Advertising
 

Why did 2 Wirral Council councillors take taxi journeys costing £83.60 each time?

                                              

Wirral Council Cabinet meeting at Birkenhead Town Hall Thursday 12th March 2015 Left to right Surjit Tour, Cllr Phil Davies and Joe Blott

Cllr Phil Davies (centre) chairing a meeting of Wirral Council’s Cabinet

This year, during the 30 day inspection period I requested the Eye Cab Limited invoices for the contract for taxis for councillors.

An option in the Eye Cab Limited Passenger Transport Contract to extend it for a further year was taken up by the Council which meant it ran to the 31st August 2017.

Wirral Satellite Cars (who have recently merged with Argyle Taxis to become Argyle Satellite) won the the contract to supply taxi journeys to councillors which started on the 1st September 2017. Major parts of the new contract have also been redacted on grounds of commercial confidentiality.

The Eye Cab Limited invoices supplied cover March 2016, April 2016, May 2016, June 2016, July 2016 and August 2016. Apologies if the text can be a little hard to read, but these were how they were supplied by Wirral Council.

These are for taxi journeys by Cllr Moira McLaughlin, former Cllr Steve Niblock, Cllr Tony Norbury, Cllr Irene Williams, Cllr Warren Ward, Cllr Stuart Whittingham, Cllr Phil Davies and Cllr George Davies.

Wirral Council has decided to redact from these invoices, the name of the Wirral Council employee that these invoices went to and the mobile telephone number for Eye Cab limited. Some of the start points and end points of these taxi journeys have also been redacted by Wirral Council who deem it to be unfair processing of personal data for the public to know the home addresses of councillors!

One matter that does stand out are two taxi journeys made on the 5th July 2016 and the 7th July 2016 costing £83.60 each (as Wirral Council received an invoice each time for a 70 mile round trip rather than just the mileage between points A and B). Both journeys are shown on the invoice as being related to Cllr Phil Davies and both relate to taxi journeys to Manchester Airport.

Wirral Council have pointed out that Cllr Phil Davies shared the taxi journey with the Deputy Leader of the Council Cllr George Davies and the purpose of it was travel to and from the LGA Conference held in Bournemouth between the 5th and 7th of July 2016.

If you click on any of the buttons below, you’ll be doing me a favour by sharing this article with other people.

ICO require Wirral Council to release 104 page draft agreement with Nicklaus Joint Venture Group Limited about Hoylake Golf Resort

                               

ICO Information Commissioner’s Office logo

ICO Information Commissioner’s Office logo

Edited 10.8.17 by JB to include text of decision notice below images of pages

ICO have required Wirral Council to disclose 104 pages of a draft development agreement between itself and the Nicklaus Joint Venture Group Limited in respect of the proposed golf course, hotel and residential property in Hoylake. This project is known as the Hoylake Golf Resort and the proposed development involves the sale of and leasing of Wirral Council owned land to the developer.

Wirral Council have 35 calendar days (from the 7th August 2017) to provide the information or alternatively they can appeal ICO’s decision to the First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) within 28 days.

ICO ruled that a further 29 pages of legal advice that Wirral Council received from Pinsent Masons about the Hoylake Golf Resort project did not need to be disclosed.

You can read the full 14 page decision notice (FER0672223) below.

FER0672223 Hoylake Golf Resort (Wirral Council) Page 1 of 14

FER0672223 Hoylake Golf Resort (Wirral Council) Page 1 of 14

Reference: FER0672223

Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR)

Decision notice

Date: 7 August 2017
   
Public Authority: Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council
Address: Town Hall
Brighton Street
Wallasey
Merseyside
CH44 8ED
   
Complainant: John Brace
Address: Jenmaleo
Jenmaleo
134 Boundary Road
Bidston
CH43 7PH
   

Decision (including any steps ordered)


  1. The complainant has requested information relating to the Hoylake Golf Resort Project. Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council withheld the information under the exceptions for the course of justice (regulation 12(5)(b)) and commercial confidentiality (regulation 12(5)(e)).
  2. The Commissioner’s decision is that Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council has correctly applied regulation 12(5)(b) to withhold some of the requested information but failed to demonstrate that regulation 12(5)(e) is engaged.
  3. The Commissioner requires the public authority to take the following steps to ensure compliance with the legislation.

    ● Disclose pages 43-146 of the Private Document Pack.

  4. The public authority must take these steps within 35 calendar days of the date of this decision notice. Failure to comply may result in the Commissioner making written certification of this fact to the High Court pursuant to section 54 of the Act and may be dealt with as a contempt of court.

1

Read More…

How are 275 invoices connected to Wirral Council’s plans to change food waste and green bin collections?

                                

Wirral Council’s Cabinet meeting 27th June 2016 (item 9 Domestic Refuse Collection Outline Business Case starts at 25 minutes 21 seconds)

Wirral Council Cabinet meeting at Birkenhead Town Hall Thursday 12th March 2015 Left to right Surjit Tour, Cllr Phil Davies and Joe Blott

Cllr Phil Davies (centre) chairs Wirral Council’s Cabinet who will decide whether to change green bin collections later this year

When I read the Wirral Globe article about the proposed changes to bin collections (which may include a new food waste collection and possibly changes to the green bin collection) that have been delayed, I remembered that I received invoices from Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority (also known as Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority) earlier this week.

