A national competition to find the most stupid Council in Britain was launched today by the late Benny Hill.
Forget Health and Safety, Charter Marks and Best Practice - the hunt is now on in what is expected to be the most hotly-contested competition ever launched in the history of public services and mismanagement in Britain.
With thousands of examples of crass stupidity, idiocy, silliness and lack of common sense readily available from the hundreds of local Councils in the UK, the judges expect to be working on this long after the closing date, even though, unlike the councillors who work for the councils they will be judging, they won't be able to claim inflated mileage and accommodation expenses.
Sir John Bourne, recently retired from inflated expense claims for he and his wife while at the National Audit Office, has been brought in as a consultant to work with the late Benny Hill.
He said: "Even though poor Benny, or Ben as I used to call him, is dead, I am looking forward to working with him. He was a hero of mine and in fact the inspiration for my management style when I claimed expenses at the National Audit Office. In fact, in the early days, if it hadn't been for Ben and his co-workers like Bob Todd, Henry McGee and Bella Emberg, I would never have found out what it was I was actually meant to do while I was at the NAO.
"Actually, even though I have now retired, with the exception of claiming expenses, I never did find out what it was I was meant to do.
"In the competition, we are looking for examples of total Council insanity, intransigence and especially money-wasting. Now I know that there are literally millions of examples of this every year throughout the Councils of Britain - I know it comes as second nature to most of them - but my panel of judges want to see original and especially bone-shakingly stupid ones.
"So if you work for a council, submit your entry - in triplicate and ISO9001 and Investor in People compliance please - as soon as you can. You can post your entry to freephone 0870 999 999 at 11p a minute."