Posted by: John Brace | 13th May 2015

Why did Merseytravel spend £33,781.20 last year with Veale Wasbrough Vizards about its move to Mann Island?

Why did Merseytravel spend £33,781.20 last year with Veale Wasbrough Vizards about its move to Mann Island?


I went to a meeting of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Audit Committee yesterday and if you wish you can view the video of that meeting below. The agenda and reports for that meeting is on Merseytravel’s website.

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Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Audit Committee meeting 12th May 2015

What did occur to me after the meeting finished was that since the Local Government Transparency Code applies to the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, that Merseytravel (which is now part of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority) would be required to publish a list of payments made over £500 each month on its website.

Unlike Wirral Council and the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority, who also publish comma separated values files of the same information (which can then be sorted in a spreadsheet) Merseytravel just publish this information as PDF files.

Links to each of these files which cover the last financial year are below.

Merseytravel payments over £500 Period 1 – 01 April 2014 to 27 April 2014

Merseytravel payments over £500 Period 02 – 28 April 2014 to 25 May 2014

Ed – added on 22/5/2015 – see edit note below for why Merseytravel payments over £500 Period 03 26 May 2014 to 22 June 2014

Merseytravel payments over £500 Transactions Period 04 26-06-2014 To 20-07-2014

Merseytravel payments over £500 Transactions Period 05 21-07-2014 To 17-08-2014

Merseytravel payments over £500 Expenditure August September 2014

Merseytravel payments over £500 expenditure September October 2014

Merseytravel payments over £500 Expenditure October November 2014

Merseytravel payments over £500 Expenditure November to December 2014

Merseytravel payments over £500 expenditure December 2014 to January 2015

Merseytravel payments over £500 Expenditure 5th January to 1st February

Merseytravel payments over £500 Expenditure 2nd February to 1st March 2015

Merseytravel payments over £500 Expenditure 2nd March to 31st March 2015

If you’re observant, you’ll have noticed a gap for the month from the 26th May 2014 to the 25th June 2014. I’ve emailed Merseytravel to ask for the missing month of payments. Ed – 22/5/2015 – Merseytravel got back in touch with me on the 21st May informing me the missing month had now been put on their website, so it is now linked to above. The missing month includes another payment of £680 made to Veale Wasbrough Vizards for legal costs to do with the HQ relocation that was not available to me when originally writing this article.

However the other 11 months make for interesting reading.

There are a number of payments to a Veale Wasbrough Vizards (which is a Bristol based firm of solicitors) relating to Merseytravel’s controversial headquarters move from Hatton Gardens to Mann Island.

1 Mann Island (Liverpool City Region Combined Authority)

1 Mann Island (Merseytravel’s new headquarters)

Here’s a list of the payments made to Veale Wasbrough Vizards:

VEALE WASBROUGH VIZARDS21/3/2014Legal FeesS-7108-HQ Relocation£720
VEALE WASBROUGH VIZARDS30/4/2014Legal FeesS-7108-HQ Relocation£862.50
VEALE WASBROUGH VIZARDS30/4/2014Legal FeesS-7108-HQ Relocation£1,200
VEALE WASBROUGH VIZARDS23/4/2014Legal FeesS-7108-HQ Relocation£4,342.25
VEALE WASBROUGH VIZARDS18/8/2014Legal FeesS-7108-HQ Relocation£1,169.89
VEALE WASBROUGH VIZARDS23/9/2014Legal FeesS-7108-HQ Relocation£2,084.00
VEALE WASBROUGH VIZARDS23/10/2014Legal FeesS-7108-HQ Relocation£648
VEALE WASBROUGH VIZARDS18/11/2014Legal FeesS-7108-HQ Relocation£10,315.20
VEALE WASBROUGH VIZARDS18/12/2014Other Contractor 15S-7116-HQ – Direct Costs£7,600
VEALE WASBROUGH VIZARDS22/12/2014Legal FeesS-7108-HQ Relocation£4,839.36

Payments are also still being made to Bircham Dyson Bell as you can see below. The Liverpool Echo reported back in 2012 how £1.7 million was paid by Merseytravel to Bircham Dyson Bell without the work being put out to tender.

BIRCHAM DYSON BELL28/3/2014Court FeesS-2031Legal and Committee Team£1,050.90
BIRCHAM DYSON BELL28/3/2014Specialist FeesK-2501L.A. Subscriptions etc.£754.70
BIRCHAM DYSON BELL29/4/2014Court FeesS-2031Legal and Committee Team£1,362.10
BIRCHAM DYSON BELL30/6/2014Consultants FeesR-0200Rolling Stock Programme£1,915.79
BIRCHAM DYSON BELL19/2/2015Consultants FeesK-2501L.A. Subscriptions etc.£1,665.50
BIRCHAM DYSON BELL27/11/2012Consultants FeesK-2501L.A. Subscriptions etc.£7,427.50
BIRCHAM DYSON BELL20/5/2013Consultants FeesK-2501L.A. Subscriptions etc.£7,800.00
BIRCHAM DYSON BELL25/2/2015Consultants FeesR-0200Rolling Stock Programme£5,210.89

Merseytravel also paid £977.50 to Sara Bradbury in October 2014 for “Counsels Fees”.

