County Council: Collusion, Cover-Ups and Coincidences?

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County Council: Collusion, Cover-Ups and Coincidences?

“County Council: Collusion, Cover-Ups and Coincidences?”

SBC/NYCC ‘Double-dipping’ COVER-UP demolished, by Tim Thorne

  • Councillors have refused to pay back tax payers money – for something that most householders already provide for themselves.
  • Councillors have received in excess of five times the cost of Broadband from both Authorities.
  • Collusion is now suspected because many of the formal responses by Councillors are so remarkably similar that it can only be assumed these responses were prepared and written by an Officer of the Authority’s Legal Team, possibly the same Legal Team Officer that was supposedly investigating the complaint against the Councillors.
  • Councillors on the SBC Standards Committee attempt to sweep the Double-Dipping Saga under the carpet by selectively ignoring the evidence provided to them.
  • Only one member of the SBC Standards Committee spoke out against the poor accountability in the current Standards System and calls on the Councillors involved to pay back the money.

Seven months after it was first reported to Scarborough Borough Council and North Yorkshire County Council, it seems the Authorities in question are trying to put the saga of the double-dipping, dual-hatted Councillors to bed.

For those that don’t remember, a number of Council Member elected to both Authorities have been receiving monies from both Authorities for Internet & Broadband Expenses. Some have received in excess of £750 per annum or £60+ a month for something that actually costs most of us considerably less.

There are other articles which flesh it out further here, here and here.

It appears that Lisa Dixon, SBC’s Monitoring Officer, has leaked the result of the joint Authority investigation to the SEN, which is contrary to SBC Standards Complaints Best Practices. The SEN article itself is replete with errors, which were likely printed due to the usual misinformation provided by SBC. Some of that misinformation printed in the SEN is quoted below:

The committee concluded that the £8,994 basic allowance from the county council does not define specific elements of expenditure, such as broadband or IT

The guidance regarding Councillor Allowances quoted below is from the NYCC website completely contradicts the conclusion of the SBC Standards Committee. This information was provided as part of the complaint.

2.0 BASIC  AND SPECIAL RESPONSIBILITY ALLOWANCES

2.1 These annual allowances to each elected Member are paid on a monthly basis. The basic allowance reflects the expectation that Members make available a broadband connection so that they can receive information from the County Council and others by email, and more generally make use of the IT facilities provided to them.

On 14th October 2011, Scarborough Borough Council’s own ‘Independent Remuneration Panel’ met to discuss SBC’s Internet Allowance as part of their normal meeting schedule. The subject had arisen because of a complaint I had previously made about the Council Leader, Cllr. Tom Fox and his wife both claiming the maximum SBC Internet Allowance for an address they share. The Independent Remuneration Panel discussed and resolved that the Council agree that further action should be taken with regard to the Internet Allowance. Again, this information was provided as part of the complaint:

  • Members claim only for broadband expenses necessarily incurred rather than a specific allowance.
  • Members who represent both North Yorkshire and Scarborough Borough Council likewise should limit claims to actual expenses incurred.”

Lisa Dixon, SBC’s Monitoring Officer, concludes in the SEN:

  • In line with recommendations made by legal officers from both authorities, the Standards Committee concluded that the 10 members were fully entitled in accordance with the law and government guidance to receive both the basic allowance made available by North Yorkshire County Council and the internet and ICT allowance made available by the borough council and therefore did not act dishonestly in accepting both allowances.

So, with all that damning evidence collated as part of the investigation, what did the Standards Committee, a body composed entirely of other Councillors, decide? They decided their fellow Council Members had done nothing to bring the Council into disrepute.

One member of the Standards Committee, Cllr Colin Challen, who didn’t wholly agree with the conclusion reached spoke out about the toothless system that leaves Council Members to decide their own fate without any independent scrutiny. He believes that this shouldn’t be the end of the matter, that the Councillors in question should be held accountable under the ‘Seven Principles in Public Life’ that were established by the Nolan Committee and suggested that the Council Members should pay back the money.

Councillor Challen also writes about the statements provided to the Investigating Officers of both Authorities by the Councillors. Cllr Challen declares that a County Council Official appears to have written the statements, which were then passed to the Investigating Officers.

