By David O’Loughlin-Rochdale Organiser-A local authority has been condemned after blowing almost £630 to translate a local housing newsletter into Urdu for one person!
Crawley Borough Council adapted its 12-page quarterly Homelink into Urdu, commonly spoken in Pakistan and India after a resident moaned that they couldn't read English.
Revelations of the £627.60 payment were released this week as a council spokesman verified that just one copy of the translated newsletter was produced.
It instantly ignited outrage among other local residents, who received the original newsletter in April and May which was sent to just over 8,000 council tenants.
Local man Peter Innes, said: ‘How can the council justify spending £630 on translating a magazine for just one person?'
‘The magazine is routinely just put in the bin by tenants and the advice in it is usually less than enlightening, so to my mind it is just a total and utter waste of money.’
Another local Claire Sanders commented: ‘It’s all very well translating the magazine into another language, but where does it end?
‘If I phoned up and said I only spoke Klingon or Gaelic would they translate the magazine for me?’
A council representative admitted that the Homelink magazine was reprinted in Urdu after a request by just one tenant, but said: ‘It was useful to do this as there was an article about welfare benefit changes.
‘The Urdu translation was for the Spring Homelink newsletter on the request of the tenant.'
He stated that it was 'unlikely' that the magazine would be produced in Urdu in the future but said any further negotiations to print it in foreign languages would be taken on a 'case-to-case basis'.
The Homelink production has articles about when to pay rent, how to manage your money, how welfare benefits are changing and advice telling council tenants ‘not to swear at officials’.
Thankfully the Urdu-speaking resident can now also see tips on how to ‘spring clean your home’ and ‘living in your neighbourhood’ in the magazine.
It's a messed up world where one person can demand to have a local council produced magazine translated into their language at a cost of £627.60 despite no one else requesting it translated, and no other translations being available, (unless specifically asked for as shown) just so that the person in question could read about 'benefit welfare changes'.
It’s soft touch Britain...come here; don't learn the language, claim benefits and demand to be treated more equally than the local people...not a problem at all in the eyes of the Labour/Lib Dem/Con local and national governments!