A number of insurance payments were made by Merseytravel with compensation given as the reason.

ROYAL & SUN ALLIANCE16/5/2014Compensation – Public LiabilityS-2101Ins – General£7,008
ROYAL & SUN ALLIANCE18/7/2014Compensation – Public LiabilityS-2101Ins – General£2,717.00
ROYAL & SUN ALLIANCE14/8/2014Compensation Public LiabilityS-2101Ins – General£8,500.00
ROYAL & SUN ALLIANCE25/7/2014Compensation MiscS-2101Ins – General£11,575.00
THOMAS COOPER8/8/2014Compensation MiscS-2101Ins – General£7,300.00
MERCURY LEGAL LLP18/12/2014Compensation Employers LiabilityS-2101Ins – General£7,182.17
ROYAL & SUN ALLIANCE18/12/2014Compensation Public LiabilityS-2101Ins – General£16,790.00

There was a payment for £507 to Weightmans LLP for an invoice dated 31st March 2014 for “specialist services”. Merseytravel also paid five amounts (£3,800, £2,600, £4,400, £750 and £2,145) to a firm of solicitors called Davies Wallis Foyster LLP for invoices in 2014 for the services of a solicitor.

Two payments of £15,115 and £15,590 were made to Royal & Sun Alliance for invoices dated 27th August 2014 and the 3rd December 2014 for the costs of external 3rd party solicitors.

Robert Jackson Solicitors charged £2,000 in an invoice dated 13th February 2015 for legal costs associated with an insurance claim, in the same month Merseytravel paid £4,812 to CS Cooper C/O Collins Long Solicitors which was again for legal costs to do with an insurance claim.

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  1. G’day John

    In that local rubbish propaganda sheet about mayor making

    Annual council will be held the following evening when Labour leader Cllr Phil Davies will announce who will be in his new cabinet following local elections.

    For services to the scum after turning up to Gra Gra’s farce of a public meeting into Big, ISUS and Working Neighbourhoods 8 October 2014 and sucking up to the cheating lying barstards of officers that are still there Ecca.

    I said still there “Spotty Dog”….best improved clowncil in the country my arse.

    Go have a chat with “The Football Shirt” and “Humpty Dumpty” about Wirral “Funny” Bizz and Lockwood Engineering..

    Then standing against the only member to stand up for the Wirral “Funny” Bizz whistle blowers out of 66, how can I face my family and friends after this, clowncillors. They have no morals.

    “Doughnut” will be the first pennii selected for the “Kitchen Cabinet”.



    Ps I would laugh my bits off if he missed out but then again he deserves to be in bed with them.

    The Open Golf rented accommodation is another subject isn’t it “Demagogue?”.

  2. G’day John

    Your FOI

    Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

    On the 1st April 2015, section 9 of the Local Audit and
    Accountability Act 2014 came into force and Wirral Council was
    required to have an auditor panel.

    Four years later John I don’t think anyone knows who was on that BIG Panel that “The Football Shirt” told me was super duper and…..

    Obviously it was a nonsense.

    Good Luck



    Ps Things are moving slowly about your OBE but “Highbrow” never forgets (fortunately) but I am only human……open honest and transparent though.

    You and Bobby keep up the great work.

    • You might be interested in another development too, at the next ordinary Council meeting the changes to the disciplinary processes for senior officer as a result of The Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 will have to be implemented.

      One of the changes is that there will no longer be a requirement to have an independent person write a whitewash report when a senior officer is suspended and it gives powers to full Council to dismiss the Council’s Chief Executive, Monitoring Officer or Chief Financial Officer.

      So no more 8-9 months of suspended chief officers on full pay followed by “no case to answer” (as has happened in the recent past on Wirral Council) whilst the public pays through the nose for temporary people in the mean time.

      • Thanks John

        Why don’t they just do the right thing with Wirral “Funny” Bizz now because it will never never go away until they bow to “Highbrow” and his much superior knowledge and evidence to any and every single one of them.

        The “Football Shirt” “The Chamber Potty” “The Shyster” and “Humpty Dumpty” should put their hands up now.

        It won’t go away and despite “The Shyster” telling them all to keep their gobs shut it is them that will live and die by their actions.

        I sleep well.

