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Frugal council

Your article "Council's pound;16 million office bill" (TES, February 8), contained a glaring error of fact.

You stated that running costs of the Learning and Skills Council represent a "tenfold increase on the pound;16 million running costs of the FEFC in its final year".

This is wrong. The administrative costs for the FEFC in 200001 - its final year - were pound;32.4 million. This figure included pound;1.5 million for redundancies and payments in lieu of notice, as a result of the reorganisation. The article also stated that accommodation costs of local LSCs are nearly pound;16m a year, which is correct. This is not though, as the article says, "equivalent to the entire national administration budget of the FEFC". The figures are inaccurate. Neither do they compare like with like, as the LSC replaced both the FEFC and the Training and Enterprise Council network.

To put the record straight, the LSC has actually achieved a significant saving on office accommodation. We have 52 offices throughout England. The TECs occupied more than 400 properties and the FEFC occupied nine.

John Harwood, Chief executive, The Learning and Skills Council

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