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Dick ducks ‘double-dipping’ DISREPUTE duty

An ‘In My View’ article – by Nigel Ward

  •  As the ‘double-dipping’ row escalates – and emerges County-wide and probably beyond – NYCC Chief Executive Officer Richard (‘Dick’) FLINTON has abdicated all responsibility in the matter to his Assistant Chief Executive Officer, Head of Legal & Democratic Services and Monitoring Officer Carole DUNN; this despite public allegations of collusion in exoneration of Councillors.

In The Public Interest

Readers will be familiar with the long-running saga of the NYCC/SBC Councillors who have been receiving up to £750 per annum – more than three times their actual outlay in respect of their out-of-pocket Broadband connectivity charges (widely available for less than £200 per annum) – and yet have evaded censure with the assistance of the very same Monitoring Officers charged with the task of policing their conduct.

They are known as ‘DOUBLE-DIPPERS’.

The ‘in-house’ ruling (pre-determined by NYCC Monitoring Officer Carole DUNN) was that the acceptance by Councillors of threefold their expenditure was an “entitlement”. That would appear to be a euphemism for a “perk”.

SBC took the identical view, (having conferred with NYCC throughout) but recognised the need, in future, to pay out only against produced receipted invoices, as a protection against further abuses of the public purse. At first glance, that would appear to improve matters. But in fact it would still not prevent Councillors from receiving Broadband payments from both Councils, because NYCC are not insisting on receipted invoices, which can be used to claim from SBC on top of the NYCC payment. Absurd.

And remember that our ‘double-dipping’ investigation has thus far concerned itself only with Broadband overpayments; travel, accommodation, hospitality etc are coming under scrutiny next.

But the Broadband matter remains unresolved. Legal opinion is that charges should be brought under the Fraud Act of 2006. That begins to look inevitable.

Other serious aspects of this issue have emerged and will be addressed in a future article.

Consider also the indefensible conduct of the Monitoring Officers, who have so blatantly disregarded their duty to the taxpayer to ensure the highest standards in public life, in favour of covering up for the defendant Councillors –  presumably with a view to keeping a lid on further scrutiny of their own inappropriate actions. That, too, remains to be addressed.

Having conferred with a considerable number of Councillors, former Councillors, former Council Officers, retired Police Officers and active political journalists, I decided to write, on 4th January 2012, to NYCC Chief Executive Officer Richard FLINTON, to lodge a Formal Complaint against the ‘double-dippers’ in respect of a clear breach of several Articles of the Code of Conduct; in particular, that their conduct had brought themselves and their Councils into disrepute.

When he was appointed, in May 2010, Richard FLINTON had this to say:

“The coming years will be very challenging for local government and I look forward to facing these challenges alongside all of the dedicated county councillors and staff who together are committed to working to the utmost on behalf of the communities of North Yorkshire .”

A “Highly Commended” second place in the Private Eye “EXPENSES FIDDLER OF THE YEAR” Annual Awards is more of a challenge than any local government CEO wants in his entire career, never mind three drubbings in Private Eye in a matter of six months). More to come.

I drew Richard FLINTON’s attention to the allegations published by SBC Councillor Colin CHALLEN (Lab) on the Scarborough & Whitby Labour Party web-site. (I think we all know that Richard FLINTON was already painfully ‘aware’).

I also drew his attention to the parallel scandal unfolding at Leicestershire County Councillor, where former Council Leader, Councillor David PARSONS, has been dumped by his party (the Conservatives), thereby losing the Leadership, and is currently under investigation for fraud by the Leicestershire Police. (I think we all know that Richard FLINTON was already painfully ‘aware’ of that disgrace, too).

I reminded him that his Council’s corporate position on ethical matters is quite clear:

North Yorkshire County Council believes in a strong ethical organisational culture. It aims to promote the highest levels of conduct by its members and officers, to increase public trust in the delivery of its vision and its objectives, by:

  • Maintaining openness and transparency in conducting its business;
  • Being accountable for all it says and does;
  • Ensuring that everyone knows what is expected of them;
  • Offering appropriate training and development programmes; and
  • Promoting the work of its standards committee.

A number of safeguards are in place, through the ‘ethical framework’, to ensure that when Councillors make decisions, they do so in the public interest and without regard to personal advantage. The requirements relating to local Councillors are tighter than those for Members of Parliament.

  • To “increase public trust”; “openness and transparency”; “accountabilty”; “adequately trained”; “in the public interest” ?

