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Posted by: John Brace | 15th August 2017

Why did 2 Wirral Council councillors take taxi journeys costing £83.60 each time?

Why did 2 Wirral Council councillors take taxi journeys costing £83.60 each time?

                                              

Wirral Council Cabinet meeting at Birkenhead Town Hall Thursday 12th March 2015 Left to right Surjit Tour, Cllr Phil Davies and Joe Blott

Wirral Council Cabinet meeting at Birkenhead Town Hall Thursday 12th March 2015 Left to right Surjit Tour, Cllr Phil Davies and Joe Blott

This year, during the 30 day inspection period I requested the Eye Cab Limited invoices for the contract for taxis for councillors.

An option in the Eye Cab Limited Passenger Transport Contract to extend it for a further year was taken up by the Council which meant it ran to the 31st August 2017.

Wirral Satellite Cars (who have recently merged with Argyle Taxis to become Argyle Satellite) won the the contract to supply taxi journeys to councillors which started on the 1st September 2017. Major parts of the new contract have also been redacted on grounds of commercial confidentiality.

The Eye Cab Limited invoices supplied cover March 2016, April 2016, May 2016, June 2016, July 2016 and August 2016. Apologies if the text can be a little hard to read, but these were how they were supplied by Wirral Council.

These are for taxi journeys by Cllr Moira McLaughlin, former Cllr Steve Niblock, Cllr Tony Norbury, Cllr Irene Williams, Cllr Warren Ward, Cllr Stuart Whittingham, Cllr Phil Davies and Cllr George Davies.

Wirral Council has decided to redact from these invoices, the name of the Wirral Council employee that these invoices went to and the mobile telephone number for Eye Cab limited. Some of the start points and end points of these taxi journeys have also been redacted by Wirral Council who deem it to be unfair processing of personal data for the public to know the home addresses of councillors!

One matter that does stand out are two taxi journeys made on the 5th July 2016 and the 7th July 2016 costing £83.60 each (as Wirral Council received an invoice each time for a 70 mile round trip rather than just the mileage between points A and B). Both journeys are shown on the invoice as being related to Cllr Phil Davies and both relate to taxi journeys to Manchester Airport.

Wirral Council have pointed out that Cllr Phil Davies shared the taxi journey with the Deputy Leader of the Council Cllr George Davies and the purpose of it was travel to and from the LGA Conference held in Bournemouth between the 5th and 7th of July 2016.

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Responses

  1. Not surprised to see taxi queen Moira McLaughlin on there again.
    Must be their biggest customer on Wirral, all paid for by us.
    But we don’t get a choice do we?
    If we say “No, I will not fund luxury travel for councillors when there is the perfectly viable option of getting a bus or a train,” we end up being strong-armed into coughing up and suffering OR being sent to court and onto prison.

    People who can prosper and advance their abusive careers through such an unequal system before the law need to hang their heads in shame.

    • As you refer to Cllr Moira McLaughlin, over just the period covered by those invoices here is the total number of trips taken by taxi by each councillor sorted from highest number to lowest number. Cllr Moira McLaughlin did take the most journeys (28).

      Cllr Moira McLaughlin (March (5) + April (3) + May (3) + June (8) + July (7) + August (2)) = 28
      Cllr Warren Ward (May (10) + June (8) + July (5) + August (2)) = 25
      Former Cllr Steve Niblock (March (5) + April (2)) = 7
      Cllr Irene Williams (March (2) + June (2)) = 4
      Cllr Phil Davies (July (2)) = 2
      Cllr George Davies (July (2)) = 2
      Cllr Bill Davies (March (2)) = 2
      Cllr Tony Norbury (March (1)) = 1
      Cllr Jeanette Williamson (June (1)) = 1
      Cllr Stuart Whittingham (June (1)) = 1

  2. Then you wonder why pot holes don’t get repaired, got no money!


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