Posted by: John Brace | 10th August 2015

Why did Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service pay a consultant £2,500/day + expenses?

Why did Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service pay a consultant £2,500/day + expenses?


Principea Consulting Ltd Training Expenses invoice £2901 06p Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service

Principea Consulting Ltd Training Expenses invoice £2901 06p Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service

The above invoice was paid by Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service for a speaker from Principea Consulting Limited for a training event called Exercise Black Swan.

The first part £401.06 is for travel expenses that break down to these categories on the invoice.

  • £11.60 Single fare on hovercraft to Southsea
  • £80.00 taxi to/from Southampton Airport
  • £136.96 Air Fare return to Manchester
  • £166.50 Two nights in the Premier Inn in Liverpool
  • £6.00 Single return on fast catamaran

Total £401.06

The second part of the invoice is £2,500 for Speakers Fee for presentation on 3rd of May 2013 (although this might be a typo and possibly should read 2014) and detailed as for the development and leadership of Exercise Black Swan. The rest of the invoice deals with VAT.

So, if I’ve read this invoice correctly Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service paid for someone to speak at a one-day training event the sum of £2,500, plus their travel and accommodation expenses of £401.06? Does anyone reading know what Exercise Black Swan was?

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  1. G’day John

    What is great about you highlighting some of the ridiculous, bizarre and sometimes criminal invoices and payments is that the public are actually getting to see what idiot, fantasist buffoons like adderley give Wirral taxpayers money away for.

    Where does he live again?

    Big Jack’s worlds biggest pubic golf course for example.

    When I worked at The Audit Commission pre Capital of Culture a colleague who was very senior questioned some pay to consultants and others and was straight out told to mind his own business.

    That is how they all deal with auditors.

    So John keep up the great work because i am sure the Wirral public would love to make it their business.



    Does Blinking Ecca actually exist john?

  2. Found an American document online about Exercise Black Swan. It concerns mass offshore rescue. Maybe it’s something to do with that?

    • I think I read the same document before I wrote this. I realise Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service have a Marine Rescue Unit, but could you conduct a “mass offshore rescue” with that boat or wouldn’t there be the room on the boat?

      As far as I know Merseyside Fire and Rescue Services’s responsibilities cover the docks, whereas the Maritime and Coastguard Agency provide a search and rescue around the coast.

      • Maybe they paid some-one this much to investigate whether there would be enough room? describes Principea as a detective agency.

        I just got one more question for you Mr Brace, have you checked your plug sockets and light fittings? I’ve seen it on TV, these are the places were they put bugging devices!

        • Companies House describes the nature of business of Principea Consulting Ltd as “Investigation Activities”. So I suppose detective agency isn’t far off, although considering the invoice is for a training event could it have been training in how to carry out an arson investigation?

          I’m nowhere near important enough for anyone to go to that sort of trouble!

  3. Keep up the good work John!