I expressed the view that his Council was failing on all of those points.

I expressed the widely-held view that the ‘double-dippers’ are in flagrant violation of the Council’s ethos; that much is beyond dispute, and that the way in which the ‘double-dippers’ (and the Officers who have contrived to exonerate them) have comported themselves flies in total contempt of the above-quoted passage.

In particular, these Councillors can certainly NOT be said to have “made decisions in the public interest and without regard to personal advantage”. Quite to the contrary, they have, with the active assistance of the Officers, contrived to set in place an Allowances system that not only fritters the public money, but pours it surreptitiously into their own pockets.

I requested him to identify the Officers who prepared the defendant Councillors’ defence statements for cinsideration by the Standards Committee.

I then concluded my email with the usual formalities regarding the acknowledgement of my Formal Complaint and a request for an acknowledgement thereof. I attached a copy of the present Code of Conduct.

Over the weekend, I received a stream of emails from informed local people – amongst them Councillors, former Councillors, former Council Officers and local businessmen and women – who, having been copied into my email to Richard FLINTON, had taken it upon themselves to write to him in support of my Formal Complaint. I have heard that others, too, had more privately done the same. So the pressure on Richard FLINTON was mounting. I was interested to see how he responded – or. Rather, if he responded.

Over the next forty-eight hours, I was intrigued to receive significant information from sources beyond the Borough of Scarborough, but within the NYCC boundary. It appears that the ‘double-dipping’ game has been around a long time, and is played with considerably more aplomb in some authorities than others.

This wider ‘double-dipping’ has been thoroughly documented and it now becomes clear that NYCC Monitoring Officer Carole DUNN has, in the past, fended off other attempts to rein in exactly the same premeditated abuse of the public purse.

So on Monday 7th January 2012, disappointed at having (of course) received no acknowledgement or response from Richard FLINTON, I wrote to him again.

With complete transparency, I provided him with bona fide new information concerning allegations of ‘double-dipping’ activities at Craven District Council.

I called upon him to identify, by name, all of the Councillors of both NYCC and any of its second-tier Councils, who have accepted Broadband Allowances from both NYCC and their respective local authorities and requested him to add their names to the Formal Complaint lodged by me and well over a dozen others.

I invited him to come to Whitby to discuss the matter with a view to some honourable resolution that would protect both the public purse and the Council’s good standing in the public perception.

On Monday evening, the full extent of the ‘double-dipping’ and associated cover-up became even more apparent. It became clear that NYCC Officers have behaved utterly disingenuously in concealing the shocking extent of what I can only describe as systematic embezzlement of the public funds – at a time when the Council is enacting swingeing cut-backs.

So on Tuesday 8th January 2012, I found myself writing yet again to Richard FLINTON (though I still had received neither acknowledgement nor response to my earlier emails), offering him a clear insight into the fact that the game really was up.

I repeated my invitation to Richard FLINTON to come to Whitby on Friday 11th January, in the hope that reason might have a chance to prevail.

By close-of-play on Thursday 10th January 2012, I had still received neither acknowledgement nor response to any of my earlier emails, or my invitation. So I emailed him one more time.

I told him that I was disconcerted to find that he was unable to step up to the plate and deal with this disgraceful and scandalous set of circumstances; it was clear that his window of opportunity was now closed.

I informed him that continuing analysis of the data seemed to indicate an unjustifiable burden on the public purse of around £100,000 across the County during the current term.

I pointed out that his failure to accept the responsibility and deal with the situation would inevitably have a negative impact on the electoral prospects of any of the ‘double-dippers’ who may yet be so brazen as to seek re-election.

And I sought his guidance on how, in the face of his non-responsiveness, I might progress our collective ‘disrepute’ Formal Complaint to a higher authority.

9:20am. Friday 11th January 2012.

Well, well, well. In popped an email from Richard FLINTON.

