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Posted by: John Brace | 3rd November 2014

Norman's bill just keeps on rising, £7,883.88 for external legal advice on setting a budget when he wasn't there

Norman’s bill just keeps on rising, £7,883.88 for external legal advice on setting a budget when he wasn’t there

                                                                  

Every year Wirral Council has to set a budget for the next year. In fact Wirral Council have been doing this since 1974 (and probably in shadow form for the year before that).

For some reason in 2013, at Wirral Council someone decided to ask Frances Woodhead of Eversheds (a legal firm) for advice. Ironically (considering what happened to Bill Norman) she lists on Evershed’s website her experience on “Advising on sensitive senior officer dismissals” and her experience as “Director of Legal Services at Sheffield City Council”.

Now this however is the interesting point, Bill Norman as regular readers of this blog knows left Wirral Council getting a payment of £146,416 in September 2012 and the Investigation and Disciplinary Committee found “no case to answer”. So after this point he was no longer an employee of Wirral Council.

Yet these invoices relate to advice given in February 2013 for the 2013/14 budget, five months after Bill Norman was no longer employed by Wirral Council! Were Eversheds not told he had left? Who was Frances Woodhead advising if it wasn’t actually Bill Norman as stated on the invoice (who was no longer employed by Wirral Council)? The invoices quite clearly show travel expenses of £61.40 which means somebody must have travelled somewhere to meet someone (who obviously wasn’t Bill Norman)!

What was it about the 2013/14 Budget that required nearly £8k of legal advice anyway?

Budget setting legal costs £4680 00p Counsels fees May 2013

Budget setting legal costs £4680 00p Counsels fees May 2013

Budget setting legal costs £3203 88p Bill Norman Frances Woodhead March 2013

Budget setting legal costs £3203 88p Bill Norman Frances Woodhead March 2013

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Responses

  1. Looking at the Invoices, the dates appear correct and the date of Mr Norman Leaving appears to be correct. So did Mr Norman do work for the Council after he had left? This is a question that should be asked and answered

    • No if you’re made redundant (Bill Norman’s post was deleted) or leave under a compromise agreement you can only return as an employee with authorisation from senior management.

      From what I know he got a job elsewhere in a completely different part of the country, I think Hereford?

      I think it’s more a mistake on the contractor’s part, mind you Wirral Council also sent out an eviction notice in Bill Norman’s name when he was suspended so it could be deliberate to fudge the issue in case anybody reads the invoice or just carelessness.

  2. I was going to say perhaps Mistakesssssssss!!!!! although both are very serious in their own right. I took note of the Front sheet in relation to the Court Papers or was it a mistake again?. I would also note that although a subtly worded “Compromise Agreement” can cover a multitude of things, but it is not a Coverall


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