Monday, 12 November 2007

Tall Ships Project Board

The costs for the Tall Ships race continue to be a little hazy but according to the Mayor the current gross cost estimate for the Tall Ships is £2,285,000. Unfortunately these figures were given in a verbal answer to my question to full Council and I'll have to wait for the minutes to verify I noted them down correctly.

However as far as I can make out the current cost breakdown estimates are:

Event Technical/Infrastructure £510k
Traffic Management/berthing £450k
Organisers and crew hospitality £375k
Health and Safety, security/medical etc £290k
Project team personnel costs £290k
Event professional fees/entertainment etc £200k
Marketing and Evaluation £170k

In April the Cabinet approved a Tall Ships Project Board composed of Councillors to receive regular progress reports and make strategic decisions on the Council's inputs (Cabinet Minute 6.2 on 07.04.02). So far this board has not met, nor, as far as I am aware have the Councillors to sit upon it been selected. (I don't expect to be asked by the way!)

From April 2007 to August 2010 is 40 months. It is now November 2007, that means nearly 8 of the 40 months have now gone past, 8/40 is one fifth of the total duration of the project. Does this mean NO strategic decisions have been made in this period? The selection of the Project Officer was fairly important
I would suggest, no need to involve Councillors in that decision obviously. The development of the budget from £800,000 to £2,285,000 could be seen as quite important, but again no need to involve Councillors in these decisions either. The setting up of "work stream task groups" was announced in the Hartlepool Mail before any of the none cabinet Councillors were given any input to the process. Obviously not a matter Councillors need to be concerned about either!

But not to worry, its only public money and its not like Councillors have any responsibility to spend it wisely. 4.9% Council Tax increase anyone??

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