  • He has not apologised for his non-responsiveness.
  • He has not acknowledged our Formal Complaint – nor even mentioned it.
  • He has not acknowledged or thanked me for the information that I provided – nor even mentioned it.
  • He has not grasped the vital distinction between, on the one hand, actively “claiming” Allowances, and on the other hand, making decisions which set up the Allowances Scheme in such a way as to ensure that Allowances would be paid automatically – thus allowing Councillors to receive the money by an act of omission (neglecting to return the overpayment), not an act of commission (making a fraudulent duplicated claim) – thereby prefabricating a putative defence to any allegation of fraud, notwithstanding the fact that, because of the ‘acts of omission’ stipulations of the Fraud Act 2006, that defence must be untenable and contrary to law.
  • He has not acknowledged the fact that most of the ‘double-dippers’ were present at meetings and party to that decision-making process, and yet nevertheless have made spurious claims that they were “unaware”. (Imagine that: a hundred grand cut loose and floating around, yet nobody was “aware” of the fact. Not much, they weren’t. If it was simply beneath their “awareness” level, why is it such a trouble to them to return the money, now that they are finally very much “aware”?)
  • He has not identified those Officer(s) responsible for drafting the defence statements.
  • He has not identified all of those County Councillors sitting on second-tier Authorities who have received Broadband Allowances from two Councils.
  • He has not accepted that the evidence shows that his Officers have acted disingenuously – though they most certainly have (as Councillor Colin CHALLEN has identified)
  • He has not addressed any element of the on-going scandal whatsoever.
  • He has not expressed a willingness to engage with me to resolve the matter.
  • He has not expressed his assurance that he will write to the ‘double-dippers’ to request them to return the overpayments that they have thus far decided to keep for themselves.



His sole substantive remark was to correct me on the most insignificant trifle imaginable; apparently Carole DUNN is not his Deputy Chief Executive, as I had written; she is his Assistant Chief Executive – and, of course, she carries his every confidence. His Council is looking for all the world like a nest of vipers and he wants to be certain that I grasp the to-all-intents-and-purposes inconsequential distinction between ‘Deputy’ and ‘Assistant’.

I am picturing a sly Dickensian scrivener called ‘Dick Pettifogg’:



  1. insignificant; petty: pettyfogging details.
  1. dishonest or unethical in insignificant matters; meanly petty.

In fairness to Richard FLINTON, I am prepared to concede that he may be completely genuine in his assertion that he has every confidence that Carole DUNN has been flawless in the execution of her duty to the Council. I would contend that Carole DUNN has not acted faithfully in the execution of her duty to the public – and that, in a democracy, the latter countermands the former. This is why Carole DUNN has been ridiculed in the national press for upholding the same view that Richard FLINTON now supports.

So is this guy one coffee short of wide awake? Of course not.

He is a very important man in a very important position of authority. He is very far from stupid; he is only playing dumb.

Why? Because he is playing for time.

Why, then? Because that is the tried and tested dogma of local authority. ‘Eat your rice slowly’. And the County elections are on 2nd May.

Local authorities do not grow old and die gracefully; they do not retire or become too ill to continue; they do not decide that it is time to “spend more time with their families”.

Like Ol’ Man River, they just keep rollin’ along.

They know that we mere humans do grow old, retire, become ill and give up genuinely to spend more time with our families – and die gracefully,

And after a couple of generations, they metamorphose into whatever new constellation of local governance Parliament ordains. At that point, the current incumbents all receive new titles and new stationery, and retain the same salaries, pensions and perks.

So local government always plays the longest possible game. Historically, it has never failed.

Meanwhile, Richard FLINTON is playing “Waiting for Godot” to save his Council’s sorely damaged reputation, and the ‘double-dippers’ are left to ponder their election prospects in the face of an ever-mounting barrage of local and national public condemnation.



Some of them are already considering the wisdom of even standing in May. After all, they have given many years service to the public. They are not as young as they once were. Health becomes less certain with advancing years, and the prospect of spending more time with one’s family waxes ever more appealing, blah, blah. They are looking for an exit strategy. They are creatures of the dark and they are dreading the glare of exposure. So why run the gauntlet of a tortuous pre-election period, only to let the clock wind down to a graceful (or graceless) exit. Why be humiliated at the polls? Why be all over the newspapers like the MPs were a couple of years ago (and, no doubt, will be again, in the future)?

Some may even be contemplating resignation. There were some intriguing Tweets between Christmas and the New Year.

The funny thing is that the Chief Executive Officer of NYCC is paid to work for them; which, of course he always does – immediately after he has completed his work for Richard FLINTON.

And the sad thing is that 72 County Councillors and the entire NYCC Executive cling to the belief  that, come what may, they can still rely on what, historically, has been the fundamental safety-net of public service:



For hundreds of years, the buck stopped nowhere. Corruption has been a growth industry. But that was before the internet; that was before the digitally archived Public Record; that was before hundreds of people watched Councillor Gareth DADD make a complete jerk of himself on Real Whitby and on YouTube.

