Why did Merseytravel spend £2,775 on a "Parliamentary Reception"?

Why did Merseytravel spend £2,775 on a “Parliamentary Reception”?

Why did Merseytravel spend £2,775 on a “Parliamentary Reception”?


Below is an invoice from the House of Commons to Merseytravel for £2,775.

Merseytravel invoice House of Commons £2775 7th May 2014
Merseytravel invoice House of Commons £2775 7th May 2014

Sadly the invoice doesn’t state a lot other than Ms Louise Ellman MP was the sponsoring MP. To find out what the room booking was for is better explained in an invoice from Bircham Dyson Bell (see below).

Merseytravel invoice Bircham Dyson Bell £2298.95 30th June 2014 Page 1 of 2
Merseytravel invoice Bircham Dyson Bell £2298.95 30th June 2014 Page 1 of 2
Merseytravel invoice Bircham Dyson Bell £2298.95 30th June 2014 Page 2 of 2
Merseytravel invoice Bircham Dyson Bell £2298.95 30th June 2014 Page 2 of 2

As you can see from the pages of the invoice above Bircham Dyson Bell charged Merseytravel £425.50 + VAT to attend a parliamentary reception on the 25th June 2014 plus £327.99 + VAT in travel expenses.

I’ll leave it to readers to comment on whether they think Merseytravel being charging £55.50 + VAT by Bircham Dyson Bell to write an email is reasonable in these times of public sector cutbacks.

Next is a “strictly private and confidential” matter. In fact so strictly private and confidential the invoice for £1,867.80 from Weightmans below only specifies that it is for “Matter number 44 Re professional services”.

Merseytravel invoice Weightmans £1867.80 27th June 2014 Page 1 of 2
Merseytravel invoice Weightmans £1867.80 27th June 2014 Page 1 of 2

But as anyone me, I like demystifying such matters, so let me let Weightmans explain what this invoice is really about.

Merseytravel invoice Weightmans £1867.80 27th June 2014 Page 2 of 2
Merseytravel invoice Weightmans £1867.80 27th June 2014 Page 2 of 2

In case you can’t read the above I’ll quote the pertinent bit here.

Strictly private and confidential
Employment advice

Please find enclosed a bill of costs for work carried out by myself and Simon Goacher in relation to issues surrounding the Chief Executive and Director contracts.

I have not put any detail of the work on the bill or identified what it is for reasons of confidentiality. However, there is a breakdown of the work done so far on this matter attached for your attention.

I assume that matters are currently progressing satisfactorily but if you do require any further advice when the drafting is completed then please do not hesitate to contact either myself or Simon Goacher.

Thank you for your kind instructions in this matter, it is always good to work with you.

Kind regards,

Yours sincerely

Bernadette Worthington
For and on behalf of Weightmans LLP”

Going back to the original theme of political engagement is an invoice below from Kenyon Fraser for £29,160. This is for work on Merseytravel’s campaign to have a high-speed rail connection to Liverpool.

Merseytravel invoice Kenyon Fraser £29160 28th July 2014
Merseytravel invoice Kenyon Fraser £29160 28th July 2014

Continuing on lobbying but this time at party political conferences is an invoice for £11,429.96 for “PTEG Political engagement at Party Conferences and events each PTE see attached”.

Merseytravel invoice Nexus £11429.96 12th March 2015 Political engagement at party conferences
Merseytravel invoice Nexus £11429.96 12th March 2015 Political engagement at party conferences

Finally, here is an invoice for £811.20 from Key Travel for train tickets for travel from Liverpool Lime Street to London Euston. So what’s so unusual about that? Well the passengers are just listed as UNISON and it’s Merseytravel that have paid the invoice (I hope the costs were charged back to UNISON)!

Merseytravel invoice Key Travel £811.20 train fares London to Liverpool
Merseytravel invoice Key Travel £811.20 train fares London to Liverpool

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Author: John Brace

New media journalist from Birkenhead, England who writes about Wirral Council. Published and promoted by John Brace, 134 Boundary Road, Bidston, CH43 7PH. Printed by UK Webhosting Ltd t/a Tsohost, 113-114 Buckingham Avenue, Slough, Berkshire, England, SL1 4PF.

12 thoughts on “Why did Merseytravel spend £2,775 on a "Parliamentary Reception"?”

  1. In these times of food banks reading stuff like this just makes you wanna cry, over charging at its best, these people should hang there heads in shame!

    1. Thanks for your comment. I didn’t write it to make people cry, but to highlight spending of these sorts at a time when the politicians claim that they have to make cuts to services. Surely the vast amounts spent on PR agencies and lobbying is not as essential as the frontline services that people rely on? Or are politicians more interested in chasing good headlines and empire buildng?

  2. Mr Brace, I can understand people wanted to rub shoulders with the big boys in Parliament, what I cannot understand is how they think they can get away with Crap like this? If you take a look at the Route (Rail) and what they want it is an Accident waiting to happen and Conspiracy to Boot.

    There are several Railway Offences under the Malicious Damage Act and various offences under the other 1861 Acts that should be considered. The Safety and others travelling by Rail.

    HS2 or HS3 are complete ” None Starters ” and once again the Combined Authority this time have overreached themselves when trying to obtain further monies from Central Government (15 Million) and 4.5 Billion, all these matters are adding up and becoming Very, Very Serious.

    Merseyrail also should consider their position when allowing a Student to basically reopen all the old stations, that were shutdown years ago, because from what I can see from the Route Map that is all it is Historical as opposed to New and Dynamic

    Bring in the Police and the Administration!!!!!!!!

