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October 28, 2006


Must credit www.timworstall.com!!!!

We have all seen the rumpus and kerfluffle over the new shower room for the Chief Constable of North Yorkshire. The Sunday Times:

THE Chief Constable of North Yorkshire has had a private en suite shower upgraded at a cost to the taxpayer of £28,400.

She says that the figure quoted originally was about £6,000, adding: “How come I am being advised that the cost is nearly five times more?”

Other internal e-mails provide a breakdown of the final figure of £28,400: plumbing £15,000, electrics £4,000, flooring £900, ceilings £900, painting £900, furniture £1,200, building work £5,500.

In another e-mail Ms Cannings says: “I didn’t get involved very much except seeing proposals and choosing carpet colour etc . . .”

Harrogate Today:

In a statement, Ms Cannings announced a full inquiry into what had been uncovered.

It will focus on whether there has been "proper application of public money" in relation to the "planning, inception and project management" of the refurbishment for the en-suite shower at her office in the force headquarters at Newby Wiske, Northallerton.

It will also look at "any wider implications of the evidence gathered" to see if there are "consequences" for the "fitness for purpose" of the police authority's contractual arrangements.

She said: "Normally such a matter would be the subject of a management review overseen by me in my statutory office.

"However, I am certain the public of North Yorkshire and the City of York would expect me to ensure that matters of good financial management are discharged in a demonstrably ethical way.

The BBC:

North Yorkshire's chief constable Della Cannings said the incident prompted her to order a revamp of the shower room and was told it would cost £6,000.

But the builders later told the police the bill would be £28,400.

Ms Cannings has ordered a "thorough review" of the work and said no money had yet been paid to the contractor.

The police authority's monitoring officer, Jeremy Holderness, will look at how the bathroom revamp work was handled from start to finish. His inquiry is expected to last three to four weeks.

If he finds anything untoward he is likely to present a report in public to a special meeting of the authority.

Well, you get the picture eh? Getting the builders in is always a pain, keeping track of bills and quotes is indeed terribly difficult. Builders' accounting does indeed seem to come from some parallel universe which only one with an extremely advanced education in the more abstruse areas of pure and applied mathematics could possibly hope to understand. As and when it applies to plumbing and ablutions of course there is the interaction with yet another strange and difficult code to deal with as well. Only the most highly trained mortals would be able to deal with it.

Della Cannings, Chief Constable of North Yorkshire, was educated thusly:

Della is a graduate in Mathematical Studies from the University of Bath.

October 28, 2006 in Trivia | Permalink


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But what is "mathematical studies"? I had a friend who was a tutor in American Studies. She'd never visited the US; she didn't even own a Webster's.

Tim adds: I think we can safely say it wasn't cost estimation anyway.

Posted by: dearieme | Oct 28, 2006 11:14:11 AM

Della is a graduate in Mathematical Studies from the University of Bath.

She should have done Bath Studies!

Posted by: David Farrer | Oct 28, 2006 11:56:12 AM

Would that be this then?

From the degree courses handbook - Bath

2.2 BSc Degree Programmes

The Department of Mathematical Sciences offers BSc Honours degree programmes in the following subject areas.

· Mathematics - for students wishing to specialise predominantly in Pure and/or Applied Mathematics.

· Mathematics and Computing - for students wishing to study Computing while retaining an interest in some areas of Mathematics. The last intake to this programme will be in 2006/7; it is being replaced by a BSc in Computer Science with Mathematics, offered by the Computer Science Dept.

· Mathematics and Statistics - for students wishing to study Statistics while retaining an interest in related areas of Mathematics.

· Statistics - for students wishing to specialise predominantly in Statistics, or Statistics and Operational Research.

· Mathematical Sciences - for students preferring to study a broader range of subjects.

· Mathematics and Physics – for students wishing to study Mathematics and its application to problems in Physics. This degree is offered jointly with the Department of Physics who also administer the degree programme.

The BSc Ordinary Degree in Mathematical Studies may be available to those students who are not permitted to proceed on an Honours degree programme.

And here:


Tim adds: Excellent! So it means she wasn't allowed on an Honours course! Explains a lot.

Posted by: chuckles | Oct 28, 2006 11:57:46 AM

Speaking up for math majors (I have a Masters degree, even): we're not accountants.

That said, anyone with a satisfactory elementary education and a calculator should be able to add up a column of numbers.

Posted by: meep | Oct 28, 2006 12:24:55 PM

Another success for those wonderfully cheap Polish plumbers!

Posted by: Martin | Oct 28, 2006 12:40:53 PM

David Farrer- Funny!

Posted by: verity | Oct 28, 2006 2:58:17 PM