The Council Members statements are reproduced below along with a synopsis of what each Councillor was paid and what meetings they attended at NYCC where the allowance was the subject of the Council Members responsibilities.

Statements were not provided for Cllrs Brian Simpson nor John Blackburn.

Cllr Brian SIMPSON

Cllr Simpson received around £700-750 per annum from both Authorities for 6 years for a service that has cost him much, much less.

Cllr Simpson was present at the North Yorkshire County Council Meeting on 17th Dec 2008 where it was discussed that the ICT element be subsumed into the Basic Allowance.

Cllr Simpson was present at the North Yorkshire County Council Meeting on 16th Dec 2009 where it was agreed that the ICT element be subsumed into the Basic Allowance.

Cllr John BLACKBURN

Cllr Blackburn received around £500-550 per annum from both Authorities for 6 years for a service that has cost him much, much less.

Cllr Blackburn was present at the North Yorkshire County Council Meeting on 17th Dec 2008 where it was discussed that the ICT element be subsumed into the Basic Allowance.

Cllr Blackburn was present at the North Yorkshire County Council Meeting on 16th Dec 2009 where it was agreed that the ICT element be subsumed into the Basic Allowance.

Cllr William CHATT

Dear Miss Proud.

 I am referring to the letter dated 24 July 2(JI2.Heading. LOCAL STANDARDS COMMITTEE INVESTIGATION. Refno; 20] 2/22393.

 I am writing to let you know that I deny that I have breached the Code of Conduct or local protocol which is the subject of the allegation.

 The following reason is why I deny the charge.

 The County CounciI’s Members Allowances Scheme pays a single Basic Allowance for my role as a Member of the County Council. Whilst there is an expectation linked to that allowance that I make available a broadband connection. there is no specific element included in that allowance for the cost of broadband so I do not claim, as such, an amount for broadband from the County Council.

 The County Council also has a scheme to make available equipment to Members to carry out their role. l have a blackberry issued by county council

And 1 pc and printer issued by Scarborough

I look forward to meeting with you to help you with your investigation.

Kind Regards

William Chatt

You will notice that Cllr Chatt doesn’t deny he has received in excess of £750 per annum from both Authorities for 2 years for a service that has cost him much, much less.

Cllr Chatt was present at the North Yorkshire County Council Meeting on 16th Dec 2009 where it was agreed that the ICT element be subsumed into the Basic Allowance.

Cllr David JEFFELS

Dear Miss Proud

Re Investigation 2012/22393

Following receipt of notification of the complaint lodged by Mr Nigel Ward, I write to formally deny that I have breached the Code of Conduct or local protocol which is the subject of the allegation.

The North Yorkshire County Council’s Members’ Allowance Scheme pays a single Basic Allowance for my role as a member of NYCC. Whilst there is an expectation linked to that allowance that I make available a broadband connection, there is no specific element included in that allowance for the cost of broadband so I do not claim, as such, an amount for broadband from the County Council. NYCC also has a scheme to make available equipment to members to carry out their role. I have equipment made available by the Borough Council, but do not have any equipment from NYCC. I am able to access emails sent by NYCC on my SBC computer.

Please contact me if I can be of further assistance. D

Yours sincerely

David Jeffels (Coun)

You will notice that Cllr Jeffels doesn’t deny he has received around £550-700 per annum from both Authorities for 6 years for a service that has cost him much, much less.

Cllr Jeffels was present at the North Yorkshire County Council Meeting on 17th Dec 2008 where it was discussed that the ICT element be subsumed into the Basic Allowance.

Cllr Janet JEFFERSON

Dear Miss Proud

REFERENCE: LOCAL STANDARDS COMMITTEE REFERENCE NUMBER 2012/22393

I refer to your letter dated 24″‘JuIy 2012, received around the 2G”` July 2012 the contents of which I note and would reply as follows:-

I deny, to the best of my knowledge , that I have breached the Code of Conduct or Local Protocol which is the subject of the allegation. The following reasons are why I deny the charge.

