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Posted by: John Brace | 4th January 2016

Why is Merseytravel spending £57,000 + VAT to monitor this blog?

Why is Merseytravel spending £57,000 + VAT to monitor this blog?

                                      

Yesterday I wrote a story headlined, "Will the 20 councillors on Merseytravel mothball the Mersey Ferry terminal at Woodside?".

Of course as Wirral Council (from council tax on Wirral residents and other sources) is budgeted to send Merseytravel £26.264 million this year, you may wonder how Merseytravel has been spending this money?

Below is an invoice to Merseytravel for £19,000/year + VAT (part of a 3 year deal) with Vocus UK Ltd (a company that monitors the media). Part of that is spent on monitoring this blog and arguing with me if they read something that they don’t like! Of course Merseytravel could subscribe to this blog via email for free, but instead the public sector spends this large sum instead.

I realise £19,000 + VAT a year is a drop in the ocean as far as budgets are concerned, but some would think that when there are cuts to be made that this sort of spending should fall in the discretionary category, but then for Merseytravel management possibly managing their reputation is not something that would be put forward for cuts?

Merseytravel Vocus UK Ltd invoice £22800 March 2014 thumbnail

Merseytravel Vocus UK Ltd invoice £22800 March 2014 thumbnail

Just out of interest here’s what Merseytravel get for their money (unless people are really interested in this topic I won’t publish the whole contract).

The Merseytravel signatures on the below documents are Frank Rogers (Interim Chief Executive and the Lead Officer for Transport/author of the Mersey Ferries report in yesterday’s story). The other signature is of Louise Outram who is Merseytravel’s Head of Legal and Committee Services. As usual the thumbnails link to higher resolution versions of the documents.

Merseytravel Vocus subscription agreement 2013 £4226 page 1 of 2 thumbnail

Merseytravel Vocus subscription agreement 2013 £4226 page 1 of 2 thumbnail

Merseytravel Vocus subscription agreement 2013 £14857.50 page 2 of 2

Merseytravel Vocus subscription agreement 2013 £14857.50 page 2 of 2

Merseytravel Vocus UK Ltd subscription agreement 2014 to 2017 £57000 thumbnail

Merseytravel Vocus UK Ltd subscription agreement 2014 to 2017 £57000 thumbnail

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Responses

  1. 看看!

  2. Well as they are thinking of closing Woodside terminal down due to money needed for repairs etc, here’s money going to waste that could be used to keep it going!
    And you could also sack the three people named as they are not needed any more thus saving more money, simples!

    • Well the former Chief Executive (I presume his interim Frank Rogers will be getting something similar unless he just gets his usual salary) was on a salary of nearly £151k, However the Head of Paid Service’s post (which is usually held by the Chief Executive) is a legal requirement.

      Louise Outram is also as far as I know Monitoring Officer*(but see below) (again a legal requirement).

      * Note Angela Sanderson is the Monitoring Officer for the Merseytravel Committee of the Liverpool City Combined Authority. I’m not sure if Merseytravel have a separate Monitoring Officer.

      Although Liz Carridge (Head of their press office) isn’t a legal requirement, she’s actually the only one of the three you could let go without having to find someone else to do their job!

      The salaries of all three will be published on Merseytravel’s website somewhere but I would guess would be in the upper 5 figures range.

  3. Perhaps they have something(s) to hide. Or as Ozzy Osborne sang about it-PARANOIA!

    • With the public sector, finding what they want to remain hidden is like finding the needle in the proverbial haystack!


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