Should Cllr Denise Roberts pay back £3.80 claimed in postage to Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority?

Should Cllr Denise Roberts pay back £3.80 claimed in postage to Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority?

Councillor Denise Roberts £3 80 postage 29th June 2015 Page 2 of 2 resized

Should Cllr Denise Roberts pay back £3.80 claimed in postage to Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority?


Councillor Denise Roberts (Chair, Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee at Wirral Council) 6th July 2016
Councillor Denise Roberts (Chair, Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee at Wirral Council) 6th July 2016

Below is a £3.80 claim made by Cllr Denise Roberts when she was on the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority for postage.

Apparently some papers for a Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority meeting were sent to her with the incorrect postage on so she put in an expense claim (on the travel and subsistence form) for £3.80.

The receipt from Royal Mail is included.

Let’s hope Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service know to put the right postage on mail in the future!

Councillor Denise Roberts £3.80 postage 29th June 2015 Page 1 of 2 resized
Councillor Denise Roberts £3.80 postage 29th June 2015 Page 1 of 2 resized
Councillor Denise Roberts £3.80 postage 29th June 2015 Page 2 of 2 resized
Councillor Denise Roberts £3.80 postage 29th June 2015 Page 2 of 2 resized

She got somebody else working in Merseyside Fire and Rescue Services called Nicholas Pitcher to sign the form on her behalf.

Postage isn’t one of the categories that councillors can usually claim at MFRA as expenses. From allegedly both a legal and constitutional perspective this is wrong too. When the annual list was published for 2015/16 as there is no postage category allowed, it appeared in the travel and subsistence category as you can see from the list published on MFRA’s website.

Her basic allowance of an extra £8,070 for being on the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority is supposed to cover such incidental expenses such as this £3.80 postage but Cllr Denise Roberts chose to claim it back.

At the time of this claim Cllr Denise Roberts was Chair of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority’s Audit Sub-Committee (which is also the Committee at Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority that dealt with complaints about councillors).

Should Cllr Roberts pay the £3.80 back? Please leave a comment giving your view.

Cllr Denise Roberts stopped being on the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority in May 2016 when Wirral Council chose a different councillor to represent the Labour Group from Wirral.

Cllr Denise Roberts is now Chair of Wirral Council’s Standards and Constitutional Oversight Committee which has oversight of complaints made about councillors.

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service were quite insistent yesterday that they would not allow us to take away paper copies of Cllr Denise Roberts’ expense claim (which is why the above is a photo). This is despite a legal requirement in the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014, s.26(1)(b) that allows us to make copies.

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Author: John Brace

New media journalist from Birkenhead, England who writes about Wirral Council. Published and promoted by John Brace, 134 Boundary Road, Bidston, CH43 7PH. Printed by UK Webhosting Ltd t/a Tsohost, 113-114 Buckingham Avenue, Slough, Berkshire, England, SL1 4PF.

17 thoughts on “Should Cllr Denise Roberts pay back £3.80 claimed in postage to Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority?”

  1. Nobody has left a comment, so I will leave my thoughts.

    Firstly, it’s a shame Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service didn’t use the right postage to start with. One can understand why Cllr Denise Roberts felt she should receive the £3.80 back.

    However, why did this have to go through the travel and subsistence expenses system for councillors? Couldn’t MFRS just have paid this out of general funds instead?

  2. G’day John

    Seeing Joe Blow has got back in his box I will comment.

    It wouldn’t matter if it was £3.80 or £3,800,000.00 to any clowncillor at wirral just as long as no body breaks ranks and talks about it.

    They can’t be seen or actually put their hands up to any cock up.

    They have to be seen to be perfect.

    They have “The Shyster” and his ill legal department to put the frighteners on anyone that speaks up or they sort out any member that speaks up, hey Stuart.

    Then there are the votes that you know no one from any party is going to vote against their gang.

    Grant (chocolate teapot) Thornton won’t stand up to them.



    The fact she even bothered to claim £3.80, because it was hers, and yet was one of the co-conspirators that let Wirral “Funny” Bizz get away with £2,000,000.00 unchallenged, because it wasn’t hers.

    They stink like kev and Stella’s Stinking Stagnant Wirral Waters.

    I hope that is unintelligible enough for Joey and Dick o and the rest of his gang that don’t enjoy me.

    1. I think if a councillor got paid £3.8 million in an expenses claim it’d start ringing some alarm bells!

      There’s hardly an omerta when it comes to politicians’ expenses is there? Maybe I missed that day when they were all trained to say shhhh!

      Well maybe at Wirral Council politician’s expenses will be buried very deeply…

      Am I unusual in having cross-examined Mr. Tour on his decision at a Tribunal hearing?

      Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

      Stuart was only 2 votes away (that is two councillors change their mind from supporting the Cabinet decision to voting against) from winning his argument yesterday. But it’s the effort that counts too!

      Anyway there’s another call in today, this time about the newspaper idea.

      Let’s hope Wirral Council don’t decide to start a blog! 😉

      1. G’day John

        Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

        That’s you Big Boy.