That was before leading national television investigative teams could rely on the minutely documented and professionally synopsized case-histories, arriving by email, from an increasing number of very determined anti-corruption activists all around the country, without them needing to step out of the office.

It is a new game now, and Richard FLINTON’s preferred option of playing “Waiting for Godot” will soon be as much use as a square wheel.

Local government has offered easy pickings for unscrupulous mediocrities since at least the end of WW2. Populated, as it is, by too many of that sort, it has been wasteful, imprudent, negligent, unimaginative, hopelessly incompetent and remorselessly corrupt.

That has to change. So, out with the bad apples, eh?

Some readers have requested a series of hi-res, deep-scan profiles on each of the ‘double-dippers’, by way of offering a far more balanced insight into each of the candidates than the customary twaddle that appears, unsolicited, in one’s letter-box as election day approaches.

That strikes me as a very worthwhile public service, chiming perfectly with the 21st-century “Age of Surveillance”.

  • “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear”.

We might do worse, as an hors d’oeuvres, than start with North Yorkshire County and Craven District Councillor Polly ENGLISH (LibDem) and her Craven District Coucillor husband Paul Albert ENGLISH (LibDem) of Burnside Avenue, Skipton.

Readers may remember Councillor Polly ENGLISH from her service alongside County Councillor Jane KENYON with the now-defunct North Yorkshire Police Authority, nationally criticised following a string of financial scandals. The LibDems are the party who were very glad to let ‘double-dipper’ Councillor Brian SIMPSON resign quietly after his ‘double-dipping’ became such an embarrassment.

County Councillor Polly ENGLISH has been in receipt of what you and I might call a lot of money in terms of her allowances from her three authorities (NYCC, CDC and the NYPA) over the last four years – very close to six figures. Who could hope for more?

Apparently, the English family, because a cursory investigation reveals that, for the four years 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11 and 2011/12, Councillors Polly and Paul ENGLISH have together received a total of almost £6,000  (actually, £5,992) – for a single Broadband connection that cannot have exceeded a grand total of around £1,000.


So there it is – ‘double-dipping’ to the tune of a cool £5,000 over the odds, in this hopefullyr atypical English household. Add that to the circa £24,000 profit siphoned off by the NYCC/SBC ‘double-dippers’ and . . . it goes on and on.

With twenty-six Councillors still to be audited, the total already exceeds £100,000 and could easily reach £150,000 – and that is only the past four years.

But ‘Dick’ FLINTON is fine with that. (He just keeps rollin’ along).

I am not fine with it. How about you?



O’ man river,
Dat ol’ man river,
He mus’ know sumpin’
But don’t say nuthin’
He jes’ keeps rollin’
He keeps on rollin’ along.

Long ol’ river forever keeps rollin’ on…

He don’ plant tater,
He don’ plant cotton,
An’ dem dat plants ’em
Is soon forgotten,
but ol’ man river,
He jes’ keeps rollin’ along.

Long ol’ river keeps hearing dat song.
You an’ me, we sweat an’ strain,
Body all achin an’ racked wid pain.
Tote dat barge!
Lif’ dat bale!
Git a little drunk
An’ you land in jail.

Ah, gits weary
An’ sick of tryin’
Ah’m tired of livin’
An’ skeered of dyin’,
But ol’ man river,
He jes’ keeps rollin’ along!

[“Ol’ Man River”(music by Jerome Kern, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II) is a song in the 1927 musical “Showboat”]


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  1. Not enough effort on the title, Nigel!

    ‘Dastardly Dick deviously ducks ‘double-dipping’ DISREPUTE duty’ would been so much better! 😀

  2. Well done Nigel. As ever, well researched and searingly incisive; if these so-called public servants have an ounce if integrity, they will not seek re-election, or they should do the decent thing and step down. I am pragmatic enough not to be holding my breath, but the searchlight of revelation grows ever more penetrating………..

  3. So my council tax which i work hard to pay ends up in their pockets.Excuse my language greedy parasitic bastards.They need to be held accountable for this never mind paying it back they SHOULD be prosecuted.

  4. Excellent – another fact packed article, shining the light into the grey areas of the shambles that is British politics. Thank you, sir.

  5. Well done Nigel! Let’s get the bloody lot out! Roll on May and hope we get some honest Councillors to do what’s best for US and NOT line their own pockets!