The County Counci|’s Members Allowance Scheme pays a single Basic Allowance for my role as a Member of the North Yorkshire County Council. Whilst there is an expectation linked to that allowance that I make available a broadband connection, there is no specilic element Included in that allowance for the cost of broadband so I do not claim, as such, an amount for broadband from the North Yorkshire County Council. The North Yorkshire County Council also has a scheme which makes available equipment to members to carry out their role. Scarborough Borough Council also, at present, has a scheme which makes available equipment to Members to carry out their role. I own my own equipment i.e. computer, printer etc. and therefore do not take advantage of any equipment from either North Yorkshire County Council or Scarborough Borough Council. The Broadband facility within my property was provided and installed by myself some years ago and we pay a varying sum to Plusnet Plc by direct debit each month to cover the cost (based on usage etc)

I have not as yet received an IPB lpad from Scarborough Borough Council as I am awaiting authorisation that I can purchase my own |P3 from Jennings of Scarborough.

I look forward to meeting with you to help with the investigation.

Kind regards ,

JANETJEFFERSON

You will notice that Cllr Jefferson doesn’t deny she has received in excess of £750 per annum from both Authorities for 2 years for a service that has cost her much, much less.

Cllr Joe PLANT

Dear Miss K Proud.

 I am referring to the letter dated 24 July 2012.

LOCAL STANDARDS COMMITTEE INVESTIGATION. ““ Ref no; 2012/22393.

I am writing to let you know that I deny that I have breached the Code of Conduct or local protocol which is the subject of the allegation.

The following reason is why I deny the charge.

The County Council‘s Members Allowances Scheme pays a single Basic Allowance for my role as a Member ofthe County Council. Whilst there is an expectation linked to that allowance that I make available a broadband connection, there is no specific element included in that allowance for the cost of broadband so I do not claim, as such, an amount for broadband from the County Council. The County Council also has a scheme to make available equipment to Members to carry out their role.

Because I already have equipment made available by the Borough Council and a paid allowance for broadband I have not taken advantage of the County Council scheme and do not have any equipment from the County Council.

I have enclosed communication/email with a Mr Hofschroer dated 10 April. 2012 and a reply from myself dated 11 April 2012. This is as above with the following added.

I could have chosen to take advantage of the County Council Scheme, but it would have meant, another laptop/printer and a new telephone line.

I made the decision not to, as I did not think it was acceptable to the tax payer to do so.

I look forward to meeting with you to help you with your investigation and to deny any breach.

Kind Regards.

Cllr Joe Plant

You will notice that Cllr Plant doesn’t deny he has received in excess of £750 per annum from both Authorities for 2 years for a service that has cost him much, much less.

Cllr Plant was present at the North Yorkshire County Council Meeting on 16th Dec 2009 where it was agreed that the ICT element be subsumed into the Basic Allowance.

Cllr Andrew BACKHOUSE

Dear Miss K Proud,

In response to the letter from Lisa Dixon, post dated 24th July 2012 and received on the 27th of July 2012, in relation to the above Local Standards Committee Investigation Reference no: 2012/22393,  I wish to respond to the 4 specific raised as follows :-

1/ I deny the breach of the Code of Conduct or local protocol which is the subject of the allegation,

2/ The documents that I wish the investigator to take into account in any investigation of the allegation are copies of my expense claims forms as submitted by myself to Scarborough Borough Council during the period that I have been an elected member. This is the period front May 2003 to the present day. Expense claims forms submitted by myself during this period equate to NIL.

3/ I can think of no person, at the time of my response, that I would wish the investigating officer to interview in the course of this investigation.

4/ The information which l consider the investigating officer should seek from any person or organisation in connection with this allegation is the following

a./ A full catalogue of all my remittance slips received from Scarborough Borough Council since May 2003 until the present date. Available from Payroll at Scarborough Borough Council.

Yours sincerely

Councillor Andrew Backhouse

You will notice that Cllr Backhouse doesn’t deny he has received around £700-750 per annum from both Authorities for 6 years for a service that has cost him much, much less.

Cllr Backhouse was present at the North Yorkshire County Council Meeting on 17th Dec 2008 where it was discussed that the ICT element be subsumed into the Basic Allowance.

Cllr Backhouse was present at the North Yorkshire County Council Meeting on 16th Dec 2009 where it was agreed that the ICT element be subsumed into the Basic Allowance.

Cllr Mike COCKERILL

Dear Miss Proud.