    1. A number of the train stations are being improved to bring them into the 21st century. For example in the relatively recent past a lift has been added at Birkenhead North so that disabled people can access the Liverpool bound platform step free. It’s an improvement I campaigned for years ago. Personally I think Merseytravel (who under the legislation give many classes of disabled people a free travel pass) improving stations to make them more accessible to the public is a better use of taxpayers money than parliamentary receptions.

  3. G’day John

    Another gem in that rubbish local propaganda sheet.

    I suppose they have got a little good news story for every day they are away on their annual junket to ????????????

    Todays is really special it includes the ridiculous clowncillor that tried to accost “Highbrow” on a misery travel train on his way home from chess.

    Today’s good news story to bullshit the punters

    Following meetings with business leaders and traders, council Leader Phil Davies announced he has blocked the proposals.

    He said: “Cllr Pat Hackett, our cabinet member for the Economy, has been meeting with traders and business leaders in New Brighton to discuss the proposals, and they made a powerful case for not proceeding.

    I think John it was the cabinet member for the Economy that got Wirral “Funny” Bizz to do a budget for that little community centre in New Brighton for £3,000.00 plus, oh no it was two budgets at £3,000.00 plus, or was it three budgets that were all rubbish.

    Great value John no customers, “Highbrow” and I went and took photos on the NOKIA that they have probably forgotten about, and there wasn’t a customer in sight.

    You could ask “Highbrow” John how many budgets Wirral’s Economic Genius had them do he has the Wirral “Funny” Bizz/council database.



    Hey “Pretend Friend” you didn’t forget about THE NOKIA did you?

    1. Mr Brace, would that be Neptune that Wanted or Not, it appears to me that we have about 3 or 4 Councils at the moment running Wirral and the Combined Authority. I find it quite difficult to keep up!!!!!!!!!

      1. Mr G, as for my Pretend Friend, I have not forgot about him or Adderley. I mentioned him in the same sentence as Ms Degg, him sitting in a Bus Stop that has a limited Service after a certain time and his little visits passed my property. I particularly liked the day, a Learning Motor School Driver passed him in the lane and when he stopped next to you the Red L pointed toward your head.

        Another time you stopping outside next door pointing your fingers at me in the shape of a Gun. I think that is called Intimidation of Witnesses. I liked the time when you also fixed up a Good Entrapment, do you remember? Adderley got his football shirt, you have a Manchester United Tracksuit, now when was that, just after you tried to turn me. But Unfortunately you had gone beyond the Pale by that time.

  4. G’day John

    Another gem from the rubbish propaganda sheet.

    ROAD RAGE EXCLUSIVE: Police hunt mad motorist who blew his top at Wirral horse rider

    They couldn’t be bothered going to see Wirral “Funny” Bizz who were sitting ducks after they knocked off about £2,000,000.00 of taxpayers hard earned and they would have just folded like when “Highbrow” battered them in that courthouse over Kev and Stella’s Stagnant Wirral Waters.

    I suppose there is no car chase involved. Derrrrr

    That reminds me I saw a dumb copper today on a bike with his helmet over the handlebar. I think he didn’t want helmet hair he was with a woman copper who had her helmet on her head.

    Where do they find them? Great example to the kiddies.



    Ps When are you going to say boo to a goose Ecca?

    Sorry, “Ankles” when is Ecca going to say boo to a goose?

    C’mon you BLINKING buffoon speak up, we can’t hear you.

    1. Mr G, what you have is a “Joint Criminal Enterprise, with a Common Purpose, with the intention to evade Liabilities ” Remember Crabtree ” Keep your Gobs Shut, you have Liabilities ” and a complete change of heart by a Councillor Hale. If I remember correctly I have a letter from him purporting to be Surjit Tour, threatening my wife to take her to court.

  5. G’day John

    I can just imagine “Phil the Dill getting bullied and what he deserved at Caldy.

    I won’t say it because you might have to censure.

    The rubbish local propaganda sheet they have in their pocket like the dweeb in the tweed jacket that smokes with Demigog

    PaulCa says…5:27pm Mon 27 Jul 15
    The courage of Phil Davies knows bounds.

    Score: -9 Quote Report this post

    Score minus 9

    I wonder if they did that at the rubbish paper or was it “The Pretend Friend” and his band of I will vote anyway you say “Dill” because err I can’t think for myself ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    As pathetic as my posts John but they are running the place. (down).



    Oh “Phil the Dill” Uncle Joe will always have you by the short and curlies….give up.

    Scumbags one and all…got that Ecca.

  6. Mr G, For as long as there is breath in my body and I am sure other peoples ” No One Will Have Any Of Us By The Short and Curly Ones ”
    ” Never Give up until the Fight is Won ” Joey, I sat in once should be getting concerned also as well as Phil the Dill, because None of them will go down without splitting on the other!!!!

  7. G’day John

    Another great day for bullshit in the local propaganda sheet.

    EXCLUSIVE: Union fury as Wirral Council hires two more consultants at a staggering cost of £1,700 a DAY

    If they have their auditors in their pockets

    If they have the DCLG in their pockets

    If they have the cops in their pockets

    The union must be joking

    As if they are not stuck in the last century.

    The people of Wirral will wake up to you Ecca soon.

    Start cleaning it up soon or alternatively just refuse to do what they demand and you will join Demigog in a lottery win asap.

    John what is wrong with open honest and transparent they just don’t give a shit.

    Wouldn’t be so bad if they showed any skill in anything.



    I used to joke with “Highbrow” that we should put a window through to get us in court.

    There soon won’t be any windows left if Ecca carries on doing BLINKING nothing.

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