Councils blow a fortune on calling the speaking clock

Damian Wilson

Watch salesmen should do a brisk business round the council offices of the North East after it's been revealed that staff from four local authorities up that way blew £2,500 on calling the speaking clock.

The BT service costs 31p a minute from a landline, though it's free online, but staff at Newcastle, Durham, Northumberland and North Tyneside councils have blown the equivalent of calling the service constantly for five days.