I refer to the letter dated 24 July 2012 in regard to the above matter. l write to formally deny that I have knowingly breached the Code of Conduct or local protocol as alleged. Since I was elected to the County Council in May 2009, I automatically receive an allowance under The County Council’s Members Allowances Scheme in much the same way as I receive an automatic allowance from Scarborough Borough Council to which I was first elected in May 2007.

l have a laptop from SBC, l also have a printer from SBC. I could have similar equipment from NYCCC but chose not to claim it as I would have been unable to justify this experice from th public purse. I do have a remote hard drive from NYCC for backing up data.

The only financial claim I submit on a monthly basis to NYC is in regard to travel expenses incurred. Occasionally I obtain a supply of envelopes, stamps and paper from NYCC.

From SBC I occasionally obtain paper and submit monthly claims for travel and associated expenses, until earlier this year I received the broadband allowance. I am not aware of any pertinent documents save those provided by NYCC and SBC as part of the normal induction process for new councillors.

Similarly, I consider that it is only NYCC and SBC officers that can provide information together with accused colleagues.

I look forward to discussing this issue at the earliest possible moment.

Regards

Mike Cockerill

You will notice that Cllr Cockerill doesn’t deny he has received in excess of £750 per annum from both Authorities for 2 years for a service that has cost him much, much less.

Cllr Cockerill was present at the North Yorkshire County Council Meeting on 16th Dec 2009 where it was agreed that the ICT element be subsumed into the Basic Allowance.

Cllr Penny MARSDEN

Dear Miss Proud

Ref:- Local Standards Committee Investigation. ICT Allowance.

I have always been aware that Scarborough Borough Council made available an allowance for Broadband. we also had it printed clearly on our expence’s statements.

Allegation of so called “Double dipping”.

From being elected to the NYCC No officer as either informed me or made me aware, nor have I had written notice of a ICT allowance being a part of the overall expences paid by N.Y.C.C.

Hence I wish to completely refute the allegation made against me.

Yours Faithfully

Cllr. Penny Marsden

You will notice that Cllr Marsden doesn’t deny she has received around £600-750 per annum from both Authorities for 2 years for a service that has cost her much, much less.

Cllr Marsden was present at the North Yorkshire County Council Meeting on 16th Dec 2009 where it was agreed that the ICT element be subsumed into the Basic Allowance.

Cllr Peter POPPLE

Dear Lisa,

Attn: Miss K. Proud

Investigator.

With reference to your letter of the 24th July, in reply to the points asked.

1. I deny that I have breached the Code of Conduct or local protocol

2. Pay Advices from both SBC and NYCC will show that until recently.Members Pay advice from SBC did itemise that internet payment had been made whilst NYCC members pay advice did not. I understand NYCC ceased indicating this payment in 2009. members who were elected that year were unaware any payment for Broadband was included in their allowances. I was elected in 2009. therefore I did not know of this payment.

3. Carole Dunn Legal Officer NYCC to verify the fact that members elected in 2009 were not informed that payment for Broadband was included in the Members allowance.

4. l do not have any IT equipment issued by NYCC, doing all my work on the

Laptop and Printer issued by SBC which enables me to handle all correspondence from both Councils.

As a member of the Standards Committee since its inception I would question the motives and history of the complainant . under the new code vexatious complaints can now be filtered out.

Yours sincerely,

Councillor Peter Popple,

Leader Independent Group Scarborough Borough Council

You will notice that Cllr Popple doesn’t deny he has received around £750 per annum from both Authorities for 2 years for a service that has cost him much, much less.

Cllr Popple was present at the North Yorkshire County Council Meeting on 16th Dec 2009 where it was agreed that the ICT element be subsumed into the Basic Allowance.


By |2012-10-24T12:04:35+00:00October 22nd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , |18 Comments

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18 Comments

  1. Richard Ineson October 22, 2012 at 7:08 pm - Reply

    I see that Cllr. Chatt unusually for him, makes no mention of ‘breast feeding’ I wonder why this is? I think that we should be told.

  2. Ian Detute October 22, 2012 at 7:36 pm - Reply

    Deny all you like this stinks of a cover up.And as a council tax payer this is MY money that’s been diverted away from where it should be spent.birds of a feather etc.More like the thieving magpie. Discusted is an understatement.

