Why did Wirral Council pay £2,943.61 for travel to Rome, Madrid, Frankurt, Paris, Montreux, Dublin & Vienna?
I will declare at the start that I have a close relative paid a Merseyside Pension Fund pension.
Rome, Madrid, Paris and Vienna were all destinations travelled to by Wirral Council employees working in its Merseyside Pension Fund section paid for out of Merseyside Pension Fund funds. On the advice of officers, councillors on the Pension Committee on Tuesday resolved to keep this list out of the public domain on the basis that it was “Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)” and that “in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information”.
I disagree with councillors on that assessment and the table of overseas travel by those in its Merseyside Pension Fund section for 2014 is below.
|MERSEYSIDE PENSION FUND||GREG CAMPBELL||MADRID||13-17 JAN 2014||ATTEND INVESTMENT CONFERENCE TO VIEW 16 COMPANY PRESENTATIONS WHO ARE POTENTIAL VIABLE INVESTMENTS. TO PROVIDE EUROPEAN MANAGER WITH BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF INDIVIDUAL COMPANIES AND INDUSTRY KNOWLEDGE.||£642.63|
|MERSEYSIDE PENSION FUND||PETER WALLACH||ROME||5-7 FEB 2014||ATTEND INTERNATIONAL INVESTOR EUROPEAN PENSIONS SYMPOSIUM. INVITED TO SPEAK AT THE EVENT AND OPPORTUNITY TO HEAR FROM PENSIONS AND INVESTMENT EXPERTS. TO MEET WITH OTHER PUBLIC AND PRIVATE FUNDS.||£260.22|
|MERSEYSIDE PENSION FUND||SUSANNAH FRIAR||MIAMI||18-21 MARCH 2014||ATTEND PARTNERS GROUP ANNUAL CONFERENCE TO DISCUSS PROGRESS OF FUNDS. ATTEND PRESENTATIONS BY PARTNERS FUND MANAGERS AND INVITED SPEAKERS TO LOOK AT CASE STUDIES OF COMPANIES INVESTED.||NIL|
|MERSEYSIDE PENSION FUND||LEYLAND OTTER||MONTREUX||27-30 APRIL 2014||ATTEND EUROPEAN PENSIONS AND INVESTMENTS CONFERENCE. AN OPPORTUNITY TO NETWORK WITH OUR PEERS IN THE INVESTMENT FIELD AND TO ASSIMILATE CURRENT THINKING ON PROSPECTIVE INVESTMENTS ACROSS A WIDE RANGE OF ASSET CLASSES||£305.58|
|MERSEYSIDE PENSION FUND||OWEN THORNE||DUBLIN||6-8 MAY 2014||ATTEND BLACKROCK RENEWABLES CONFERENCE. ATTENDANCE AT INVESTOR DAY WHICH IS INTEGRAL PART OF THE FUND’S INVESTMENT MONITORING PROCESS. TO EVALUATE PROGRESS OF THE TEAM AND OTHER NETWORKING AND MARKET INTELLIGENCE GATHERING BENEFITS||£60.00|
|MERSEYSIDE PENSION FUND||LEYLAND OTTER||BRUSSELS||12-13 MAY 2014||ATTEND ANTIN IP INVESTOR DAY. OPPORTUNITY FOR UPDATE ON INFRASTRUCTURE FUND AND SITE VISIT||NIL|
|MERSEYSIDE PENSION FUND||SUSANNAH FRIAR||FRANKFURT||13-15 MAY 2014||ATTEND INVESCO PROPERTY CONFERENCE TO DISCUSS PROGRESS OF THE FUND. TO ATTEND PRESENTATION BY INVESCO MANAGERS AND INVESCO SPEAKERS. MEET WITH OTHER INVESTORS||£391.00|
|MERSEYSIDE PENSION FUND||GREG CAMPBELL||PARIS||17 JUNE 2014||TO ATTEND INVESTMENT CONFERENCE WITH OVER 20 COMPANY PRESENTATIONS. MANY WHO ARE HELD IN THE EUROPEAN PORTFOLIO. TO PROVIDE BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF INDIVIDUAL COMPANIES TO INCREASE INDUSTRY KNOWLEDGE.||£713.89|
|MERSEYSIDE PENSION FUND||SUSANNAH FRIAR||PARIS||17-17 NOV 2014||ATTEND CARLYLE GROUP ANNUAL CONFERENCE. TO PROVIDE PROGRESS OF INVESTMENTS, ATTEND GENERAL CONFERENCE TO LEARN THOUGHTS OF GUEST PRESENTERS AND OTHER CARLYLE FUNDS. NETWORK WITH LIKE MINDED INVESTORS.||£564.59|
|MERSEYSIDE PENSION FUND||PETER WALLACH||VIENNA||19-21 NOV 2014||ATTEND IPE CONFERENCE & ANNUAL AWARDS. AN OPPORTUNITY FOR MPF TO BE REPRESENTED AT THE AWARDS CEREMONY AND THE BENEFIT FROM THE SEMINAR AND NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES WITH OTHER FUNDS.||£5.70|
* Costs to Fund. A number of events were subsidised by the organisers who pay for or contribute towards travel, and/or accommodation and/or attendance costs.
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