Sunday, May 21, 2006

Compare and contrast

There is certainly a marked difference between what Greenwich Council say they're doing, and what we can record with a Nokia on a Sunday afternoon. We recently received one of the Council's infamous pravda-esque press releases in our mailbox, and it's fair to say it inspired this post. When you initially read it, the spending on housing improvements really does sound pretty spectacular. The Council says that last year it "spent a record £35m million on new kitchens and bathrooms, improving another 3000 of the council’s 25,000 properties". Pretty impressive stuff huh? Thing is, on the basis of their pronouncement that works out to a spend of £11,667.66 per home. Now, anyone who's spent a Bank Holiday in B&Q's will know that £11.5K is one hell of a generous budget for a kitchen and bathroom.

As it happens, being ordinary people, we've seen some of these new kitchens and bathrooms they've installed across the Borough, and to be frank, they're not worth £11K. Even if you factor in labour costs the price tag just doesn't wash. That leaves three possibilities. Either, the Council really has bought superb quality kitchens and bathrooms and we just happened to see the cheap ones; they've been seriously ripped off by dodgy builders (wouldn't that be unsual?), or the figure is a complete misrepresentation.

Given it's politics, we think the last option's the most likely.


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