Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Is It Because No-One’ll Pay To See It?

Opposition councillors have accused city council chiefs of a “political stunt” ahead of council elections, by offering a free ticket giveaway to Southampton’s new £15m Titanic museum for every household in the city.
Which I suppose might help to avoid the embarrassment of it being half-empty or worse still, going bankrupt
Nearly 100,000 city households, and all council staff, will be sent letters in coming weeks offering groups of two adults and three children or three adults free entry, worth up to £25, to the new SeaCity museum.
And how can they afford this, you ask?

Well, you’re not alone in questioning it:
…Labour questioned how the cash-strapped council could afford the giveaway and complained the costs were not clearly identified in Tory budget proposals to save £14m over the next year.
For once, I agree with them!
Labour group leader Richard Williams said: “If it looks like a stunt, smells like a stunt, then it’s probably a stunt.”
Well, god knows, it’s not like such stunts and taxpayer-funded largesse were completely unknown to Labour councils, is it? So I guess you’d know….


Ross said...

What happened to the Titanic was obviously a monumental event at the time, but is there really that much to learn about one ship?

It was big, it sank.

Curmudgeon said...

Surely if you give away free tickets to a museum that is there anyway, and the recipients wouldn't otherwise visit it, the actual cost is effectively zero?

Anonymouslemming said...


Not really. Just to start, there are costs to design and draft the letters that go to the residents, costs to approve these before they are sent, printing costs and postage costs.

If they use second class mail, they're looking at £32,000 of our money for postage alone.

Paper and envelopes aren't free either.

Considering the level of efficiency that councils bring to this kind of work, I can't see this being done for less than £90,000.

Anonymous said...

The Polacks have a term for this - "pissing in the soup".

Sinking feeling said...

Imagine the people who go, all excited, to the Titanic Museum and find that it's all about an old ship and neither Kate Winslet or Leonardo DiCaprio are there to greet them.

JuliaM said...

"...but is there really that much to learn about one ship?"

It does seem to still resonate. Though I wonder how many people will be disappointed, as per Sinking Feeling's comment?

"...the actual cost is effectively zero?"

Ad Anonymouslemming points out, it might be on one budget, but it'll definitely be a big loss on another!