Sometimes, no, quite often, I despair of my local council in Tunbridge Wells. This morning is one of those days. I received in the post an envelope containing no fewer than four documents, all about health and safety. The letter is from the Food & Commercial Team Manager. There is a letter, and HSE leaflet showing a man falling off a ladder and urging me not to do the same, a Business Link flyer telling me that businesses who take their advice are twice as profitable as those that don't, a flyer for courses on health and safety at West Ken College, and finally, a 92 page booklet called Signposting Health & Safety. Cost of postage 59p.
What an incredible waste of money. Most of the information in the booklet comes under the category of stating the bleedin' obvious, although to their credit the council has secured a few adverts which will have covered some of the costs.
And since when was health & safety a primary responsibility of local authorities?
I don't know how many businesses there are in the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council area (10,000?), but I doubt whether 5% of them will have found this booklet or the other leaflets useful. If you take the manhours into account this little exercise will have probably cost the council tax payer somewhere between £5-10,000.
Perhaps there is some central government edict ordering councils to send out this literature, or maybe it's being paid for by the HSE. But whatever the truth, it's yet another example of money that can be saved - and ought to be.