EXCLUSIVE: 10 invoices paid by Wirral Council in 2013/14 for clarinets, conveyancing, court fees, legal advice, debt collecting, legal services and a temporary worker
I have another batch of copies of invoices to Wirral Council I received as part of the audit scanned in. Instead of the last time when I posted 155 invoices in the same blog post I thought it would make more sense to split them up and do them in batches of ten (with some comments). So these are the first ten.
Up first is an invoice from Wirral Music Service from a John Packer Ltd for 30 clarinets with Eb nickel-plated keys costing £74+VAT each. Quite why Wirral Music Service order clarinet keys from a shop over two hundred miles away in Somerset, when there are to my recollection plenty of music shops on Merseyside, each of whom I’m sure would appreciate nearly £3000 of business (and in the process help the local economy) I’m not sure!
I quote from page 1 of Wirral Council’s Corporate Plan that was in effect then which stated “We will help to drive continued economic growth in Wirral’s economy”.
Next we have a £700 invoice for a payment. Well being more accurate, it isn’t an invoice, it’s a form for a CHAPS payment to DLA Piper UK LLP (although the form itself states it’s for a BACS payment).
This is where Wirral Council gets about as cryptic as a cryptic crossword clue as not only is the address of the property blacked out but the handwriting is hard to decipher too. From what I can gather £500 is for “Purchase price of freehold title to (blacked out) (blacked out)” and £200 for “contribution towards sewers in (the rest of this is nigh impossible for me to decipher)”.
Next we have a heavily blacked out Barclaycard statement. The £2,415 entry is for court fees for cases involving unpaid council tax.
Next is a curious invoice from Weightmans LLP for £748.80 for 5.2 hours work (at £120 per hour plus VAT) between February 2013 and April 2013 which is an interim invoice for “professional services” on the “local council tax support scheme”. For just over five hours work wouldn’t it have been better value for money to the taxpayer to have this done in-house?
Now we have the first of a series of invoices relating to Wirral Council’s “toxic debt”. For collecting Wirral Council’s debts Weightmans LLP is charging 10% of the debt collected + VAT. As the fee on this invoice is for £720.25 + VAT, presumably the amount collected was £7,202.50.
Here is another invoice for collecting debts on behalf of Wirral Council from Weightmans LLP. This time it’s for collecting two larger debts than the previous invoice, which as Weightmans LLP get 10% of what is collected comes to £1,592.58 + VAT.
Then there is another invoice from Weightmans LLP for £1,182.20 which is 10% (+VAT) for collecting five debts. The debts range in size from £93.60 to £6500.
The next invoice from Weightmans LLP is for £7,761.60. It is an interim invoice for the period 3rd September 2013 to the 30th October 2013 for “professional services”. Counsel’s fees of £1500 + VAT (total £1800) and 34.3 hours of legal work (at £120 an hour) are listed on the invoice. However what this is all really about is a bit of a mystery! There also is a mismatch between the total of the associate’s fees at £4,140 and the entry of £4,968 in the fees and disbursements column.
This is another invoice from Weightmans LLP for collecting money from one of Wirral Council’s debtors. Based on the amount charged the debt collected must have been in the region of £44,000.
Finally in this batch of ten invoices is an invoice for £963.60 from Team24 Limited (who are a Capita company). This is for a worker for 22 hours (at £36.50+VAT) to the Children and Young People’s Department at Wirral Council.
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