  3. Sarraceniac October 23, 2012 at 6:35 am - Reply

    Received by email last night.

    Mr XXXXXXXX,

    I will be making no further comments, either now or in the future on this subject, I am sorry if I have offended you in any way, I have respect for you as an individual, however I do find the timing of your question (virtually identical to another one I received some time ago) curious.

    Kind regards
    Brian

    Cllr Brian Simpson

    Eastfield Ward

    Cabinet Member for Democracy, Neighbourhoods,

    Stronger & Safer communities

    • Nigel Ward October 23, 2012 at 11:27 am - Reply

      As reported in my article “Duplicitous, Devious & Dumb ‘Double-Dipping’ Denials”:

      http://www.real-whitby.co.uk/duplicitous-devious-dumb-double-dipping-denials

      Cllr Brian SIMPSON did issue a denial, the wording of which seems to confirm, in the final paragraph, that collusion with the Legal Officers DID take place. That perhaps explains why his ‘Personal Statement’ was so hastely removed from his site.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      Personal Statement

      A recent news story regarding internet allowances for Council members has caused both confusion and given a false impression of how things stand.I strongly refute any suggestion that I have acted either improperly or fraudulently in my role as both a member of the County Council or the Borough Council.

      I would like to make it clear that I have never physically claimed any internet expenses from either Scarborough Borough Council or North Yorkshire County Council.

      Both Councils paid an internet allowance automatically to their members be it part of basic allowance or a separate allowance.

      I have NOT received any allowance that I am not entitled to. I have spoken to both the County Council and Borough respective legal services and I am confident of a positive outcome to recent concerns raised by a member of the public.

      Cllr Brian Simpson
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive!” [Sir Walter Scott]

  4. Carole Gerada October 23, 2012 at 8:59 am - Reply

    I note from Cllr Simpson’s email response, he has amended his attachment to the Lib Dem Party.

    Cllr Simpson denies to respond to any direct question and prefers to evict people from Parish Council meetings if they do ask questions of the Council, particularly if they relate to financial accountability.

    Now we know why.

  5. Nigel Ward October 23, 2012 at 9:54 am - Reply

    Interesting to see that, according to his own website, Cllr Brian SIMPSON is no longer affiliated to the LibDem Party, the Scarborough division of which he has been Leader for some time:

    http://www.cllrbsimpson.co.uk/

    “Being a local Councillor should be about local representation and not party politics”, says Brian, having enjoyed the support first of Labour then the LibDems. I am reminded of ‘The Vicar of Bray’:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Vicar_of_Bray

    whose principles performed extraordinary contortions in order to keep him in office.

    On this occasion, it rather looks as though the LibDem Party may have chosen the right moment to disassociate itself from the digraceful ‘double-dipping’ debacle in which Cllr Brian SIMPSON has played his part in full measure.

    I do not anticipate that the Conservative Party will follow suit . . .

    • Sarraceniac October 23, 2012 at 11:04 am - Reply

      He appears to have two blog sites. The other one is here:

      http://eastfieldfirst.blogspot.co.uk/

      inherited from the late Brian O’Flynn.

      ‘Eastfield first’ is the local slogan of the Lie-dems and the last post, apparently by the late Brian O’Flynn, was in July 2008 by which time Simpson had formed his Lie-dem unholy alliance. This site is still extant but apparently dormant. I wonder who is paying for hosting etc. It’s interesting that the last entry was exhorting the voters of Eastfield and Osgodby to contact their councillors with any questions and they would, apparently, be happy to answer. It appears that that policy has changed under the Simpson regime.

      However, he does seem to have quietly parted company with the Lie-dems. The site you give us for Mr. Simpson clearly states that ‘he has no connection with any political party’. He made much ado (about nothing?) when he left the Labour Party after they declined to make him group leader, but this is much quieter. Does that mean he will not be standing for NYCC again next year, or is this a bluff? Rather annoying when I have just made the decision to temporarily come out of retirement to stand against him on an anti-sleaze platform asking Eastfield and Osgodby voters not to vote for me (I’m really too old and I wouldn’t want to split the vote against him) but, in view of his morals, not to vote for him either. Many people, with no great interest in local affairs, are probably not aware of his activities so, unless somebody else wants to stand, in which case I will help their campaign as well as I can, I think this is the best way to get the message over so if nobody declares an interest, I will put in a nomination anyway. If you are standing, Carole, then I won’t. Don’t need two anti sleaze candidates.

