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Posted by: John Brace | 26th March 2015

Why did Wirral Council pay £2,943.61 for travel to Rome, Madrid, Frankurt, Paris, Montreux, Dublin & Vienna?

Why did Wirral Council pay £2,943.61 for travel to Rome, Madrid, Frankurt, Paris, Montreux, Dublin & Vienna?

                                                   

Councillor Paul Doughty Chair of the Pensions Committee deciding on Monday 23rd March on the advice of officers to keep all this a secret

Councillor Paul Doughty Chair of the Pensions Committee (on the right of the photo) deciding on Monday 23rd March on the advice of officers to keep all this a secret

I will declare at the start that I have a close relative paid a Merseyside Pension Fund pension.

Rome, Madrid, Paris and Vienna were all destinations travelled to by Wirral Council employees working in its Merseyside Pension Fund section paid for out of Merseyside Pension Fund funds. On the advice of officers, councillors on the Pension Committee on Tuesday resolved to keep this list out of the public domain on the basis that it was “Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)” and that “in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information”.

I disagree with councillors on that assessment and the table of overseas travel by those in its Merseyside Pension Fund section for 2014 is below.

DEPARTMENTOFFICERLOCATIONDATEPURPOSECOST *
MERSEYSIDE PENSION FUNDGREG CAMPBELLMADRID13-17 JAN 2014ATTEND INVESTMENT CONFERENCE TO VIEW 16 COMPANY PRESENTATIONS WHO ARE POTENTIAL VIABLE INVESTMENTS. TO PROVIDE EUROPEAN MANAGER WITH BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF INDIVIDUAL COMPANIES AND INDUSTRY KNOWLEDGE.£642.63
MERSEYSIDE PENSION FUNDPETER WALLACHROME5-7 FEB 2014ATTEND INTERNATIONAL INVESTOR EUROPEAN PENSIONS SYMPOSIUM. INVITED TO SPEAK AT THE EVENT AND OPPORTUNITY TO HEAR FROM PENSIONS AND INVESTMENT EXPERTS. TO MEET WITH OTHER PUBLIC AND PRIVATE FUNDS.£260.22
MERSEYSIDE PENSION FUNDSUSANNAH FRIARMIAMI18-21 MARCH 2014ATTEND PARTNERS GROUP ANNUAL CONFERENCE TO DISCUSS PROGRESS OF FUNDS. ATTEND PRESENTATIONS BY PARTNERS FUND MANAGERS AND INVITED SPEAKERS TO LOOK AT CASE STUDIES OF COMPANIES INVESTED.NIL
MERSEYSIDE PENSION FUNDLEYLAND OTTERMONTREUX27-30 APRIL 2014ATTEND EUROPEAN PENSIONS AND INVESTMENTS CONFERENCE. AN OPPORTUNITY TO NETWORK WITH OUR PEERS IN THE INVESTMENT FIELD AND TO ASSIMILATE CURRENT THINKING ON PROSPECTIVE INVESTMENTS ACROSS A WIDE RANGE OF ASSET CLASSES£305.58
MERSEYSIDE PENSION FUNDOWEN THORNEDUBLIN6-8 MAY 2014ATTEND BLACKROCK RENEWABLES CONFERENCE. ATTENDANCE AT INVESTOR DAY WHICH IS INTEGRAL PART OF THE FUND’S INVESTMENT MONITORING PROCESS. TO EVALUATE PROGRESS OF THE TEAM AND OTHER NETWORKING AND MARKET INTELLIGENCE GATHERING BENEFITS£60.00
MERSEYSIDE PENSION FUNDLEYLAND OTTERBRUSSELS12-13 MAY 2014ATTEND ANTIN IP INVESTOR DAY. OPPORTUNITY FOR UPDATE ON INFRASTRUCTURE FUND AND SITE VISITNIL
MERSEYSIDE PENSION FUNDSUSANNAH FRIARFRANKFURT13-15 MAY 2014ATTEND INVESCO PROPERTY CONFERENCE TO DISCUSS PROGRESS OF THE FUND. TO ATTEND PRESENTATION BY INVESCO MANAGERS AND INVESCO SPEAKERS. MEET WITH OTHER INVESTORS£391.00
MERSEYSIDE PENSION FUNDGREG CAMPBELLPARIS17 JUNE 2014TO ATTEND INVESTMENT CONFERENCE WITH OVER 20 COMPANY PRESENTATIONS. MANY WHO ARE HELD IN THE EUROPEAN PORTFOLIO. TO PROVIDE BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF INDIVIDUAL COMPANIES TO INCREASE INDUSTRY KNOWLEDGE.£713.89
MERSEYSIDE PENSION FUNDSUSANNAH FRIARPARIS17-17 NOV 2014ATTEND CARLYLE GROUP ANNUAL CONFERENCE. TO PROVIDE PROGRESS OF INVESTMENTS, ATTEND GENERAL CONFERENCE TO LEARN THOUGHTS OF GUEST PRESENTERS AND OTHER CARLYLE FUNDS. NETWORK WITH LIKE MINDED INVESTORS.£564.59
MERSEYSIDE PENSION FUNDPETER WALLACHVIENNA19-21 NOV 2014ATTEND IPE CONFERENCE & ANNUAL AWARDS. AN OPPORTUNITY FOR MPF TO BE REPRESENTED AT THE AWARDS CEREMONY AND THE BENEFIT FROM THE SEMINAR AND NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES WITH OTHER FUNDS.£5.70

