One of my local councillors was meeting with a Senior Officer of a neighbouring authority to discuss joint working.
As always, the difficulties in balancing the books came up during the discussion.
The neighbouring councillor gesticulated towards the "free" coffee machine which dispenses expensive ground coffee for councillors, staff and visitors.
"Things cannot be that bad here if you can afford to give free coffee away".
The Senior Officer shifted uncomfortably.
"Yes, quite. Well, errr.... we are getting rid of them but we are just running down stocks."
*For the record, they have been saying this for almost a year now.
"I don't think Cllr XXXXXXXX will be very impressed. He has been campaigning against these indulgences since he was elected."
Long pause.... before the Senior Officer replied
"I cannot bloody stand these Tax Payers Alliance types."
And that is why Local Government cannot balance its books!