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Tuesday, 4 August 2015


Greeeted with great acclaim as the answer to saving money the Triborough has proven to be an abject disaster.

Excellent RBK&C staff have abandoned ship and the depleted ranks of mediocre are left running services.
Services, once regarded as excellent are now third rate and getting worse.

But what could one have expected?
Behind this mess is none other than the expenses grabbing Pooter Cockell.

Pooter's experience of business administration is nil.
He once ran a three man commodity broking company in the basement below the Association offices.
He has been known to describe it as international commodities firm....presumably after a couple of bottles of wine!
So useless and unprofitable was Abingdon Cockell that it never made a profit and the name has been hijacked by Chinese scammers!

Anyway, the Cockell legacy is very much based upon the collapsing Triborough project and is exemplified by the Agresso fiasco.

Kind readers have described here the problems....

The council's internal blurb states:
  • The Managed Services System – Agresso – integrates finance and HR for the three councils in one structure. 
  • The benefits of this system in terms of transparency, control and accountability will be substantial. 
  • To work effectively, the system must use an accurate organisational structure.

Unfortunately, there are a large number of errors within the Agresso organisation structure. 
  • These are the result of a variety of factors: bringing together three councils, integrating legacy structures that were previously separate whilst also having to deal with some post data load issues which arose. 
  • It is also acknowledged that there were a number of organisational changes which hadn’t been captured at the cut-off point.

The impact of this is significant. If you have an incorrect structure, it may mean that your approvals will go to the wrong people, that you won’t have the access rights that you should have, so won’t be able to carry out certain functions or processes or that the budgets you manage don’t include your full costings.

This is a tri-borough initiative intended to “save money” and be “more efficient”. It takes all the finance and human resources data of all three councils, co-ordinates them, puts them all into a new database and IT programme – and then bingo – it will conveniently pay every creditor of each borough the correct amount and on time. It has been contracted out to BT – without any pilot to see if it would actually work. BT were 18 months delivering the programme and it finally went live in April. Since then many staff, especially in schools and nurseries, have had to be paid by cash. Council tenants’ rent accounts have gone haywire because rent payments are being credited to the wrong accounts; providers of goods and services are not being paid or are being paid the wrong amount. Some small traders are at their wits’ end and at least one is facing eviction because she cannot pay the rent on her premises. 
The councils say that all the problems “may” be resolved by the end of October – in their dreams, bless ’em. 

A more crass example of the “benefits” of tri-borough would be hard to find.


  1. Retired Chief Executive5 August 2015 at 07:40

    There is a great temptation for politicians to dabble in complex organisation matters when there is an opportunity for personal publicity and advancement. Cllr Cockell was a master at this. The tri Borough idea advanced his campaign to get noticed in pursuit of his "gong". But he was blind to the fact that he was initiating something that was completely beyond his understanding and ability.

    Unfortunately he forgot the discipline that Mrs Thatcher instilled in the Tory Party. Government should stay out of the risk business because it is not Government business. The tri Borough is one of a long list of Cockell cock ups. His Cabinet salivated when presented with the Chelsea Care business plan that was going to deliver Council owned care for the elderly. Not a single Cabinet member noticed or understood that the business plan was predicated on a trading margin of 12% while the industry was operating with a trading margin of 2%. Of course it went belly up and lost a bundle of tax payers money. But the silly puffers got lots of launch publicity speaking opportunities.

    Holland Park Opera was another Thatcher "no, no, no". Losses grew every year of its life up to the current year when the full cost subsidy is £1 million from council tax. But of course the puffer councillors love to parade and grandstand with their free opera tickets. It makes them feel so good.

    The Kensington and Chelsea Tory Party has seriously lost its way. Thanks to a useless Labour opposition

  2. As ever RCE is a fount of wisdom. It's been obvious from the start that this project was doomed to fail. Labour run Hammersmith & Fulham apparently tried to extract itself, but it's already too complex. The tri-borough scandal may eventually reach such a pitch that central government will have to sort it out. Meanwhile it's a playground for scammers and other thieves.

  3. Labour had nothing to do with the Kensington and Chelsea Tories losing the way. they managed it all on their own!

  4. Agresso is a complete mess. It's a digrace and no one is taking owership for a below poor service. VERY UNHAPPY!

  5. Agresso is a complete mess. It's a digrace and no one is taking owership for a below poor service. VERY UNHAPPY!

  6. Rent payments are impossible if you only have a post office account. I wonder how much money they've been unable to collect.

  7. Rent payments are impossible if you only have a post office account. I wonder how much money they've been unable to collect.

  8. I was assigned to Hammersmith for a year then went on a secondment to Kensington Council. That was in Feb. It now July and I am still waiting to be paid the correct amount! I did not even leave the tri-borough (they all use the same agresso system). Numerous calls to BT agresso and each time its promised it will be sorted. However each month they can't get it sorted. Not only have I not been paid the correct amount since Feb I am also unable to turn in monthly travel claims. In all I am losing £550 a month in pay and another £130 in travel. The agresso system has so many variables when you want to make a change that managers and even BT can't figure it out.


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