Thursday, 22 March 2012

Council workers' scrap metal perk under investigation

The Lancaster Guardian reports in today's paper that 10 members of Lancaster City Council's repairs & maintenance staff have admitted to selling metal such as copper cylinder cabling and heating equipment acquired in the course of their work to Morecambe Metals for scrap. We charitably assume that this is old stuff that required replacing and that, rather than taking it to the tip, resourceful staff mindful of the current climate of austerity detoured a few hundred yards to the scrapyard instead. The practice appears to have been going on for some time. It's not clear what the City Council policy is on this at present. They are still investigating the matter.

Given that the statute of limitations expired more than a quarter of a century ago, this reporter must confess to having witnessed the occasional lunchtime trip to the scrapyard herself when working for the council's waste collection department way back in the 1970s when they  employed women as well as men for such tasks.  It did seem logical at the time not to just throw good money away that everyone else seemed keen to get rid of. Mea culpa.

Morecambe Metals told the LG that they weren't aware of any wrongdoing and that the sellers were happy to provide full ID and address details, as legally required, when they brought the scrap metal in. Perhaps the City Council will redeploy these staff as recycling revenue consultants and make a few bob out of them yet.

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