Wirral Council have the legal responsibility for collecting rubbish from households on the Wirral (which they do through a contract with Biffa), but Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority then deal with what to do with the rubbish (and charge a levy to Wirral Council and other local councils).

Earlier this year, during the 30 working day period when you can do so, I requested copies of 275 invoices paid by Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority over the last financial year (2016-17).

Out of the invoices supplied electronically, one was missing and one was a duplicate. I flagged this up with Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority and have since been supplied with the correct invoices.

This is invoice 186 (that was missing originally from what I was sent).

This is invoice 67 (that was originally duplicated with a different invoice already supplied.

The invoices are supplied in batches of fifty due to file size limits on emails. One of the invoices is for MWDA’s share for this study by Local Partnerships which included Wirral. At Wirral Council’s Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee last month it was stated that changes to Wirral’s waste collection were on hold while a regional study was being finished.

Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority 2016-17 Invoices 1-50

Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority 2016-17 Invoices 51-100

Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority 2016-17 Invoices 101-150

Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority 2016-17 Invoices 151-200

Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority 2016-17 Invoices 201-250

Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority 2016-17 Invoices 251-275

If you click on any of the buttons below, you’ll be doing me a favour by sharing this article with other people.

What did the Bishop of Liverpool say to those on the Liverpool Pride March?

                                            

Bishop of Liverpool (Rt Revd Paul Bayes) address before Liverpool Pride march 29th July 2017 outside St Georges Hall Liverpool

Bishop of Liverpool (Rt Revd Paul Bayes) address before Liverpool Pride march 29th July 2017 outside St Georges Hall Liverpool

Yesterday I was walking along Lime Street, Liverpool near St Georges Hall when I heard the Bishop of Liverpool apologise for how the Church of England had treated those who are gay. Then I got my camera out and started recording (you can watch what I recorded below).

Liverpool Pride (Bishop of Liverpool) 29th July 2017

Nearly a decade ago, in 2008 Michael Causer (who was referred to in banner being held on the Liverpool Pride March) was murdered.

Since that point, the authorities started taking more interest in equality matters.

Five years ago this blog reported on the Liverpool Pride march in 2012.

Now in 2017 (compared to 2012) Liverpool Pride is much larger and well attended event.

Liverpool Pride March (29th July 2017) Lime Street, Liverpool

Liverpool Pride March (29th July 2017) Lime Street, Liverpool

The event was covered better by the media this year, but as a sign of the times those participating in the march were subject to bag searches.

You can watch part of the march above which includes people well-known to this blog such as Dan Stephens (Chief Fire Officer, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service), Phil Garrigan (Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service), Andy Cooke (Chief Constable, Merseyside Police), Cllr Dave Hanratty (Chair, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority) and Cllr Richard Kemp (Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, Liverpool City Council).

If you click on any of the buttons below, you’ll be doing me a favour by sharing this article with other people.

Posted by: John Brace | 28th July 2017

What’s happening to Birkenhead Market?

What’s happening to Birkenhead Market?

Birkenhead Market lease Birkenhead Market Limited Wirral Borough Council plan number 2 internal floor plan

Birkenhead Market lease Birkenhead Market Limited Wirral Borough Council plan number 2 internal floor plan

St John’s Market in Liverpool has been hitting the headlines recently, but rumours have been swirling round Birkenhead Market about its future too.

Birkenhead Market is in Birkenhead and Tranmere ward, which is represented by Cllr Phil Davies (Labour), Cllr Jean Stapleton (Labour) and Cllr Pat Cleary (Green).

This piece however is not written from a party political perspective, but to address some of what’s going on.

Wirral Council as far as I know still own the land the market is on, but there are then at least four limited companies (Birkenhead Market Limited, Birkenhead Market Holdings Limited, Birkenhead Market Regeneration Limited and Birkenhead Market Services Limited) with interests plus the interests of the stallholders.

For those reading my blog who are into forensic accounting, according to the latest accounts for Birkenhead Market Limited and Birkenhead Market Services Limited there’s also a £3.948 million bank loan with Royal Bank of Scotland PLC which is secured by way of a charge and debenture on the company (explanations in the comments as to what these mean would be useful).

In a box in my office from a previous citizen audit, is the lease between Wirral Council, two of the companies above and the stallholders.

Interestingly, Birkenhead Market Regeneration Limited (which was a change of name 2 months ago of Ellesmere Port Regeneration Limited) and Birkenhead Market Holdings Limited (which was a change of name last month of Concept Student Developments Limited) both have an office address at the new Liverpool headquarters of Vermont.

After one false start over the Birkenhead Town Centre regeneration, both these companies changed name shortly after Wirral Council’s launch of the Wirral Growth Company earlier this year.

Market traders are naturally concerned about what will be happening to Birkenhead Market.

If you click on any of the buttons below, you’ll be doing me a favour by sharing this article with other people.

Older Posts »

Categories