        I find it amazing that people just don’t care.

        The first shock I got after returning from Australia after 34 years was that scouse boy, Michael Shields I think was his name wrongfully arrested after the football in Istanbul.

        Another European Cup “The Football Shirt’s” team didn’t win.

        I couldn’t believe what seemed to me to be apathy.



        Now after 5 years of trying to get something admitted or done over Wirral “Funny” Bizz and things like Shields nothing about this place makes feel proud of my birthplace.

        Before Joey gets on his high horse John and tells me to go away in no uncertain terms I would if I hadn’t been unemployed for five years.

        1. Many people care, even fewer comment and even fewer than that take any action.

          What did happen in the Michael Shields matter in the end? I lost track of its twists and turns.

          So if Wirral Funny Biz had happened in Australia, how do you think it would’be been dealt with differently? Is the political culture different? Is the attitude towards law and order issues different?

          1. G’day John

            If I am right Michael came back to the UK after a few years and finished his sentence in Wigan or somewhere as Jack Straw did some deal with Bulgaria.

            Don’t believe it was a particularly good deal.

            I believe he still has his season ticket and keeps a low profile.

            Disgusting performance by the man of straw..

            I was a tax auditor in Australia for 14 years and never saw anything like the behaviours at wirral.

            When you caught people out people would generally put their hands up or obviously end up in court.

            Different world John , I had never heard of the minimum wage and if you didn’t like your job you got another one.

            An employees market not a bullying employer, keep your head down don’t say boo English mentality.

            They actually let employees have input over their, or was I just lucky.



            None of this ******** calling people Mr Blow and old fashioned slave mentality and you can’t question me because I work at the clowncil.

            I honestly don’t know what would happen in Australia with Wirral "Funny" Bizz it is all too bizarre and unbelievable how wirral have acted.

  3. Denise Roberts peaked here in 2009:

    When she summed up a decade or more of calculated abuse and deliberate council theft as a ‘series of unfortunate events’.

    Since then and since Anna Klonowski’s investigation – which found uncontrolled, unmonitored abuse and dysfunctional governance at the highest levels.

    …and Martin Smith’s investigation – which found bullying, mobbing and abject failures in Social Services, again at the highest levels…

    …she’s been tumbling downhill faster and faster.

    The cool exterior is all she’s got left to put on display, as a kind of defensive front against the public she serves.

    The fact that she’s fallen down on an expenses claim for £3.80 is a very poor salvo to fire if it’s been aimed at getting her name up there in lights amongst the Foulkes, Davies, Davies, Jones of this Wirral.

    Must. Try. Harder. is the verdict from the disappointed crew at WirralInItTogether.

    1. Personally my conjecture is that I think MFRA should’ve rejected it as it fell outwith the expenses system, but felt embarrassed into paying it as it was because of their mistake (lack of postage).

      It’s below the threshold worth bothering their external auditor with though as the deadline to do that expires tomorrow at 4pm.

  4. G’day John

    Their local rubbish propaganda sheet

    Wirral Council on collision course with Government as controversial ‘newspaper’ gets the go-ahead

    Serves the local rubbish propaganda sheet right.

    If you don’t print the stories you should in the first place, whistle blowers and honest citizens, and side with these scum bags sooner or later they will turn on you.

    That is the nature of the bully.

    Qi *** canibus


    Is it ****** Lobsterpot getting them to self destruct for Uncle Joe?


    We can play the victim to our beloved supporters when they kick us out of The Northern ****house share so they will continue to vote for us blindly.


    Just a massive waste of the taxpayers money most of which will go to “The Shyster’s” ill legal department.




    1. It’s funny really James.

      The auditors (Grant Thornton) wrote (and I paraphrase here) that they’re not going to look into the £3.80 payment as it’s too small and they charge a lot of money and apparently have better things to do with their time. Because the figure the statement of accounts is to the nearest £1k, they state it doesn’t affect the figures.

      The truth is I could find anomalies that are large enough affect the figure in the statement of accounts, but I get the feeling that Grant Thornton don’t want the political hot potato of investigating councillors’ expenses/allowances when it’s the councillors that Grant Thornton report to!

      Wirral Council on the other hands decides to close Lyndale School (which will close by the end of this month) and decides to close Girtrell Court (although when it actually closes seems to be some date after November 2016) to save around the same amount it’s going to spend on a new 28 page newspaper (approved on a 7:6 vote).

      A new 28 page newspaper where the government will probably intervene then Wirral Council will pay even more than the expensive legal advice (that they wouldn’t let councillors making the decision about the newspaper see) they’ve already had.

      The Wirral Globe estimate this’ll cost them ~£90,000/year as Wirral Globe will then advertise and put public notices in its own publication instead of the Wirral Globe.

      So, a big win for lawyers and not for necessarily what large parts of the public want eh? Or is that what elections are for? Mind you as councillors only need to win ~43% of the votes (from the people who bothered to vote), it’s hardly a massive endorsement of their policies is it?