  6. Carole Gerada October 25, 2012 at 8:22 am - Reply

    Morning All. Yes, Sarra, I plan to stand for election in May as a totally independent candidate, as I did last year. Very interesting that Brian has decided to do the same! Almost as if he is in a personal competition with me. That is why I wonder who made the decision for him to depart company with the Lib Dems.

    I would welcome as much support as possible in my campaign when it comes to it. Mainly in the form of leaflet distribution once the timetable is announced next year. Also some door knocking if possible, to include postal voters who I totally did not even know about last year! I have declared my interest with the Elections Office at SBC.

    Please feel free to contact me direct if you would like to discuss anything with me.

    • Sarraceniac October 25, 2012 at 12:39 pm - Reply

      Firstly, apologies to ‘admin’ for using RW to discuss tactics against the rather toxic BS and once this is posted we will stay out of your patch, but it is important that this is done.

      Carole, if you contact me (if you can’t remember where/who I am, I am next door but one to Nigel & Sheila. I’m at 111) then we can swap email and phone numbers, sorry I have lost yours. I can’t do much knocking, or even posting leaflets, nowadays but handling office work and loaning the computer (and, more importantly, printer) is no prob. I am pleased you will stand because I didn’t really want to (I’m passed it). But, as long as we can tell local people the truth in a non-party political way, then that is what matters.

      Can I make this last appeal to anyone else who is simply ‘anti corruption’ and can help, from Eastfield ward to make themselves known to you, or even to me (if they are old enough to know who I am – lol).

      P.S. This is a county election so make your interest known at NYCC in Northallerton, not SBC.

  7. Carole Gerada October 26, 2012 at 11:59 am - Reply

    Thanks for advice. I feel a visit to Whitby coming on..You can contact me via Facebook:)

  8. Nigel Ward November 5, 2012 at 1:53 pm - Reply

    I am encouraged to see former SBC Councillor Mike Ward’s letter online of the Whitby Gazette:

    http://www.whitbygazette.co.uk/news/letters/sbc-getting-it-right-1-5076698

    After the decision not to move the town hall Scarborough Borough Council seem to be getting some more things right though councillors may need to examine their conscience.

    Senior management restructure. It has been very obvious for a number of years that the management structure at Scarborough Borough Council is top heavy, so it was pleasing (though maybe not for those directly involved) to read of the imminent restructure.

    A senior leadership team of five is more than adequate and should save residents at least £300k allowing for oncosts.

    Just think of the seven figure sums that could be saved by having one or two unitary authorities and no district councils across North Yorkshire.

    Expenses. Thankfully Scarborough Borough Council’s broadband and IT allowance has changed and it is now based on actually incurred expenses rather than an automatic allowance.

    All financially aware organisations should do away with allowances in favour of fair salaries and expense guidelines with VAT invoices to back up all necessary outgoings.

    North Yorkshire County Council and Scarborough Borough Council are separate entities and therefore their broadband allowances in law at least were unconnected.

    However it was is made perfectly clear to all councillors when accepting office what the allowances were for.

    This particular allowance in the main was for the connection of a broadband service at their place of residence.

    When North Yorkshire County Council absorbed it into the overall allowance it was pointed out that Councillors could opt out of taking that part of the allowance.

    Scarborough Borough Council councillors living in the same house were accepting a double payment for the provision of the same service.

    At least one Councillor, Cllr H Tindall, did not take his broadband allowance from Scarborough Borough Council as that service was paid for by his North Yorkshire County Council allowance – a well reasoned, principled and sensible personal decision.

    If only others could have seen it the same way rather than waiting for the legal arguments.

    Yes councillors have now been cleared in law of ‘double dipping’ but what has been allowed to happen is a waste of the public purse, morally indefensible and certainly not in line with Nolan’s Seven Principles of Public Life.

    Mike Ward, Whitby

  9. Sarraceniac November 5, 2012 at 4:44 pm - Reply

    Nigel. Quick query.

