27 June 2012
The four-day royalist extravaganza that surrounded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee may have certainly tested the stoicism of our staunchest republicans, but there is no denying that the planned events in London and around the UK were well managed and can be seen as a great success.
Chris tells us about the part he played and the threat of cuts.
Everything from providing the necessary support and co-ordination between the different event co-ordinators to reassuring ministers and senior staff that everything is going alright. We provided connections between many organisations: e.g. the police and the Royal parks, and ensured all the proper plans have been made for dealing with crowds and transport etc.
The sheer variety. From writing a letter for the Secretary of State to Number 10 to taking a phone call from a member of the public asking, “If I’m in the South Stand which entrance do I come in from?” It was a challenge because there was so much involved and we had to plan on the basis of 50% morecrowds than last year’s Royal Wedding.
My main job is dealing with the National Lottery and the distribution side. It is concerned with the rules of how the money is spent, ensuring it goes to good causes.
Not terribly good because of the huge cut the department faces in its budget and the expected job losses. Everyone is expected to go through a selection process sometime in the autumn to decide who stays and who goes. I have to pay a higher pension contribution and it’s hard to remember when I last had a pay rise, so that’s a real terms pay cut. Most of us don’t have any pay progression either.
There was very good support for the strike action because PCS members feel so strongly about the pension changes and the other issues. The work put into the Jubilee proved that ministers really do rely on the work of civil servants and they will miss people when they’ve gone.