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Yet another council that just won't stick to its knitting

If sweet home Croydonia is anything to go by, town councils have quite a lot on their plates dealing with education, rubbish collection, housing etc etc. However, the City of Sheffield must have sorted out all of those things and be top of the various national leagues, as it now has an energy policy. A breathless press release from the council has been dutifully copied and pasted by 24dash.com which notes that the council is dishing out "12,000 energy saving lightbulbs" to lucky residents, although if I was in Steel Town doubtless I could pick one up too. A very rough guesstimate puts the cost of the bulbs at about £90,000, and add in the operational costs, propaganda, man hours etc it must be a fairly substantial sum. There look to be about half a million people in those parts, and isn't it nice that there will be wealth redistribution from the majority of council tax payers to the minority who have the time and inclination to call in at the distribution points?

Energy saving may well be a laudable aim, but what in the name of all that's holy (or profane, if you prefer) is a council doing getting mixed up in this, partnership with suppliers and distributors notwithstanding? Do I detect ultra vires, in form if not necessarily in law?
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