  6. My thought,s are wandering in the direction of Yorkshire Telivision, this is a massive article, I believe it,s way past time to approach YTV and see if they will take it up. Excellent piece, very well researched and flawlessly presented, I can,t imagine the number of man hours that must have gone into the production of it very well done Nigel.

  7. A full refund of his wages for the last year would be a start. Anyone not working for us, should not be paid by us.

    Followed by his resignation if he doesn’t sort it out now.

    I don’t want a liar working for me.

    He is supposed to be a public servant. It looks to me like he is nothing more than a self serving cockroach – just like his councillor buddies.

  8. Top Investigative Journalism once again Master Ward, the tabloids and broadsheets should be hanging their heads in shame.

  9. He has not done this. He has not done that. He hasn’t actually done anything.


    End of. We should complain about HIM.

  10. Geraldine Mitchell

    You seem to have a lot of couples as councillors, I mean of course married couples. Is this peculiar to Yorkshire? It seems a bit odd, but thats perhaps just me….!

  11. I am quite happy to comment on this – seeing it is a picture of me and my wife.
    Dont believe the hype.
    You can find my Council Allowances directly on The Craven District Council Website.

    But for ease 2011 – 2012 can be found here :

    2010 – 2011 Can be found here :

    Please note I have not claimed a penny in travel allowances, or subsistence allowances (I could have probably claimed about £4,000 + just on these alone)
    I received a total of £5,050 last year. That works out at about £97 per week. I spend at least 25 hours per week on Council work. That works out at £3.88 per hour. That is before I pay tax! The national minimum wage is £6.19 per hour.
    Add to this the 10 to 15 hours I work on Skipton Town Council ( Never claimed a penny and have been on that Council since 1997 ).
    Then add all the voluntary work I do – for nothing!
    However, please continue with your petty, snidey attacks. Am quite used to them. Much bigger fish to fry than me.
    By the way, other than sit on your computer…. what have you done for your community lately?
    And feel free to share this …. if you dare. I wont expect an apology.
    Keep up the good work mate x
    Oh and by the way…. I have also been unemployed for the last 4 years. And not claimed a penny in Employment Benefit or Job Seekers Allowance.
    Like most of you, I am struggling badly to keep my head over water.

    • For the four years 2008/09, 09/10, 10/11 and 11/12, I paid £719.52 (in. VAT) for my Broadband connectivity. The going rate.

      In that same period, you and your wife received almost SIX THOUSAND POUNDS for the same service – more than EIGHT TIMES over the odds.

      In an article about Broadband double-dipping, your remarks lauding your own magnificently self-sacrificing altruism and commitment to public service are off-topic and irrelevant. I expect that your Monitoring Officer has already admonished you for the rashness of your ill-considered knee-jerk response.

      But thank you for the opportunity that you have now presented to me to draw readers’ attention to this aptly entitled piece, here:

      and here:

      Not all readers will know, yet, what I mean by the following remark – but I know that you will appreciate it. Most keenly.

      Bootle beckons, Paul. Bootle beckons. The game is up in North Yorkshire.

      • Polly English “No doubt, in the forthcoming elections, a few will claim that if elected they will claim no allowances or expenses. Fine if you have a fat pension or a hefty bank balance to support you. However, if it went down this line the only people who were councillors would be the wealthy or the retired.”

        Whilst I certainly don’t agree with double dipping or taking advantage of a system that is unfit for purpose, I would like to here some views on the above extract?

  12. Hello Paul, Trying to clear yourself from this dreadful mess by listing what you havent claimed is not going to make you look any better. Its not what you havent claimed for that is the problem. Why not take your travel expenses ? If your entitled to them, then please take them, if your incurring travel costs in line of duty then this is what the travel expenses system is for. On the other hand, taking money twice for one broadband connection is wrong, stop it now and take your name out of this because its going to rumble on and on, and clearly its stressing you.


  14. Good of Paul English to reply (more than any Boro councillor has done). I am more than happy to see both points of view. Clearly there is a bigger issue. Who can afford to be a councillor? Should they be paid a salary? Do we need a Borough Council and a three tier system? I am all for a larger authority with Parish Councillors being paid to do a proper job. Meanwhile perhaps paying Councillors properly would offer a wider spectrum of candidates, especially younger people.

