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Posted by: John Brace | 18th August 2015

Which councillor claimed £72.05 for a dinner?

Which councillor claimed £72.05 for a dinner?

                                                            

Cllr Leslie Byrom Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority meeting 30th June 2015

Cllr Leslie Byrom Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority meeting 30th June 2015

 

Above is Cllr Leslie Byrom, Vice-Chair of the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority. He is one of the Labour representatives from Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council. Some readers may recognise him as the councillor who chaired the public meeting when councillors decided to close Upton and West Kirby fire stations.

Last year he submitted an expense claim to Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service. You can see this expense claim and the accompanying receipt below.

Cllr Leslie Byrom expense claim September 2014 page 1 of 2

Cllr Leslie Byrom expense claim September 2014 page 1 of 2

Cllr Leslie Byrom expense claim September 2014 page 2 of 2

Cllr Leslie Byrom expense claim September 2014 page 2 of 2

So, as you can see from the above the hotel receipt is for one night bed and breakfast (£100) and dinner (£72.05) which comes to a total of £172.05.

On the claim form however, despite Cllr Byrom signing a declaration that “I declare that I have actually and necessarily incurred additional expense” this £172.05 amount becomes £180. Someone has reduced the value of the claim £180 to £172.05.

Dinners costing £72.05 are of course technically within the expense claiming rules as if you read page 202 councillors can claim up to £180 for a subsistence allowance for stays in London.

However under the expenses system had Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service paid his accommodation directly, Cllr Byrom would’ve only been allowed to claim up to £47.81 for meals (a daily allowance of £56.82 minus £9.01 for the cost of breakfast).

As to whether spending £72.05 on a dinner is necessary. On an earlier stay at the same hotel, Cllr Leslie Byrom’s dinner was only £45.70 (see below).

Cllr Leslie Byrom hotel invoice February 2014

Cllr Leslie Byrom hotel invoice February 2014

Cllr Leslie Byrom expenses February 2014

Cllr Leslie Byrom expenses February 2014

As you can see he didn’t claim for the cost of the £45.70 dinner for that trip, but someone at Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service has increased the value of the claim to include it anyway!

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Responses

  1. Labour,the former people’s party,is now populated nationally and locally by ‘Champagne Socialists’!

    • Their expenses rules have this to say on claims for champagne:

      "3.4 Expenses will not be paid by the Authority in respect of personal expenditure incurred by Members or Officers, including the following:-

      (a) purchase of alcoholic drinks (except a moderate amount taken as part of a meal which qualifies for subsistence payment)"

  2. I agree with Will Redfern when I went to meetings in London with overseas clients I set off on an early train not first class and returned on a late train & travelled by public transport with minimum expense to my company & was thought the better of by keeping costs to the bare minimum. Whereas these Champagne Socialists can be wined & dined at the public expense without a care of the costs shows they are uncaring and callous knowing they can abuse the system & get away without being questioned after all its not their money they are spending its the poor ratepayer. The sooner the system is revised the happier I personally will be.
    Well done John for exposing this scandalous waste of public monies haven’t they heard of video conferencing which would save a fortune, it must have been some meal for over £70.00 and I bet a fair amount of liquid refreshmet.

  3. Mr Brace, once again you have exposed the wrong doing of local councilors
    from an expenses point of view, well done!!!!!!

  4. £72 for a meal, that would keep me in food for a month on my wage!

  5. Hi John the photos of the venue show opulence beyond belief & if you type in the venues menu allowing for a starter main meal & a pudding the top price would be about £50.00 so there must have been a fine bottle of wine or several drinks to account for the £22.00 difference. Perhaps the councillor would like to confirm the itemised bill for public scrutiny as to the extent of what ratepayers forked out for. I wont hold my breath for fear of death.

  6. Seventy Two quid! How has it come to this. My God to think we’ve allowed this perfectly legal behaviour to flourish and prosper.
    And it’s all done in the name of public service and good governance. And their reaction to this or perhaps a piece on The Leaks or the missives of Cardin and Morton, well they simply don’t care. Humiliation and being exposed as bottom feeding tics and leeches is of no concern to them that ride this vessel of bounty and have the means to feed your fat face on seventy two quids worth of food in some place that’s beyond us to enter, dine and sleep in.
    The Bastards! And it’s all perfectly legal, all above board and all done in the name of ‘Passion to serve’!
    Seventy Two quid! I’ve paid less for a kebab, two hours of phone sex and a ride home from the Ale House in a bloody hand cart after purchasing a single scratch card in the hope that I to might one day acquire enough wealth to be able to dine in this opulent manner.
    Why can’t these freeloading tics pack some sandwiches, fill a flask and pick something that’s a little more kind and respectful to us the ones who feed this bureaucratic beast of burden.
    Course, they won’t will they because it’s all perfectly legal, they’ve created the game, only they can play the bloody game and we have to fund this disfunctional and immoral arrangement.
    And as for the sweet soul who claimed this sum of money and filled his fat face with seventy two quids worth of grub, I hope his cholesterol hits thirty sooner rather than later. Yes that’d make him think before he fed his mouth with seventy two quid of public money.
    I’ve a had a quick glance at his image and there are most certainly signs, particularly around the neck that tell me he’s getting fat and his cholesterol must be rising. Course, I’m unable to be more specific because the image of this fella only shows me the head, the neck and a small section of the upper body.
    It’s the lower part that interests me. How fat is this recipient of a meal that cost the Wirral people seventy two quid. If I had a full and complete picture of this slave to positive outcomes and passion, I’d be more able to say whether or not he should be on Statins. As it is, given that I can’t make a complete, full and accurate diagnosis about the true state of his arteries, it’s impossible for me to provide anymore formation, other than to say, it’s none of our business what level his cholesterol has reached unless of course it’s reached an unhealthy high level as a result of the public funding his gluttony.

    • I can confirm that he is fat all over (welI,I can’t speak about his feet.) I’d diagnose type 2 diabetes too – metformin needed as well as statins.

      . ,

  7. Bobby you seem a little vexed you will be even more vexed if you look up The East India Club London to see the dining room with others at the trough & even more vexed when you click onto the clubs menu Note for J. B what happened to the pictures you posted I could not find them on your blog so I have reminded readers where to look if you don’t mind.

    • The links to the pictures all still work for me, but as people have commented since then they are about three comments further up.

  8. Fat all over you say Kim. In that case my diagnostic conclusion is his cholesterol has reached such proportions that a doctor could reasonable be excused for saying to this patient, ‘congratulations. You are now officially more swine than human. You Sir are little more than a Razor Back, Pot bellied suckling sow and I claim my five pounds and a packet of pork Scratchings harvested from the arse end of the family pig.
    Thank ye Kim!

  9. Probe a bit more Mr Brace and let’s see what he had. Bet it wasn’t spaghetti hoops. I knew Les when he was a prominent TORY councillor. Some habits are hard to shake off.

    • Unfortunately there was no breakdown of what he had to eat on the invoice.


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