Crucial website saved from chop
In this era of economy cuts everywhere from services to jobs, some things prove to be too important to lose.
One of these has proved to be one of the Potato Council websites, (yes, they really do have more than one) which was run by its marketing department.
So important did the rescue of this website prove to be, that when Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude made the announcement that www.lovechips.co.uk was to be one of the 820 government websites possibly surplus to requirements (saving the good old taxpayer £100m a year) that the CEO of Tyrrells Crisps came to the rescue.
William Chase, Britain’s leading potato entrepreneur, and founder of Tyrrells Crisps has fought several potato battles already.
“Potato growers are always the last in line when it comes to handing out help,” said Chase. “Everyone is against them including the current dry weather!”
There are nearly 3,000 dedicated potato growers in the UK and Chase the champion is keen to jump to their rescue. He is also clearly very fond of potatoes.
Chase Vodka, distilled on the Chase Herefordshire potato farm, won the 2010 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Chase beat 249 rivals from around the world, including the output of the finest Russian and Polish distilleries, to be named the best vodka in the world.
And then there are the crisps. William Chase virtually created the hand-cooked, premium potato crisp market in 2002 when he produced Tyrrells Crisps. He sold Tyrrells to a private equity company in 2008 for £40 million and promptly reinvested £3 million of the money into distilling equipment.
For the government, chips are bad news. They contain salt, fat and they cause obesity, which costs money.
Each year us Brits enjoy 255 million fish and chip shop meals, and a further half a billion meals, including chips, are made at home.
Cabinet minister Maude said that all government websites ‘will be subject to a review looking at cost, usage and whether they could share resources better’. Reporting in September, the aim of the review will be to close 75% of sites and halve the costs of the remainder.
A Central Office for Information report published yesterday said that £94 million had been spent on the construction and running costs of just 46 sites. £32 million was also spent on staff costs for those sites in 2009-10.
The most expensive websites were uktradeinvest.gov.uk (costing £11.78 per visit) and businesslink.gov.uk (£2.15 per visit).