Counting the pennies!

THE idea that some council workers might enjoy telephone perks as part of their job has been laid to rest.

The Courier has learned that every worker gets a bill for private calls from landlines and Calderdale Council-owned mobiles, which last year brought in a total of £3,438.18.

According to the council’s corporate information officer, Tracie Robinson: “All directorates collect money from staff in respect of private phone calls.”

The biggest sum of money was collected from staff in the economy and environment directorate - £1,254.06 - and £960.92 came from those in the safer and stronger communities department.

Children and young people’s services staff paid £687.77 and those in adults, health and social care £153.75.

In the office of the chief executive, Owen Williams, staff tipped-up £381.68 last year, according to details obtained through a Freedom of Information request.

One insider told the Courier that in Mr Williams’ department, a member of staff religiously prints off a list of calls on the first of the month and then goes around delivering them to each desk, then goes round again to collect last month’s dues, which are sometimes as little as 5p.

* What do you think. Should council workers have to pay for private phone calls? e-mail us: yoursay@halifaxcourier.co.uk.