20 August 2013 - 8:11am | posted by | 5 comments

Brent Council under fire for ditching receptionists in favour of a hologram

Brent Council under fire for ditching receptionists in favour of a hologramBrent Council under fire for ditching receptionists in favour of a

London’s Brent Council has come under fire after opting to ditch flesh and blood receptionists at its swish new Wembley headquarters building in favour of holographic projections.

The cash strapped local authority splashed out £12k on the technology which sees the image of an actress, Shanice Stewart-Jones, projected onto a glass screen behind the empty reception desk.

Visitors are greeted by the disembodied apparition as they enter and can even enter interact with it by asking a limited range of questions; such as directing people to register a birth or death or apply for citizenship.

Brent say that their ghostly recruit will save it £17k a year compared to a human being, even when additional maintenance and reprogramming costs are factored in. It also boasts a ‘touch screen function’ for the public to directly navigate to their desired information.

Alison Hopkins, budget and finance spokesman for the opposition Liberal Democrats, told the London Evening Standard: “There have been complaints about signage in Brent’s new civic centre but this is a startlingly expensive way of solving the problem.”

Comments

20 Aug 2013 - 22:38
RhondasSongs

Why make a fuss now? It's done.

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21 Aug 2013 - 03:06
craig55647's picture

Your right, Rhonda it is done. But Labour Brent Council would have been operating by their ethos of helping jobless people if they had made that position a 14K a year position after tax would have cost them the same. A position that a lot of unemployed people in Brent would have had an opportunity to apply for. It is a criticism. @RhondasSongs

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21 Aug 2013 - 03:01
craig55647's picture

It angers me that Brent Council have spent £90 million on a council building, yet cannot find money to repair much needed local infrastructure. In contrast to this ridiculous hologram, a jobseeker in Brent would have appreciated a position such as this. Labour claim to go on at the Conservatives about how they are crippling communities. And the reality is, Labour are doing a fine job of that already. They have not saved money with this cheap stunt at looking good. If they would have hired a person to do this job, after tax it would have been about the same, and a better job might have been done. And they would have been living up their ethos, which is to help vulnerable people.

Labour NO GOOD

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22 Aug 2013 - 12:07
drdin14229's picture

as a Brent employee at the new civic centre, i can tell you that the library is used daily by unemployed young people trying to find work - often at minimum wage just to get started. It must be hard for them to see a 'job' given to a hologram when they could probably do it for more effectively. We have a problem with youth employment in thr borough and this could have alleviated it by 1. And don't trust the costs... they will be far more than stated year on year

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23 Aug 2013 - 00:33
craig55647's picture

It angers me because we have launched a bid to save Oxgate Farm. London Borough of Brent's oldest house. The road outside our house is completely destroyed, yet they still are allowing 40-60 tonne lorries down it day in day out. Even Buses are now not supported when they pass the farmhouse it shudders violently. It is criminal to have spent that amount of money of Council Offices, they should have spent it on infrastructure and jobs. So 'drdin' I agree.

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