Thursday, 26 April 2012

Why have cost effective and locally sourced, when branded and expensive will do?

During a visit to Bracknell one lunch hour, I noticed a number of council employees wearing new fleece tops.  I also spotted that they had the embroidered logo of BFBC on one side, and the brand 'Sprayway' on the other.

Inevitably, that made me wonder why the council had chosen a rather expensive brand, rather than something more generic and not as expensive, so I submitted a FoI request, which you can see below.

The response is rather vague on how much has been spent on them in total, so I did a bit more investigating.  The closest fleece top I can find in the Sprayway range comes in at about £100, so if you take a little off for bulk purchase, and then add a bit on for the logo to be embroidered, I'd estimate around £80 per top was paid by the council.

I also buy fleece tops for my employees, and they cost around £25 each, including embroidery.  I purchase them from a local supplier too, who is very responsive when I need changes or different colours etc.  They also pay their business rates to BFBC.

So the question must be asked - why have more cost effective and locally sourced, when branded and expensive will do?!  Or perhaps the more pressing question is, why is the taxpayer clothing the council employees in times of austerity...

Page 1 of the FoI request
Page 2

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