Posted by: John Brace | 15th August 2016

Why does this invoice for the Holiday Inn, York come to more than the £1,155.19 Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service paid for it in January 2016?

Why does this invoice for the Holiday Inn, York come to more than the £1,155.19 Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service paid for it in January 2016?


Declaration of interest: The author of this piece is the Appellant in a First-Tier Trivunal case in which Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority is the Second Respondent (EA/2016/0054).

Below is an invoice unearthed during my citizen’s audit of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service. It appears to be for three not specified people in “Team Merseyside” at the Holiday Inn in York from the 27th December 2015 to the 1st January 2016.

It’s the first page of a multi page invoice from the Holiday Inn York. Sadly Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority failed to provide the rest of the invoice as requested within the 30 working day deadline.

The payment is listed as £1,155.19 made on the 1st January 2016 to the Holiday Inn York. This amount doesn’t include VAT.

However the total on page one of the invoice comes to £1,638.48.

Even if you add the VAT to the amount paid at a rate of 20%, £1,155.19 * 120% only comes to £1,386.23p so it doesn’t make much sense to me.

However it’s possible although a dinner was included in the £80 a night price, that the room charges for bar food, room charges for rest food and a room charge for rest beverage were paid out of a different budget or by someone else. Or possibly some sort of discount was applied on the second missing page! Certainly the second page of the invoice would clear a lot of this up!

I could ask Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority to provide the missing page or pages but they’ve already been quite cross at me (after charging me £40 for copies) at how much officer time is involved in finding an invoice for the inspection and how they couldn’t charge me for the inspection etc etc.

After all there are only have three hundred or so administrative staff working at Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service. Which when you consider all they have to do such as employee payroll, invoices, day-to-day admin it probably isn’t enough staff when you consider my request for invoices during the 30 day inspection period seemed to take at least between around nine and a dozen staff at Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service to deal with (maybe the costs they refer to are their own unique way of doing things?)

I won’t bother their auditors Grant Thornton with these sorts of trifling anomalies as their response is usually just we don’t know, ask Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service!

As their press office appear to be under instructions not to give out quotes on behalf of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service to me I haven’t asked them for a quote either before publishing as it seems to be a futile exercise.

Holiday Inn York invoice Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service 1st January 2016 resized

Holiday Inn York invoice Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service 1st January 2016 resized

Holiday Inn York
Tadcaster Road
York, YO24 1QF
United Kingdom
Tel: +44(0)8719429085
Fax: +44(O)1904702804

(Holiday Inn logo)
Holiday Inn

Team Merseyside
ch66 4py

Bill 2016000024
Date 01/01/2016
Room 037 Twin Room Non
Arrival 27/12/2015
Departure 01/01/2016
CRS Confirmation 61146719

Holiday Inn, York

27/12Accommodation Dinner Brea033 Merseyside, Team180.0080.00
27/12Accommodation Dinner Brea180.0080.00
27/12Accommodation Dinner Brea214 Merseyside, Team180.0080.00
28/12Accommodation Dinner Brea033 Merseyside, Team180.0080.00
28/12Accommodation Dinner Brea180.0080.00
28/12Accommodation Dinner Brea214 Merseyside, Team180.0080.00
28/12Dinner Food Inclinc-136.00-36.00
28/12Room Charge Bar FoodCheck:2015051345147.2547.25
29/12Accommodation Dinner Brea033 Merseyside, Team180.0080.00
29/12Accommodation Dinner Brea180.0080.00
29/12Accommodation Dinner Brea214 Merseyside, Team180.0080.00
29/12Dinner Food Inclinc-136.00-36.00
29/12Room Charge Bar FoodCheck:2015051765164.7064.70
30/12Accommodation Dinner Brea033 Merseyside, Team180.0080.00
30/12Accommodation Dinner Brea180.0080.00
30/12Accommodation Dinner Brea214 Merseyside, Team180.0080.00
30/12Dinner Food Inclinc 033 Merseyside, Team-127.10-27.10
30/12Dinner Food Inclinc-136.00-36.00
30/12Room Charge Rest FoodCheck:2015051959121.9021.90
30/12Room Charge Rest FoodCheck:2015051962 033 Mers119.1519.15
30/12Room Charge Rest FoodCheck:201505200915.955.95
30/12Room Charge Rest FoodCheck:2015052011 033 Mers17.957.95
30/12Room Charge Bar FoodCheck:2015051893162.0862.08
31/12Accommodation Dinner Brea033 Merseyside, Team180.0080.00
31/12Accommodation Dinner Brea180.0080.00
31/12Accommodation Dinner Brea214 Merseyside, Team180.0080.00
31/12Room Charge Rest FoodCheck:2015052073185.7085.70
31/12Room Charge Rest FoodCheck:20150521731108.80108.80
31/12Room Charge Rest BeverageCheck:2015052073115.0015.00

This hotel is owned and operated by Kew Green Hotels (York) Limited under license from IHG Hotels.
Registered Office 2nd Floor, Dome Building, The Quadrant, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 1DT
Company Registration 9096181, VAT Number 798600878

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  1. Its must be great to waste taxpayers money all the time and never lose any sleep over it, as for the sums not adding up, isn’t this the same thing with each government we have in power, where in the red we have to make cuts to services etc etc, get some one who can count?

    • When you look at councillors’ election expenses claims (covering a ~5 week period which usually have a maximum spend of around ~£1,000) you’ll find in many cases they don’t add up or have bits missing.

      Oh and we have criminal laws to state what should be in their election expenses returns (such as who donated the money to them for their campaign) but politicians often ignore the legal requirements knowing that the police force will effectively turn a blind eye as the police don’t want to be accused of going after a particular political party (and anyway there’s a statute of limitations of up to 12 months after the election result).

      Net result is you end up with elections being bought by vested interests that the public can’t even find out about and the politicians will refuse to answer questions..

      Sometimes they’re just out by a small amount like £50, sometimes it’s more serious..

      So then the councillors who sign off on an election campaign that doesn’t add up are put in charge of oversight of budgets of hundreds of millions of pounds.

      I suppose that’s democracy for you!

      However the politicians would say that closing Lyndale School is a saving in the revenue budget and that extending existing schools (or demolishing them) is out of the capital budget.

      However the capital budget is often borrowed money, which then the interest and capital needs to be paid back over many years from yes the revenue budget!

      I’ve yet to meet many councillors who have more than a basic grasp of local government finance though. Some politicians (once elected) care more about what their own political party tells them to do than the public. The political parties in turn care about who gives them money.