What is in 13 Merseytravel/Liverpool City Region Combined Authority contracts and hundreds of pages of invoices relating to the 15/16 financial year?

What is in 13 Merseytravel/Liverpool City Region Combined Authority contracts and hundreds of pages of invoices relating to the 15/16 financial year?

What is in 13 Merseytravel/Liverpool City Region Combined Authority contracts and hundreds of pages of invoices relating to the 15/16 financial year?

Councillor Steve Foulkes (Labour) (right) speaking at a recent meeting of the Birkenhead Constituency Committee (28th July 2016) while Councillor Pat Cleary (Green) (left) listens
Councillor Steve Foulkes (Labour) (right) speaking at a recent meeting of the Birkenhead Constituency Committee (28th July 2016) | Councillor Pat Cleary (Green) (left) listens. Cllr Steve Foulkes is Merseytravel’s Lead Councillor for Finance and Strategy.

Merseytravel and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority were the last public body to respond to my request to inspect and receive copies during the 30 working day period which was originally supposed to run starting on the 1st July 2016.

Interestingly the public notice for Merseytravel published on their website and the public notice for Liverpool City Region Combined Authority published on Merseytravel’s website, a Julie Watling (Merseytravel) stated in response to a FOI request on the 8th August 2016, that “This notice is not unfortunately on our website at this present time.”.

This was interesting as the 30 working day period isn’t allowed to start until the public notice is published!

However the FOI request went to an internal review and Julie Watling of Merseytravel responded on the 11th August stating that, “However I had been mistakenly informed that the information was not on the website, when in fact it was available at the following links:-”

Merseytravel public notice 15/16 FY

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority public notice 15/16 FY

But then, is it reasonable to expect an organisation to know what’s published on its own website and to answer Freedom of Information Act requests accurately or am I asking too much?

Which is the correct answer?

However the information (or to be more accurate part of the information) I requested arrived in the post yesterday (postage around £6.20 as it was special delivery guaranteed by 1pm) with a covering letter from a trainee solicitor and DVD.

Below is what was on the DVD. I did get a further email yesterday with a contract that had been mistakenly left off the DVD too.

Although the internal review clears up the issue about the public notice on Merseytravel’s website, for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority it should’ve been published on the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s website, not Merseytravel’s.

So part of my objection I sent to the auditors yesterday still stands.

The invoices are split by the thirteen accounting periods that Merseytravel used during the 2015 2016 financial year, although why spoil the surprise when you can read for yourself below?

There are some interesting matters to be gleaned from the invoices and contracts, however I don’t have the time at present to blog about them in detail.

Invoices 2015 to 2016 financial year (Merseytravel and Liverpool City Region Combined Authority).

11.3 MARCH3-810124407-0001 Merseytravel LCRCA invoices 2016

11.2 MARCH2-810124324-0001 Merseytravel LCRCA invoices 2016

11.1 MARCH1-810124215-0001 Merseytravel LCRCA invoices 2016

10 FEBRUARY-809164910-0001 Merseytravel LCRCA invoices 2016

9 JANUARY-809164746-0001 Merseytravel LCRCA invoices 2016

8 DECEMBER-809164624-0001 Merseytravel LCRCA invoices 2015 2016

7 NOVEMBER-809164505-0001 Merseytravel LCRCA invoices 2015

6 OCTOBER-809164348-0001 Merseytravel LCRCA invoices 2015

5 AUGUST-810123950-0001 Merseytravel LCRCA invoices 2015

4 JULY-809164206-0001 Merseytravel LCRCA invoices 2015

3 JUNE-809164104-0001 Merseytravel LCRCA invoices 2015

2 MAY-809164000-0001 Merseytravel LCRCA invoices 2015

1 APRIL-809162613-0001 Merseytravel LCRCA invoices 2015

Contracts

1 contract with BLACC Consulting LLP (50 pages)

2 contract with Arriva Merseyside Ltd (14 pages)

3.1 Subsidised Bus Service Contracts (42 pages)

3.2 Subsidised Bus Service Contracts (148 pages)

4. Rolling Stock Project Engineering Consultancy Service Agreement Halcrow Group Limited (38 pages)

5. contract with Bircham Dyson Bell LLP (15 pages)

6. Deed to confirm the Consolidated Concession Agreement relating to the services for the carriage of passengers by railway to be provided by Merseyrail Electrics 2002 Limited (348 pages) (this was an additional contract not originally on the DVD received by email from Merseytravel on the afternoon of Thursday 11th August 2016)

7. TOC Related Services for the Design, Supply and Installation of Passenger Improvements at various Stations as part of the National Stations Improvement Programme (Merseyrail Electrics 2002 Limited) (25 pages)

8. Local Growth Fund (LGF) for Liverpool City Region Sustainable Transport Enhancement Package (Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council) (62 pages)

9. Funding Agreement for Liverpool South Parkway Real Time Information (Merseyrail Electrics 2002 Limited) (26 pages)

10. Merseytravel Consultancy Services Framework Agreement 2015-2019 For Consultancy Services (Various Lots) Kenyon Fraser Ltd (68 pages)

11. Framework Agreement for Consultancy Services for the Design of Travel Marketing Literature Kenyon Fraser Ltd (80 pages)

12. Lease for Mann Island HQ, Liverpool with Commerz Real Investmentgesellschaft mbH (acting on account of its open-ended fund Hausinvest) (74 pages)

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Cllr McGlashan “before you even get out of the airport you’ve got to change money to get a pound to put the bloody..”

