Clothing allowances have been given to Norwich City Council staff to make them easily recognisable – and to “express their personality”.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

The authority has paid £3,150 to 21 reception and customer contact centre staff.

It added the employees could “express their personality via choices on colour options and types of clothing”, which includes buying black, navy blue or white tops and black or navy dresses, skirts, jumpers, jackets, cardigans or trousers. A further £105 will pay for each employee to receive a scarf or a tie.

The council’s aim is for staff who deal with people visiting City Hall throughout the day to abide by a dress code, rather than wear a set uniform.

Town Close councillor Paul Neale, who uncovered the spending, said: “I’ve been asked by my residents ‘Is this right?’ I know it’s not a big sum, but everyone is supposed to be looking at savings in different places.”

Talks are ongoing to decide whether staff from LGSS, a partnership between Norwich, Cambridgeshire County Council and Northamptonshire County Council, who perform similar counter services at City Hall, will receive the same allowance.

Julie Brociek-Coulton, pictured, cabinet member for customer services, confirmed the one-off £150 payments had been given to 21 staff members.

She replied: “The uniform elements consist of a scarf or a tie and these cost £5 each. A number of other council staff are provided with set uniforms, but in this case staff are adhering to a dress code.

“This makes the front of house team more easily recognisable to our customers.” Should clothing allowances be given to Norwich City Council staff? Tell us what you think by writing to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1 RE or, alternatively, email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

32 comments

  • bigrayc - I think you have read it wrong. It is not £150 for the scarf or tie, it is £5 each for the scarf or tie - not really enough to buy one made out of gold. The £150 is the total allowance each person received for all items of clothing. However the comment "express their personality via choices on colour which includes buying black, navy blue or white" seems a bit like the old Henry Ford quote "Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black".

    Report this comment

    anon123

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • It takes the heat away from the Norwich Councillors giving themselves an 11% pay rise, lets have a poke at the staff eh.

    Report this comment

    Rorping

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • All surveys and research show that council employees are higher paid than their private sector counterparts as well as receiving gold plated pensions. So why are they being paid even more? They knew the job they were going to so shoud have taken appropriate dress into account. What next - more allowances for those who have to meet non council employers, etc?

    Report this comment

    andy

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • Yet another attempt by the EDP to sensationalise a pretty innocuous story in the pursuit of headlines. It's just a uniform by another name - so what?

    Report this comment

    Pentney Voice

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • There is a shop specialising in refurbished marquees Julie hypen-hyphen. Some are XXXXL.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, February 10, 2013

  • I can't believe I'm reading this! I work for the County Council and we are expected to dress appropriately for our role. If it's customer facing then it's smart and business like. If I am representing the County Council outside of my workplace I have a business suit. Why would we expect our employer to pay for our clothes? We have ID cards to make us easily identifiable to members of the public. City Council need to get their act together and stop wasting my money.....

    Report this comment

    Carol Bolton

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

  • The money would have been much better spent retraining their customer service staff who answer the telephone, shocking isn't the word.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • and the council tax payer of Norwich are very happy for them , £150 for a scarf or tie they better be made of gold ,,,,,

    Report this comment

    bigrayc

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • Is this the same council which is trying to make savings of £150,000,000? You know, the same on which has just blown £4,000,000 on the ex RAF Coltishall, with no idea what to do with it? It would be hard to make it up!

    Report this comment

    windup

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • No doubt they will claim uniform tax now as well!!

    Report this comment

    newsgirl

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • wensum clothing do some good uniforms :)

    Report this comment

    mobbsy

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • I'm sure most smart and appropriately dressed employees are free to choose their own colour schemes. The issue here is the colour scheme. The article states that the staff are expected to wear black, white and navy. Having looked in my own wardrobe, I have plenty off business suits but nothing in the above colour schemes. I agree that the money could be spent elsewhere, but if an employer dictates that an employee wears what amounts to a uniform, then some initial financial assistance is appropriate. The actual cost of providing a proper uniform would run to many thousands of pounds more than the amount quoted. £105 doesn't go far in the current climate. Interesting that all the digs are made at the staff when the Councillors make the decisions and the public vote for the Councillors!