        “The Shyster” should be ashamed and “Ecca” needs to get rid because Wirral could be a far better place.



        John Brace OBE has a nice ring to it.

        Much like James Griffiths Gutpela Man Bilong Australia

        I have spent time in New Guinea….third world but so much better than BirkenBloodyHead…possibly fifth world.

  3. G’day John

    Will you be there?

    Mayor’s Diary

    4.00 pm – The Mayor will present Long Service Awards to Council employees at the Town Hall, Wallasey.

    I presume he will be giving himself one…no one else would..

    Do you think it would be a good opportunity to get the police in with all the old baddies in one place?

    £40,000.00 plus!



    Ps Did they ever get that money back that went to a bogus account?

    • Well, last year when Cllr Foulkes was made Mayor at the Floral Pavilion, we both had official tickets inviting us and places reserved on the front row (which would have been great for filming).

      However one of the Mayor’s staff insisted we don’t sit in our reserved seats but the fourth row instead.

      A previous time, we were invited to Tam O’Shanter Urban Farm for a Mayoral visit to plant some trees. Wirral Globe allowed to stay, but we were told to leave despite one of the aims of the charity that runs the Tam O’Shanter being “to continue to promote the use of Tam O’Shanter Urban Farm thereby maintaining visitor numbers”.

      So I don’t really go to Mayoral events any more, as there’s usually a jobsworth there to try to make life difficult for us!

      • Ha ha

        The jobsworth you speak of is the Right Horable “Dunny Chain Wearer”.

        For he’s a massive bell end
        For he’s….

        You know the rest.



        • No at the time of the Tam O’Shanter Farm visit, it was 2011 and he wasn’t Mayor. However the person who insisted we leave was a Labour councillor (and a trustee of Tam O’Shanter).

          • G’day John Brace OBE

            I do like that sound of it and if everyone says it enough???

            Sounds like the dirty filthy “Phil the Dill’s Ugly Twin Brother with The Comb Over From Hell” to me.

            But there are other suspects.

            Don’t bother telling Wirral Council Police Force John Brace OBE they will find no case to answer.

            Or many hair follicles for that matter.

            He he I can talk.

            He won’t be able to do it to you again soon John Brace OBE when Wirral Gate gets sorted but it could be the new go to man “Doughnut”.

            Sorry Clowncillor “Doughnut”.



    • As to the money lost by Wirral Council, even the Metropolitan Police are refusing any FOI requests over that.

      • Dear oh Dear oh Dear

        Wirral, sadly like Britain is currently rotten to the core.

        Most improved clowncil in the country my arse.



        Ps Come on Ecca speak up publicly about this dross, crud and deceitful mob you have inherited.

        Give you a clue “Spotty Dog” start with “The Football Shit”, “The Shyster” and “Humpty Dumpty” in no particular order.

  4. G’day John Brace OBE

    I heard that the new “Dunny Chain Wearer” is taking over from the current scum bag incumbent because the party said they would back off on a Wirral “Funny” Bizz’s prosecution.

    Hence them rolling out “The Raving Loony” at Gra Gra’s farce of a public meeting on 8 October 2014 into Big, ISUS and Working Neighbourhoods to talk shite and say how wonderful the officers are after the previous meeting saying it was the worst scandal in his forty years of turning up.

    The stupid old nut case, that “The Pretend Friend’s” wife now wishes she had chased instead of her sleeping partner, actually asked “Highbrow” to apologise for turning up to report a crime of hundreds and hundreds of thousands of pounds from the Wirral taxpayer with irrefutable evidence that he still has if anyone wants to see.

    Good job you have it all on film John Brace OBE so you can show his grand kids of him making a fool of himself. Bless.



    Ps At least “The Pretend Friend” only sleeps in the chamber by himself unlike the “Demagogue” at the “Open House”.

    • Sadly the camera card on my camera was playing up that night (it was later replaced by the shop I’d bought the card from), so the footage is in many parts.

      • G’day John Brace OBE

        It probably wasn’t broken down any more than the senile BLUE boy. He thinks he’s blue on a good day. Bless.

        I am sure he would repeat it all for you because it must have been written down for him.



        Ps I can’t wait for the Mayor Making 2016 as it will probably be held back in New Brighton at that empty Community Centre that the “Dunny Chain Wearer in waiting” has not one, not two who knows how many business plans the idiot paid Wirral “Funny” Bizz £3,000.00 a pop for for an empty Community Centre.

  5. Mr Brace, you are quite right interesting reading those transactions, lot of Liverpool Maritime History, Industrial Relations and other things there in those Invoices, somebody standing on the Captains table, rather than being invited to sit at it these days.

  6. […] Merseytravel, the Merseyside Fire and Rescue service publish both PDF files and comma separated values files of […]