What has Wirral Council been spending money on in 2017 and 2018 (part 2)?
Last week I published some invoices to Wirral Council, I received some more of the invoices I’d requested on Friday, some of which are below.
Some are to Wirral Council for the legal expenses of barristers (who are self-employed). Section 26(8) of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 specifically states that names that relate to a business carried on by a sole trader can’t be withheld as personal information. Despite this Wirral Council has blacked out the names of the barristers on some of the invoices below.
The first invoice is from Eversheds Sutherland for £24,000 for “Employment Advice”.
The second and third invoices are both from the North Western Local Authorities’ Employers’ Organisation. The first of the pair is for £2,900 for a “Grievance Investigation” and the second for £34,697.62 is for the annual membership fee for 2017-2018. There are also four more invoices for £2,310 each to do with the ASPIRE Programme (training for human resources employees). Finally £4,545.78 was charged to Wirral Council to do with the regional “Emerging Leaders Programme”.
Lichfields invoiced Wirral Council £21,837.60, £16,378.20 and a further £16,378.20 over three invoices for an Employment Land and Premises Study (abbreviated on the invoices to ELPS). The Wirral Employment Land and Premises Study can be read on Wirral Council’s website and is one of the documents that has informed the emerging Local Plan which Wirral Council will be starting a consultation on next month.
There are a series of invoices from the Wirral Chamber of Commerce as part of an engagement contract with Wirral Council. For June the Wirral Chamber of Commerce charged Wirral Council £45,439.20, in July £45,439.20 and in August £45,439.20.
Shared Intelligence Limited charged Wirral Council £33,788.40 for a “Wirral Library Review” (plus some “additional stakeholder engagement”).
Venn Consulting invoiced Wirral Council £18,000 in September and £18,000 in July for “Consulting Advisory Services” which was paid for out of the Better Care Fund Innovation Fund.
There are a series of invoices from CIPFA C.CO Ltd (who changed their name last year from CIPFA Newco Limited). CIPFA stands for the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy. £13,600 plus a further £21,420 was charged to Wirral Council to support the LLCS Review. LLCS stands for Leisure, Libraries and Cultural Services. £5,700 was for an “Engagement Plan and Mobilisation”. £36,000 was charged for work on the Corporate Services Review, the Senior Management Review that cost £24,000 went to councillors on the Employment and Appointments Committee for a decision behind closed doors in December 2017. A further £12,000 was charged in January for work on the Corporate Services Review and £8,400 for work on the Senior Management Review that went for a further decision behind closed doors by councillors on the Employment and Appointments Committee in March 2018.
Exchange Chambers (who are a barristers’ chambers based in Liverpool) charged £6,360 in legal expenditure. The case resulted in a £5,000 fine and £13,000 in costs awarded to Wirral Council. A further invoice from Exchange Chambers involving a case in the Liverpool Crown Court cost Wirral Council £3,990 (although the invoice also shows two earlier payments in the same case of £4,407.49 and £8,700). A later invoice to Wirral Council involving the same case is for further legal costs of £4,530.
The Village Hotel Club charged Wirral Council £1,000 for room hire, conference food, tea and coffee for a one day conference.
Titanium Fireworks Ltd charged Wirral Council £24,000 for a one hour pyromusical display on the 5th November 2017.
Weightmans charged £4,206 as an interim invoice involving Birkenhead Market and Vermont. A further invoice from Weightmans charged Wirral Council £16,249.60 for advice on the same topic. Weightmans also charged Wirral Council £4,200 for procurement advice on Birkenhead regeneration.
Wirral Council bought some land from the Homes and Communities Agency at Tower Road, Birkenhead for a total of £8,400 (£5,000 for the land plus £2,000 for HCA’s legal costs plus VAT).
Lancaster Maloney charged £75,193.25 for condition surveys on various libraries as well as repairs to automatic doors at New Ferry Library.
Dawnus Construction Holdings Ltd were awarded the contract for the Wirral Dock Bridge Replacement, there are a series of invoices for this project but the most recent one from March 2018 put the cumulative cost of the project at £8,222,993.28.
Wirral Council paid Public Concern at Work £11,250 for a whistleblowing advice line.
7 Harrington Street Chambers charged Wirral Council £4,440 for advice involving an Employment Tribunal claim involving allegations of disability discrimination, constructive dismissal and wrongful dismissal. 7 Harrington Street Chambers also charged Wirral Council £20,760 for work on a criminal case in the Liverpool Magistrates Court.
11KBW charged £3,336 for “Libraries, Leisure, Parks Trust Proposal Advice” and £1,200 for work on an information rights case.
RVR Consulting Limited charged £9,800 in one invoice and £3,000 in another for “Mental Toughness Pop Up Workshops” for Team Leaders and Team Managers.
Custerian charged a further £17,265 in January for “Getting It Right” support, but by February’s invoice also for £17,265 “Getting It Right” had been abbreviated to GIR.
Forge House Associates Limited charged £15,600 and a further £14,820 for work involved in “Management of the WBC Bid Assessment Team” to do with the Wirral Growth Company.
BNP Paribas Real Estate carried out viability reviews & layout plans for Council sites and private sector sites which cost Wirral Council £19,669.92.
The Local Government Information Unit charged Wirral Council £15,240 for an “affiliation fee”.
Newsco Insider Limited invoiced Wirral Council £10,560 for exclusive sponsorship of a breakfast and magazine coverage.
Bevan Brittan charged £18,010.32 for “professional charges” involving a regeneration project.
Mott McDonald charged £16,075.82 for work done on a project called “Saughall Massie SOC”, £14,563.56 as an interim invoice on a “Wirral A41 Corridor Study” and £12,000 on “Wirral Model Maintenance”.
Finally Bates Wells Braithwaite charged £11,814.57 for “A && I Report publication”.
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4 thoughts on “What has Wirral Council been spending money on in 2017 and 2018 (part 2)?”
Hi John, it may be me who is thick but why did WBC spend £6 million plus on Peel Holdings dock estate bridge?. Also please explain what the £45k a month being paid to Wirral Chamber of Commerce is for and has it been tendered for through the Chest.
Thanks for your comment.
This decision in 2015 explains why so much was spent on replacing the bridges. £6.48 million of the cost was paid for by the Department for Transport.
Here are the details of the contract with Wirral Chamber of Commerce on the CHEST. It’s a £1.5 million contract.
£24,000 for Employment advice!,
£1,000 for one day’s room hire!
£24,000 for one hours fireworks!
Two invoices to nearly £100,000 on advice about Libraries, lets not forget that they are closed for most of the week due to lack of money!
£11,250 for whistleblowing advice and it goes on and on, it beggars belief that they just pay this money out without a second thought, what do all the high paid staff employed at the Town Hall and John Mores building do then?
On the other end you work your butt off trying to pay Council Tax each month, maybe cutting down on the food you eat unless you end up in jail for non payment and to find out its just wasted like this is soul destroying!
Thanks for your comment.
Wirral Council also employs 15 in house solicitors.
As far as I know Wirral Council doesn’t have a John Mores (or Moores) building, John Moores University is a different organisation to Wirral Council.
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