Tuesday, 8 February 2011

"The waste of money cures itself, for soon there is no more to waste."

For those of my readers that read this and are attendees of South Tyneside College you may have noticed that last summer the Martec had it’s name changed to the 1861 Club and was also apparently ‘refurbished’ at the expense of £20,000. Now I have spent considerable time in there whilst my fellow classmate quenches his gambling thirst on the bandit and quiz machine; so I am quite familiar with how it was before and after this renovation. The question begs to be asked - What in the sweet smell of excrement was this £20,000 spent on? I ask this because to justify a twenty-thousand pound change, there surely has to be change? But there isn’t, not to explain where all that money has gone anyway. 
I am aware that the economy is going through a rough patch. I understand labour costs. But if all of that money was actually spent on a couple of leather sofas, half a dozen bean bags, two tables and a projector then I really think that the college should have perhaps gone to DFS for the furniture rather than - perhaps - Feather and Black. 
And to top that off, they have also given the go ahead for a £3million IT project to be done in the space where the Main Hall once occupied. Now if this £3million is as carelessly spent as the twenty grand was, then I really don’t hold high expectations for this revamp being even as close to as exciting as it was to find the original computer facilities (the ones that this is picking up the tension from) being pointlessly turned into a gym.
Which leads to the query, who the hell is running this college? Did she learn any common sense during the course of her life? Is she even human? Was her previous job title “Head of Pointless Money Waste Division” for the NHS?
Seriously makes you turn green when you think about all the other areas where this kind of money could be better spent. Such as modernising classrooms. Double-Glazing. Nicer, modernised corridors. Better lecturers. New toilet facilities. The list could go on forever. This college is an antique left over from the 18th Century and wouldn’t surprise me if it used to serve as a Workhouse; it needs a total modernisation. Not little bits here and there at the expense of a monstrous price tag and little to show for it. 
Anyway, in other news. This morning I was reading an article in the Metro. It was headed:
“Car was lost in space for 3 years”
This wetted my appetite, and from the first paragraph knew that I would be typing about this in the blog today. 
An 80-year-old man who suffers from dementia somehow managed to lose his car in a multi-story car park for 3 years before it was noticed by a keen-eyed site attendant who saw it “looking suspiciously dirty”. 
Three things wrong with this:
A) Why was a man with dementia even driving? If it causes you to forget where you parked your car, is can sure as hell make you forget where you’re going. Causing confusion. Potentially causing a crash. 
B) Was it beyond the car-park attendants intelligence to wait until the night-time closure of the site before having a full bodied hunt for the vehicle?
C) After 3 three years of the car being in the EXACT same place, how on God’s good earth did the attendant, or any of the car-park staff, fail to notice this before hand? It’s not camouflaged. It wasn’t running around behind peoples backs playing hide and seek. The car isn’t a Transformer. It’s a Honda Civic
I wouldn’t like to be a victim of a mugging or attack in that car-park with staff as eagle eyed and attentive as that wandering around.
Footnote: Radio1 appearance is aired throughout TODAY! Give it a listen, the article has been published on the BBC website HERE

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