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Posted by: John Brace | 12th September 2014

Expense claim forms for Councillor George Davies (Wirral Council) 2013 to 2014

Expense claim forms for Councillor George Davies (Wirral Council) 2013 to 2014

                                                                 

Wirral Council councillors in addition to what they get paid for their official duties (called allowances), they also have an expenses system too. As part of the 2013-14 audit (as I have a legal right to) I requested the underlying claim forms for these claims and other related bits and pieces. Personally I think like the MP expenses issue, these in the interests of openness and transparency should be published on a monthly basis, although there is no legal requirement on Wirral Council to publish anything other than annual totals once a year.

Councillors are paid such amounts through the payroll system at Wirral Council and certain details have been redacted from each form before I was given copies. These are matters such as councillor’s signatures, car registration numbers and officer names/signatures.

I haven’t been given a list of what’s been redacted from each form, but I have been told this information. The forms were given to me this morning alphabetically by councillor surname, so the first in this series is Councillor George Davies (who is a Labour councillor for Claughton ward).

These are for expenses claimed during the 2013-14 financial year (so should cover the period from the 1st April 2013 to the 31st March 2014). If anything it shows the public how busy Councillor George Davies has been that year, ranging from his duties as a Cabinet Member, his work on the Pension Committee to other matters he is involved in.

I did also request the underlying financial information to support these claims forms such as receipts, but the guy I originally made the request to is on holiday and such paperwork has not been provided to me (yet). Who knows what will happen in the near future as the 30th September 2014 deadline fast approaches?

Updated 21/10/2014: A further four pages of Cllr George Davies’ expense claim forms were provided on the 17th October 2014.

Cllr George Davies expense claim 2013 2014 page 1

Cllr George Davies expense claim 2013 2014 page 2

Cllr George Davies expense claim 2013 2014 page 3

Cllr George Davies expense claim 2013 2014 page 4

Cllr George Davies expense claim 2013 2014 page 5

Cllr George Davies expense claim 2013 2014 page 5

Cllr George Davies expense claim 2013 2014 page 6

Cllr George Davies expense claim 2013 2014 page 6

Cllr George Davies expense claim 2013 2014 page 7

Cllr George Davies expense claim 2013 2014 page 7

Cllr George Davies expense claim 2013 2014 page 8

Cllr George Davies expense claim 2013 2014 page 8

Cllr George Davies expense claim 2013 2014 page 9

Cllr George Davies expense claim 2013 2014 page 9

Cllr George Davies expense claim 2013 2014 page 10

Cllr George Davies expense claim 2013 2014 page 10

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Responses

  1. He tried to claim £3.60 (5 times) for there and back through the tunnel. Only for it to be crossed out by a zealous bean counter. When did the toll go up to £1.80?

    Oh those pesky ‘mistakes’ that repeat themselves, eh?

    A little bird told me that years ago, in the days before computerised accounting systems, Davies would claim £5 meal tickets for lunch time meetings, and rush around the borough, packing in as many of these lunches (and meal tickets) as he could. He’s obviously a practised hand at claiming.

    In fact it looks like he’s been doing it so long, you wouldn’t expect him to make any unfortunate ‘mistakes’ would you?

    And why do ‘mistakes’ always add value, rather than subtract it? Hmmmm. Fascinating question.

    • I think councillors were probably under the impression that nobody other than them and someone at Wirral Council was ever likely to see these expenses forms (hence the panic over redacting as much as possible)…

      The majority of councillors actually don’t claim any travel expenses in that financial year, he’s in the minority that do.

      In answer to your question tunnel tolls for 13/14 are a bit complicated really as it’s completely different amounts for cash tolls or Fast Tag. However during this period (for a car):

      1/4/13 to 31/3/14

      Cash : £1.50
      Fast Tag: £1.30

      “authorised toll” (never charged but what they could charge) £1.80

      Source: Merseytravel Budget meeting minutes 7/2/13 Agenda item 88 (Mersey Tunnel Tolls).

      * I had better make it clear that expenses are supposed to submitted on a monthly basis. The information provided for Cllr George Davies seems to cover more than the 13/14 financial year as he seems to submit his expenses claims on a less regular basis. The tunnel toll info above is just for the 13/14 financial year, if the expenses apply to 12/13 or 14/15 then it is possible that different tunnel tolls apply as they are reviewed annually.

      I’ve previously looked at an election expenses return before where Cllr George Davies was agent. It did have a £50 mistake, which was understandable as it related to a donation. I think I blogged about it here, it was to do with the election of his friend Cllr Steve Foulkes.


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