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Wednesday, 18 May 2011

That'll do Nicely....

More revelations on the council credit card, this time £1000 for "orthodontic treatment".

For those councillors who attended a minor public schools, orthodontics is Greek for "to straighten teeth", literally. It turns out the council credit card was used to pay £1000 to have a child in social services care have orthodontic treatment using a private dentist.

A council finance officer claims that the child was in council care under "Section 20 of the Children Act 1989". This provides for a child to be accommodated by the council with the consent of those with parental responsibility. Section 20 is based on co-operative working between the local authority, the young person and his or her parents because a court is not ordering the child to be looked after.

So the council accommodated a young person under S20, and paid for them to have private dental treatment to correct malocclusion (again, for the minor public school educated councillors - and there are a few - that means overcrowding).

But why wasn't it done on the NHS?

The council officer claims they "tried" to get treatment under the NHS but couldn't. Under the NHS rules there are five grades of IOTN (Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need). Grade 1 is considered "perfect" teeth.

Grade 2 is for minor irregularities such as, slightly protruding upper front teeth, slightly irregular teeth or minor issues the of upper and lower teeth which do not interfere with normal functions.

Grade 3, is for greater irregularities which normally do not need treatment for health reasons.

Whereas 4 and 5 are more severe irregularities, such as protruding teeth more than 4mm, or for extra teeth "crowding". Only Grades 4 and 5 qualify for treatment under the NHS. 

Of course no one begrudges the child in question the treatment, if it was deemed necessary, but questions need to be asked as it was paid for using public money.

  1. If they tried to get it on the NHS a dentist would have told them it is not considered severe enough to qualify for NHS treatment. Therefore would have been grades 2-3 on the IOTN scale.
  2. The child was not in local authority care by order of a court, but with consent of those with parental responsibility, in other words, voluntarily.

Why does the council then stand in with £1000 of taxpayers money to fund this, when there are probably many people in a similar situation who don't have the benefit of a council credit card?

More importantly, what controls are there in place to ensure proper accounting and reviews of council expenditure on the credit card?


  1. I quite agree with the Dame. How much more unexplained expenditure will we see on the credit card? It is extraordinary that taxpayers pay for a treatment such as this which seems purely to satisfy vanity.

  2. This makes my blood boil. What a slippery slope - set a precedent like this and every hard up case becomes a candidate for council tax charity.

    When my 97 year old mother feels tired on a shopping expedition, could she call a taxi and send the bill to the council?

    I bet that not a single tax payer has any idea that this nonsense is going on.

    What else are the reptiles spending our money on?

  3. Too many do gooders (councillors and officers) with not enough to do and too much money to spend.

    Dreaming up ways to spend our council tax. Starting with the £170 million reserves in the bank.

    Reserves that have been built up from over taxing

    What a corrupt state of affairs

  4. This is just another liberty being taken with tax payers money.

    Not much different from Cockell using our taxes to take his friend to dinner in New York on a Saturday night

    Why not? K&C is rich. £200 million in the Hornton Street bank. Lets spread a little happiness.

    I wonder how I can find out the number of the bank account.....

    Now there's a thought

  5. 06:03

    "Reptiles?" Charming.

    I imagine your blood boils a great deal.

  6. What a silly comment, 9.10.

    I suggest that you take a long hard look at Council expenditure and think about how happy you are that all those line items (Cockell's personal entertainment in New York, trips to Tonga, dental treatment not available on the NHS, holidays for carers)is coming out of your council tax. And dont forget that the money which you have to find for your council tax has already been taxed at 40%.

    Or maybe you are one of the reptiles with a finger in the pie - feeling good because you think you are doing your Robin Hood bit


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