West Sussex Council reported to have spent £100,000 on video

The Daily Telegraph recently published an article which highlighted how West Sussex County Council spent over £100,000 on an instruction video which teaches people how to wash their hands correctly. However, the article does not seem to be entirely accurate and in fact the Council of put together nearly 100 videos as part of this cost. The average cost for videos is about £2000 each, far-off The Telegraph’s estimate.

The reason the estimate by The Telegraph is so high is because they are taking into account the fixed costs of all the equipment. In order to produce the videos the council spent over £40,000 on camera equipment, and the running cost of the unit is about £25,000 a year.

Since the publication of the article by The Telegraph however, the council have removed the ‘how to wash your hands video’ from YouTube. It is easy to see why they have done this, because if The Telegraph has the story today, it’s only going to be a short while before the Daily Mail jumps on the bandwagon and starts interviewing people who are ready to complain about the council in the paper.

James Walsh is the Liberal Democrat leader of the council and he has stated, “The production of these videos doesn’t seem to be offering very good value for money. We can see online how only a very small proportion of the county have viewed the videos and the fact that this money has been taken away from more demanding areas is not good enough. This is an initiative by the Conservative government and we don’t think that it should be a priority for our county.”

The TaxPayers Alliance has remained surprisingly moderate on the issue stating, “Communications and publicity is something that councils often don’t get right. They seem to not really have a good understanding of what people will react well to and what they won’t. This project was clearly a bad idea and I only hope that the council learn from it so in the future they don’t make the same mistake again.”