The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles has intensified his campaign against local councils by introducing yet another controversial new measure.
Hot on the heels of last week's bombshell that , from April 1st, 2011 all council leaders must refer to him as "Sir" rather than "Mr Secretary" - in written as well as verbal communications - Sir Eric has announced that all local government pay packets will from immediate effect be under scrutiny.
Speaking last night at the annual Conference of Successful Businessmen Who Still Take Advantage of Tax Loopholes, held in the Dorchester Hotel, London, Pickles revealed another strand of his Localism Bill whereby all pay packets will have to be checked before being issued to their intended recipients.
The Secretary of State is determined to end the practice of local councils using suppliers who use expensive greaseproof paper to make pay packets rather than the many cheaper options around.
Pickles stated "as part of the across the board savings all councils must make, its vital not only for budgets but also for the environment that recycled newspaper starts being used in the making of council pay packets. Research has shown that 50% savings can be achieved within the first year of introducing such an improvement".
A government source revealed that a statement on the introduction of fines for council staff who crack too many jokes during the working day is imminent.