Cllr McGlashan “before you even get out of the airport you’ve got to change money to get a pound to put the bloody..”

Cllr McGlashan “before you even get out of the airport you’ve got to change money to get a pound to put the bloody..”

                         

Merseytravel meeting of the 25th July 2014
Merseytravel meeting (25th July) Right Cllr Les Rowlands, centre background Cllr Steve Foulkes and Cllr Ron Abbey where councillors discussed Liverpool John Lennon Airport

Last Friday, as well as discussing the Open Golf and Mersey Gateway bridge tolls issue councillors on Merseytravel also discussed (which is rather topical as many people will be using Liverpool Airport at this time of year) a report titled “Liverpool John Lennon Airport Surface Access Delivery Plan July 2014” and its appendix which was a forty-three page draft plan.

In case the rather opaque title of the report means absolutely nothing to you (the officer who wrote it Peter Sandman summarised the report and draft plan for councillors at the meeting) it was about improving access to Liverpool John Lennon Airport by bus, improving marketing (which includes joint marketing of the airport by Merseytravel and the airport itself) and the customer experience (improved information & improved customer service as well as other areas). The review was started in September 2013 and the draft plan contains improvements to be carried out between now and 2016.

An example of some of the improvements in the plan are better signage to the bus stops at the airport, a cleaning regime for the bus stops and airport staff receiving WorldHost training (provided by Merseytravel). This is the same free training that was offered to Wirral’s taxi drivers ahead of the Open Golf Championship. The Northern Rail ticket machine has also been moved from the airport (which doesn’t have a rail connection and where there were poor ticket sales) to nearby Liverpool South Parkway train station.

Bus timetables are now available outside the main arrivals point and if Merseytravel get grant funding they plan to have an electronic departure board for buses in the airport’s arrivals hall and at the bus stops. Merseytravel is also in talks with bus operators that serve the airport to enhance the quality of the existing routes. Councillors will be receiving a quarterly report on progress. A number of councillors had things to say about the report and draft plan at Merseytravel’s meeting.

Cllr Ken McGlashan (Knowsley) said, “Thanks Chairman, thanks for that excellent report Pete, really good. It reports on the warts and all, if you look at 3.3, 3.3.1 “how to retain and grow local outbound marketing in the face of competition from other regional airports” and let’s be clear about it, if you’re not to go about it the wrong way, Liverpool John Lennon Airport have precisely done that.

I think from our house to Manchester is about twenty-eight minutes, it’s round about the same I know you’ve got to go to Huyton, it’s about the same to Liverpool Airport but then again if I was to go to Liverpool Airport now, I’ve got to pay to drop off! You know is this a good advert for anybody? I think also you’re charging for trollies as well, Manchester you don’t. You know it is a nonsense!

Imagine a transatlantic flight was diverted to Liverpool and some are trying to find quarters that don’t fit the pound machine. So before you even get out of the airport you’ve got to change money to get a pound to put the bloody… sorry about that, to put your luggage on, you know.

When they owned the airport, the authorities owned the airport, we sold it to Paul err Peel, because they were going to offer us a better service. They in turn put it onto these Canadians, who now seem to be doing everything they can to move everything to Manchester so you know I think the more influence we can have about this to get them to look at this the better.

The 500 service, Merseytravel initiated that, Arriva didn’t! Until it was making a profit, they just got in there and took it off us because it was making a profit.

Now, we’re travelling and I’ll say to them, that the officers have received complaints but they’re doing exactly the same with the trains. The train comes in on each side, the bus comes in at another time. You know, we’re talking about integration, meeting our people’s needs. I mean to do that, you say yourself, you put yourself out to meet passenger needs and unfortunately I don’t think they are at present. A bit of a rant Chair I’m sorry.”

Peter Sandman (Merseytravel’s Customer and Business Development Manager) said, “It’s a fair point, I think the point has been made to the Airport. I think one important thing we have done is started to have that regular dialogue to be perfectly honest with you.

I think the charging for parking, you could argue that it encourages use of the public transport network if I’m being honest with you. One thing the Airport have pledged to do is to really support basically not levy any parking charges to the bus operators who’ve actually started to think about how they are running the service commercially into and out of the airport to increase the provision of service and there is support there absolutely.

I think the other point is that with Peel now taking on the majority shareholding with the airports, the feedback from bodies it’s certainly they are much more focussed on strategic development and commercial development of the airport.

I mean that seems to travel my shift away from the way the previous owners, … felt towards the Airport. So hopefully through this process we have genuinely made those representations to answer your question, as you correctly say and then through this ongoing dialogue we’re starting to look at how those issues be resolved for the benefit of the customers who ultimately will sustain the Airport going forward.”

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