Why did Merseytravel spend £33,781.20 last year with Veale Wasbrough Vizards about its move to Mann Island?
I went to a meeting of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Audit Committee yesterday and if you wish you can view the video of that meeting below. The agenda and reports for that meeting is on Merseytravel’s website.
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Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Audit Committee meeting 12th May 2015
What did occur to me after the meeting finished was that since the Local Government Transparency Code applies to the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, that Merseytravel (which is now part of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority) would be required to publish a list of payments made over £500 each month on its website.
Unlike Wirral Council and the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority, who also publish comma separated values files of the same information (which can then be sorted in a spreadsheet) Merseytravel just publish this information as PDF files.
Links to each of these files which cover the last financial year are below.
Ed – added on 22/5/2015 – see edit note below for why Merseytravel payments over £500 Period 03 26 May 2014 to 22 June 2014
If you’re observant, you’ll have noticed a gap for the month from the 26th May 2014 to the 25th June 2014. I’ve emailed Merseytravel to ask for the missing month of payments. Ed – 22/5/2015 – Merseytravel got back in touch with me on the 21st May informing me the missing month had now been put on their website, so it is now linked to above. The missing month includes another payment of £680 made to Veale Wasbrough Vizards for legal costs to do with the HQ relocation that was not available to me when originally writing this article.
However the other 11 months make for interesting reading.
There are a number of payments to a Veale Wasbrough Vizards (which is a Bristol based firm of solicitors) relating to Merseytravel’s controversial headquarters move from Hatton Gardens to Mann Island.
Here’s a list of the payments made to Veale Wasbrough Vizards:
|VEALE WASBROUGH VIZARDS||21/3/2014||Legal Fees||S-7108-||HQ Relocation||£720|
|VEALE WASBROUGH VIZARDS||30/4/2014||Legal Fees||S-7108-||HQ Relocation||£862.50|
|VEALE WASBROUGH VIZARDS||30/4/2014||Legal Fees||S-7108-||HQ Relocation||£1,200|
|VEALE WASBROUGH VIZARDS||23/4/2014||Legal Fees||S-7108-||HQ Relocation||£4,342.25|
|VEALE WASBROUGH VIZARDS||18/8/2014||Legal Fees||S-7108-||HQ Relocation||£1,169.89|
|VEALE WASBROUGH VIZARDS||23/9/2014||Legal Fees||S-7108-||HQ Relocation||£2,084.00|
|VEALE WASBROUGH VIZARDS||23/10/2014||Legal Fees||S-7108-||HQ Relocation||£648|
|VEALE WASBROUGH VIZARDS||18/11/2014||Legal Fees||S-7108-||HQ Relocation||£10,315.20|
|VEALE WASBROUGH VIZARDS||18/12/2014||Other Contractor 15||S-7116-||HQ – Direct Costs||£7,600|
|VEALE WASBROUGH VIZARDS||22/12/2014||Legal Fees||S-7108-||HQ Relocation||£4,839.36|
Payments are also still being made to Bircham Dyson Bell as you can see below. The Liverpool Echo reported back in 2012 how £1.7 million was paid by Merseytravel to Bircham Dyson Bell without the work being put out to tender.
|BIRCHAM DYSON BELL||28/3/2014||Court Fees||S-2031||Legal and Committee Team||£1,050.90|
|BIRCHAM DYSON BELL||28/3/2014||Specialist Fees||K-2501||L.A. Subscriptions etc.||£754.70|
|BIRCHAM DYSON BELL||29/4/2014||Court Fees||S-2031||Legal and Committee Team||£1,362.10|
|BIRCHAM DYSON BELL||30/6/2014||Consultants Fees||R-0200||Rolling Stock Programme||£1,915.79|
|BIRCHAM DYSON BELL||19/2/2015||Consultants Fees||K-2501||L.A. Subscriptions etc.||£1,665.50|
|BIRCHAM DYSON BELL||27/11/2012||Consultants Fees||K-2501||L.A. Subscriptions etc.||£7,427.50|
|BIRCHAM DYSON BELL||20/5/2013||Consultants Fees||K-2501||L.A. Subscriptions etc.||£7,800.00|
|BIRCHAM DYSON BELL||25/2/2015||Consultants Fees||R-0200||Rolling Stock Programme||£5,210.89|
Merseytravel also paid £977.50 to Sara Bradbury in October 2014 for “Counsels Fees”.
A number of insurance payments were made by Merseytravel with compensation given as the reason.
|ROYAL & SUN ALLIANCE||16/5/2014||Compensation – Public Liability||S-2101||Ins – General||£7,008|
|ROYAL & SUN ALLIANCE||18/7/2014||Compensation – Public Liability||S-2101||Ins – General||£2,717.00|
|ROYAL & SUN ALLIANCE||14/8/2014||Compensation Public Liability||S-2101||Ins – General||£8,500.00|
|ROYAL & SUN ALLIANCE||25/7/2014||Compensation Misc||S-2101||Ins – General||£11,575.00|
|THOMAS COOPER||8/8/2014||Compensation Misc||S-2101||Ins – General||£7,300.00|
|MERCURY LEGAL LLP||18/12/2014||Compensation Employers Liability||S-2101||Ins – General||£7,182.17|
|ROYAL & SUN ALLIANCE||18/12/2014||Compensation Public Liability||S-2101||Ins – General||£16,790.00|
There was a payment for £507 to Weightmans LLP for an invoice dated 31st March 2014 for “specialist services”. Merseytravel also paid five amounts (£3,800, £2,600, £4,400, £750 and £2,145) to a firm of solicitors called Davies Wallis Foyster LLP for invoices in 2014 for the services of a solicitor.
Two payments of £15,115 and £15,590 were made to Royal & Sun Alliance for invoices dated 27th August 2014 and the 3rd December 2014 for the costs of external 3rd party solicitors.
Robert Jackson Solicitors charged £2,000 in an invoice dated 13th February 2015 for legal costs associated with an insurance claim, in the same month Merseytravel paid £4,812 to CS Cooper C/O Collins Long Solicitors which was again for legal costs to do with an insurance claim.
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