  5. G’day John

    I was worried for you for a couple of days not blogging.

    A friend bumped into that buffoon Jones “Mr bilong Nurse Rat” yesterday and he said he didn’t want to talk polotics, what a joke of a (politician) man.

    My friend said he didn’t want to talk politics he wanted to talk clowncil corruption.

    There was no conversation, probably because there were no allowances involved.

    My friend then he spoke to a senior at Grant (Chocolate Teapot) Thornton and you are never going to believe why they don’t give a shit about someone (Wirral “Funny” Bizz) knocking off about £2,000,000.00?

    He explained to my friend materiality

    A little accounting lesson

    Financial statement items are considered material (large enough to matter) if they could influence the economic decisions of users. The materiality concept is the universally accepted accounting principle that all material matters are to be disclosed.

    You are not going to believe this one either Leaks they consider £30,000,000.00 to be material.

    So my dear friend that would mean Grant (Chocolate Teapot) Thornton for their audit fee of, who knows £200,000.00 about a year, John “Tarrantino” Brace would know, would only need to look at about 20 or thirty items over £30,000,000.00 and tick the accounts.

    My friend had to remind the buffoon that if someone serves up a £2,000,000.00 fraud it should be looked at.

    By the way Lordsville neither “The Pretend Friend” who is the thicker that the chair Chair of the Fudge It and Risk It Mis-Management Committee or the buffoon at Grant (Chocolate Teapot) Thornton have seen The Government Internal Audit Agency (GIAA) Investigation Report that the clowncil have hidden since last year and is damning.



    1. Thanks for your concern James.

      Unfortunately I don’t have the time to blog when I am in that time of year when I exercise my legal right to look at invoices and contracts.

      Sadly, the public bodies involved miss out invoices from my request or (and I’m beginning to wonder if it is deliberate) supply copies where the text or numbers can’t be read. Or they chop off part of the page. Or forget to take the post it note off.

      All this requires further time communicating back to them, the job they should’ve done in the first place. Then there are arguments about redaction etc…

      Also I’ve been catching up on my correspondence, three packets put in the post yesterday and two today.

      Yesterday’s was First-Tier Tribunal related, today’s was trade union related and also information requested by the regulator ICO about an alleged data protection breach by a public body in 2015.

      So yes I have been busy even if I’m not publishing much at the moment!

      I understand the materiality rules, but will just state if you ignore the pence, it’ll cumulatively have an effect on the pounds.

      Wirral Council also run the £multi-billion Merseyside Pension Fund, can you imagine what the materiality level is for that?

      1. G’day John

        You say

        Wirral Council also run the £multi-billion Merseyside Pension Fund, can you imagine what the materiality level is for that?

        Completely immaterial to the likes of Davies, Foulkes, Jones, Tour, Armstrong et al because they just don’t give a **** otherwise they would have listened to us people trying to do THE RIGHT THING.



        1. Right materiality and triviality are at different levels depending on whether you are talking about the pension fund Wirral Council runs or Wirral Council itself.

          Merseyside Pension Fund (administered by Wirral Council)

          Materiality is £66 million (1% of assets)
          Triviality is £3.3 million

          However there are different thresholds for management remuneration, audit fees and related party transactions.

          Wirral Council
          Materiality £13.713 million (1.9% gross revenue) for purposes of comparison it was £14.876 million the previous year
          Triviality £686,000

          However different lower thresholds were applied to officer remuneration, salary bandings and exit packages, councillors’ allowances, related party transactions and disclosure of auditor’s remuneration in notes to the statement of accounts.

          So as you know now for the 2015/16 financial year a figure of £2 million is classed as higher than trivial but less than material. However BIG/ISUS happened in financial years when the level of materiality and triviality were higher than they are now.

  6. G’day John

    These buffoons think if they ignore stuff and all stay schtum it didn’t happen

    Their EX-local propaganda sheet that used to print their crud, just for filthy lucre

    New scandal at Wirral Council after probe reveals ‘smear attempt’

    Dear oh dear John it is always best to the the Australian thing which is


    All those senior clowncil officers and elected members who stupidly thought if they didn’t say anything about Wirral “Funny” Bizz and Wirralgate they would just go away.

    They won’t Joe Blow and Dicko will they?



  7. G’day John

    Just reading the comments on their EX-local propaganda sheet

    New scandal at Wirral Council after probe reveals ‘smear attempt’

    Is “Ankles” the worst of them?

    He might not be the ugliest wirral labor member but he would definitely make the Grand Final.



    It is definitely time to bring in The Administration and it can be their first HEADLINE in their new paper………….. “wirral Jokebook and Their Morally Bankrupt Clowncil”

    1. Well it all comes out in the end doesn’t it?

      I did ask Foulkes for a comment on the matter you refer to in person on Thursday evening. Give me some points for trying eh (and I’ll let you use your imagination as what his answer was)?

      Do you think they deliberately wait till I take a short break from blogging to release these sorts of news stories out to tempt me back into writing?

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