    ‘Expenses. Thankfully Scarborough Borough Council’s broadband and IT allowance has changed and it is now based on actually incurred expenses rather than an automatic allowance.’

    Does this mean that your average double dipper will have the following?

    Broadband costs: £250 p.a. (that is generous)
    Broadband Expenses from NYCC £750 p.a.

    Excess £500 p.a.

    So Borough Councillors who are also County Councillors will end up paying £500 p.a. to SBC? Or doesn’t it work that way? Sorry if I sound obscure but it really is very difficult for a pleb to understand.

    • Tim Thorne November 5, 2012 at 11:36 pm - Reply

      Well, Cllrs will still get £500 per annum from NYCC. NYCC/SBC have said that IT/Broadband Allowance paid by NYCC isn’t just for IT/Broadband, it is for a few other things, which they won’t detail.

      The money that SBC used to give to Cllrs for Broadband is now paid directly by SBC to a mobile company for connectivity to the iPads. If a Cllr has bad cellular coverage, then they may be able to claim for a better Broadband line so they can use their iPad at home.

      As well as being given incorrect information by Cllr Fox about the price of the iPads, Cllr Fox also said the new connectivity scheme was cheaper than the old scheme. Again, this was proven to be incorrect with the figures the Council consequently published.

      If the Council manages to stick to the current budgets then it might see a saving from the iPad purchase in 2016.

  10. Tim Thorne November 5, 2012 at 11:38 pm - Reply

    Cllrs in ‘No Principles’ shock. It doesn’t seem to bother them that at the very least they’re morally in the wrong. They seem to think it is just fine to take money away from public service that desperately need cash.

  11. Dalton Peake March 29, 2013 at 7:12 pm - Reply

    The Nolan’s Seven Principles of Public Life are supposed to be followed by these representatives of us, the people. If they made a profit presumably it was declared for tax purposes.

  12. Nigel Ward March 30, 2013 at 9:11 am - Reply

    Good morning, Dalton. Easter greetings to you and Janet.

    It is very gratifying to receive such help and encouragement from a senior Labour man such as yourself.

    A chartered accountant has examined this issue and is preparing a report to HMRC. It is considerable work because there are 37 County Councillors to examine (out of a possible 49 ‘two-hatted’ Councillors)- none, by the way, of whom are Labour.

    Unfortunately, there is a fly in the ointment. One labour man who was a ‘double-dipper’ during his short term as a ‘two-hatter’ – SBC Councillor Eric BROADBENT. Eric has now aqquired the soubriquet Eric BROADBAND because of his adamant refusal to repay that to which he has no moral right, no legal right and only the word of that model of duplicity NYCC Monitoring Officer Carole DUNN to save his sorry ass.

    http://www.real-whitby.co.uk/labour-councillor-broadbent-wheres-your-conscience

    If Councillor Eric BROADBAND will not do the right the thing solely because he has already spent the money, Labour would do will to have a whip round for the poor sod. Otherwise, he may as well cross the floor and go down with the rest of self-serving riff-raff.

  13. Gary Ludlow March 30, 2013 at 8:26 pm - Reply

    @ Mr Dalton Peake
    Dalton, really good to see a senior Whitby Labour Party member being involved in sensible debate on Real Whitby. Your comments regards Nolan’s Seven Principals of Public Life.
    Are you saying that the local leader of the Labour Group Eric Broadbent was incorrect in accepting large sums of money from two authorities for Broadband connection and that he has fallen well foul of the Seven Principals?
    Or are you saying that’s it’s ok as long as he declares the profit to HMRC and pays income tax?
    Then again, expenses should be just that, and only that, EXPENSE.
    Interesting point though, why should anyone be paying taxes on receipt of their expenses?
    Therefore if HMRC actually make all the “double dippers” pay income tax will the Councillors involved finally accept that it was over and above the actual expense (the actual amout paid) for a single Broadband Connection? AND PAY IT BACK, and claim a refund from the tax office?
    Why dont the Local Labour party members vote that Cllr Broadbent pay back or be replaced?
    Would you be in favour of this proposal?
    Will individual Labour Councillors voice their opinions out in the open?
    Or are they affraid Eric Broadbent won’t allow them to stand. How ridiculus a situation.

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