    Report this comment

    nameless

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

  • Did I miss anybody going to work naked? or is this a sob to staff, following the 11% obsessive rise cllr.s have allowed themselves from this hard cutting council. Another sign how far removed some Cllr's are from real life. What is their reason for standing out corporately and do these scarf's come in a reddish green?

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

  • Uniform yes. Paid for by the tax payers YES. Why are the staff unable to dress themselves appropriately when dealing with the public???

    Report this comment

    Paul Morley

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • If the council want to give their staff uniforms, then issue them-don't give them an allowance. Stories like this are bound to get peoples backs up. I hope some of the staff buy completely inappropriate clothing in the name of 'expressing' themselves, then when the town hall bosses kick off about it we can all have a big laugh and write more letters.

    Report this comment

    backwoodsman

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • So this is all part of the cuts is it. Amazing how they go about it

    Report this comment

    sharky

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • OK as long as the uniforms are being supplied by a local company

    Report this comment

    malmocanary

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • This sounds like a benefit in kind payment which the employees will be taxed against. Uniforms are allowable, but a 'dress code' like this isn't. Presumably the council will be including the payment on P11D returns.

    Report this comment

    AE

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

  • I am disappointed that the article does not carry a comment from Chloe Smith. How is one meant to form an opinion without knowing what she thinks.

    Report this comment

    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

  • The money would have been much better spent retraining their customer service staff who answer the telephone, shocking isn't the word.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • Sorry PB!! Just had that awful moment 0.005 second after pressing the send button, I may have made an uncharacteristic error!! Still wrong though, I have to pay for my clothes

    Report this comment

    windup

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • Council spends other peoples money indiscriminately. What news is that? Cuts, what cuts?

    Report this comment

    J Smith

    Friday, February 8, 2013

  • I can't believe I'm reading this! I work for the County Council and we are expected to dress appropriately for our role. If it's customer facing then it's smart and business like. If I am representing the County Council outside of my workplace I have a business suit. Why would we expect our employer to pay for our clothes? We have ID cards to make us easily identifiable to members of the public. City Council need to get their act together and stop wasting my money.....

    Report this comment

    Carol Bolton

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

  • With the high wages they get I would have thought they could afford to buy their own clothes, everyone has to have some form of work dress code, £150 each is not going to buy them much anyway, think money would have been better spent elsewhere, but, not on their pay rise either!

    Report this comment

    Lynda

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

  • NCC staff make Doc Martin`s tribulations in Cornwall look trivial. Norwich is a big village with sinecures created for the Little Villagers. We are all mortal, though.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, February 10, 2013

  • The tie is a wise idea, I have often thought my employer should have a range of corporate ties for the senior staff. I am glad that the city council have not paid a designer to come up with a unique statement. At the end of the day we all have to pay for our clothes and I do not see where the council is going except giving their staff a perk.

    Report this comment

    George Ezekial

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

  • No @windup - wrong council! This is about Norwich City Council; it was Norfolk County Council who have just purchased the RAF Coltishall airbase.

    Report this comment

    Pete Bogg

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • Come on you lot, you can do better than that, where are you, let's be avenue. This is a set up by the EDP, they've stood the story up for you and its there for you to take pot shots at, or more correctly at those wicked people at City Hall. No risk of censorship on this sort of story so just let rip, get down to Bethel Street and start a riot.

    Report this comment

    Police Commissioner ???

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • £105 for a tiescarf !! Go to Primark....you could kit out the entire council staff with a tie or scarf for £105 there.

    Report this comment

    User Removed

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

  • Council spends other peoples money indiscriminately. What news is that? Cuts, what cuts?

    Report this comment

    J Smith

    Friday, February 8, 2013

  • It's good to be able to recognise security and reception staff. For example in an emergency evacuation you don't waste time. Receptionists and Security staff should be issued with uniforms so that they stand out. A tie or scarf only works if you are looking straight at the front of them. This just seems to be £5 for a tie and a £145 bonus...

    Report this comment

    Andy T

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

  • In an emergency, everyone will be getting out and security and reception staff will be the first, because it is an 'emergency'.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Norfolk Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 12°C

Five-day forecast

loading...

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT