I will have my free pensioner swim taken away, if this goes to plan.

A free lifetime pass I don't think will make any difference and as Captain says, it's a bit of paper or plastic card, no cash involved and the only way of fixing the figures is to include the supposed cost of them on the balance sheets.
A bit like when millions of pounds change hands, the money doesn't physically get passed from one person to another, it all happens on paper.

If that is how they 'fix' their accounts, no wonder they have problems. They had enough dosh to refit all of their gyms etc. in the last few years, and some more than once! Now they cry because they have no money.



Edited by granny (30th Mar 2016 9:33am)
_________________________
Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.
~Chief Seattle

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#1005587 - 30th Mar 2016 10:33am Re: Retired council staff told to hand back gifts. [Re: granny]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 10273
Loc: Birkenhead
Originally Posted By: granny
A more profitable idea would be to take away the concessionary memberships for those on low incomes or working tax credits etc. Then you would see the numbers change dramatically. That's mostly what the council tax payer contributes towards.. again, and again, and again. Those on benefits, who get massively reduced council tax, paid for by people like myself who can barely afford to pay my council tax .....but I will have my free pensioner swim taken away, if this goes to plan.


They have already removed most of those discounts.

TBH, they have priced themselves out the market and show undue bias to certain sports in their pricing. A badminton court is £11.50 an hour with no discount for invigor8 members (£34 a month) unless you are an over 50 invigor8 or over 50 Wirral passport member.
_________________________
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

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#1005594 - 30th Mar 2016 1:10pm Re: Retired council staff told to hand back gifts. [Re: j_demo]
dizdazdoz Offline

Wise One

Registered: 17th Jan 2010
Posts: 872
Loc: Here
Forgetting the rights and wrongs of pensioners get this, unemployed don't get this, workers pay more as this is not the issue.

The issue is that workers who have worked in our community for a minimum of 25 years have been screwed over by people who don't understand the real world.

If people think this is correct do they also think it's correct to go back to a child,grand child,parent or friend who you gave an Xmas present too just over 3 months ago to now say sorry moneys tight can you return the gift I gave you so I can sell it to help during these difficult times.

Many who opted for these passes I would presume done so due to health reason's and taking the passes away will incur more costs in other area's (mainly NHS) so it will probably end up costing more in the long run.

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#1005608 - 30th Mar 2016 7:04pm Re: Retired council staff told to hand back gifts. [Re: dizdazdoz]
fish5133 Online   content
Forum Master

Registered: 22nd Mar 2010
Posts: 2997
Loc: Heswallish
Crikey wbc must really be up the creek without a paddle.how about removing all the free parking and turning council office car parks into pay ones.

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#1005611 - 30th Mar 2016 7:24pm Re: Retired council staff told to hand back gifts. [Re: fish5133]
granny Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Jun 2011
Posts: 14434
Loc: Wirral
Originally Posted By: fish5133
Crikey wbc must really be up the creek without a paddle.how about removing all the free parking and turning council office car parks into pay ones.


An excellent idea, Fish, so long as it wasn't an outside company reaping the rewards. They could accumulate a fair few 'bob' that way, when everyone else has to pay to park their car when working.

By the way, I don't have a swimming pass or any other pass, that was just put in to make it harder. smile Do pay my full council tax though.
_________________________
Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.
~Chief Seattle

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