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Posted by: John Brace | 29th December 2010

FOI request – Freedom of Borough – £2k so far and counting

I’ve just received a partial answer to my request and I am to be quite frank staggered by the costs so far in awarding a person Freedom of the Borough.

The buffet was £705, the alcohol £121.15, flowers were £30, a photographer was a staggering £258.50 (to take a few photos)! and the scroll was £846.

So far that’s £40 shy of £2000. Bear in mind although this is a public meeting any members of the public are kept away from the alcohol & buffet (which the public have paid for) and told they can’t sit anywhere in the public gallery they’d actually be able to see how at least £2k of their money is being spent.

157 guests were invited and 110 turned up.

I will point out at this stage, I’m not in any way criticising Steve Maddox getting Freedom of the Borough, but at a time when Wirral Council is making people redundant, personally it just doesn’t seem right to be spending so much. I’m not saying there shouldn’t be money spent on awards and ceremony it’s just the taxpayer should know that its money is being spent prudently.

The original report stated “There are no staffing implications arising out of this report; there may be some modest financial implications which can be accommodated from within existing budgets.”

Clearly Jim Wilkie’s view of “modest financial implications” are different to mine!


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