* Costs to Fund. A number of events were subsidised by the organisers who pay for or contribute towards travel, and/or accommodation and/or attendance costs.

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Responses

  1. As a recipient of a pension I find some of these quite uneccesary trips and just an excuse for a jolly on the members. Apart from using our funds for low cost loans to other councils.

    • Just to be clear as members is often used at Wirral Council to mean councillors, when you write members you mean the people in the Merseyside Pension Fund as either pensioners or people paying into a pension scheme?

  2. G’day John

    This one is one to watch very very closely.

    He is heading for a top shelf in The Kitchen Cabinet if not there yet.

    The Officers best mate apparently after his utter bullshit at Gra Gra’s farce of a Big, ISUS and Working Neighbourhoods meeting of 8 October.

    I don’t think I have the incredible talent of Bobby47 but if you look at their faces you can tell the decency level.

    “Him”

    “The Dunny Chain Wearer”

    “Phil the Dill’s Ugly Twin Brother”

    “The Shyster”

    “The Football Shirt”

    VILE VILE VILE

    “Phil the Dill” to dopey and is just used.

    “The Pretend Friend” Slothful.

    “He who can talk for twenty minutes without breathing or saying anything” just angry and short and never be man.

    “The Potty Chamber” a very obedient blonde.

    I think I might talk to Bobby47 for some private lessons.

    Ooroo

    James

    Ps I will stop writing John when they do the right thing about Wirral “Funny” Bizz and I thank you for leaving my posts up John.

    Will you miss me John?

    No need to answer.

    • I welcome all comments on this blog. Don’t hold your breath over the matter referred to in your PS though.

  3. Yes our James, what we have here, cleverly captured by John with his camera, is an image of two males sat behind a desk viewing internet material. The one on the left, wearing the pair of thick lens glasses, or as I like to call them, re entry shields, is clearly uncomfortable with the man on our right and his left, hence the reason why he’s turning away with a look of absolute disgust on his face.
    Now, judging by the posture of this man on our right and his raised bushy eyebrows that display a clear and obvious facial anxiety akin to an expression of heightened sexual arousal, my guess is that the mans right hand, which we both cannot see because of the bloody desk, which though highly inconvenient for us, was probably acquired for this very purpose, namely that you, me and anyone else can’t possibly see what’s going on behind the obstruction, is actually masturbating, which is of course, understandably, the reason why the man to our left is looking so distressed with what’s going on to his left and our right.
    Course, I could be entirely wrong. I could be barking up the wrong tree and the pair of them could be planning their next ‘jolly’ away from Blighty and this has nothing at all to do with a man close to ejaculation after watching the latest edition of The Wirral Housewives. But if I’m wrong, why has the man on the right removed his tie to allow his blood to flow freely to his head and why is this man, the one to our right who we both now suspect might be pleasuring himself whilst on duty conducting Council business at the publics expense, is he steadying himself with his left hand that we can both clearly see because there is no piece of wood screening our view of what’s actually going on.
    It’s a knotty conundrum James and one which I strongly suspect may remain a puzzle for some time to come unless this Councillor writes in and states clearly, ‘I was not masturbating. I was fixing up a trip to Vegas to provide yet more value for money and the creation of a thousand jobs’.

  4. John, My very best wishes and warmest regards to you. if ever you feel I go to far and I creep to much toward absurdity, simply say John and I’ll reign myself in. I don’t want you to ever feel that you can’t bite me for it. I do understand that I can often allow myself to go to far and often, particularly when I reflect upon what I’ve produced I realise that this can often be the case. Take care John.

    • As the operator of this blog, my personal feelings don’t really enter into it. The Defamation (Operators of Websites) Regulations 2013 lay out a complaint process if people want to complain about comments.

      As long as the regulations are followed, I can’t be sued for libel.

      Out of thousands of comments on this blog, there have only ever been complaints about a few.

  5. Fine John. Actually, it wasn’t ‘them’ who I was concerned about. It was you John that i was keen not to upset. I didn’t want to piss you off”

  6. G’day Bobby

    You are such a great judge of character.

    I presume you will support “Highbrows” efforts in getting John “Tarrantino” Brace an OBE?

    Ooroo

    James

    Keep up the great work boys.

  7. It’d be a pleasure to support him James.


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