  15. Me and my wife claimed £6,000 between 2008 / 09, 2009 / 10, 2010 / 11 and 2011 / 12 ?
    Really ? Is that £6,000 each or £6,000 between us.
    To justify this accusation you post a link to the Covert Craven website?
    Oh, well it must be true then.
    You can clearly see what I have claimed in the last 2 years on the link I have put above, from the Craven District Council Website.
    As for the Bootle beckons remark? What is the point of that? Do you have a problem that I am from Bootle. Does this debar me in your world from doing anything?

    • “Is that £6,000 each or £6,000 between us.”

      You claimed £6,000 between you for Broadband.

      Cllr P English CDC £600
      Cllr Mrs P English CDC £600
      Cllr Mrs P English NYCC £489

      Cllr P English CDC £600
      Cllr Mrs P English CDC £600
      Cllr Mrs P English NYCC £501.23

      Cllr P English CDC £408
      Cllr Mrs P English CDC £408
      Cllr Mrs P English NYCC £501.23

      Cllr P English CDC £408
      Cllr Mrs P English CDC £408
      Cllr Mrs P English NYCC £501.23

      Total: £6024.69.

      Just out of interest, did your Broadband cost you a similar amount?

      • To be clear, you ‘received’ not claimed.

      • I would be very interested to see where you have got your figures from.
        Can you show your workings out in the margins please.

        • In 2008/9 & 2009/10 Craven District Council gave their elected members a £50 a month Broadband allowance. This accounts for the £600 per annum figure.

          In 2009 there was a meeting at Craven District Council about elected member’s basic allowance. As a group you all voted to increase the basic allowance from £3792 to £4200 and roll the Broadband allowance into the basic allowance. This effectively cut the Broadband allowance from £600 per annum to £408 per annum. This accounts for the figure from 2010/11 onwards.

          The Broadband allowance at NYCC is well known on this website. In 2008/9 it was £489 as it was indicated on NYCC elected member allowance documents. It increased in line with the basic allowance and currently stands at £501.23.

          • Your phrease “Broadband Allowance” is very misleading. And you know it.
            The £600 figure you quote was not just for the sole use of Broadband.

            As I have already stated, the current Members Allowance Scheme is available here.


            So again I ask you, where in this document is the £408 I receive a year for broadband ?

            • “The £600 figure you quote was not just for the sole use of Broadband.”

              I accept you may need to pay out for printer cartridges for the times you write to ward constituents, but the majority of it is for the purpose of getting Broadband is it not?

              “So again I ask you, where in this document is the £408 I receive a year for broadband ?”

              The IT/Broadband allowance was rolled into the basic allowance in 2009/10. The basic allowance now covers the IT/Broadband allowance as per the CDC Constitution.

                The following are the general principles upon which the Council’s Members’ Allowances
                Scheme is based:-
                * Councillors carry out a public service and, in order to reflect this, the Scheme
                acknowledges that some of their work ought to be done on a voluntary basis;
                * The Council has agreed a mechanism to deal with non-attendance of Members at
                meetings and / or failure to carry out the duties expected of a Councillor;
                * The Basic and Special Responsibility Allowances were set taking account of 2009 data
                from comparable authorities and across NY, along with other evidence.
                * Additional remuneration is payable for Councillors undertaking a range of special
                responsibilities. (Special Responsibility Allowance)
                * The Scheme seeks to be transparent and accountability is essential. To assist with
                budgeting, the level of allowances, once approved, will be subject to a comprehensive
                review every four years, with the monetary value of the allowances being reviewed
                * Regard is had to the cost and ease of administration of the Scheme;
                * Account is taken of the impact being a Councillor has on family life and the unsocial
                hours, during which a lot of council business is conducted;
                * The Basic Allowance is sufficient to cover the costs incurred in publishing a newsletter,
                postage, telephone calls and providing fax facilities and the capital and running costs of IT provision which is expected of Councillors.

          • Still waiting for the figures and their source.
            Links please

  16. This man and all the others who are involved always stray from the point in question, it,s apoiticians way of raising a smoke screen. The point to consider is that a married couple living in the same house and using the same broadband connection have both accepted payment from two different authorities for that one item. It has been stated that under the rules of the present system they have done nothing wrong. But who engineered that system, who voted for it to be passed into general use, prabably the very people who are benifitting from it, and even then there is the morallity of the situation to consider. I, for one, have a serious problem with a system that lends itself to such abuse of the public purse.

  17. Who said we have both claimed payments to pay for the same thing though ? This is just assumption.
    Has anyone even bothered to ask me before they make statements or post stories on websites and Facebook?
    Just because someone posts something, does not mean it is true. A little bit of research can show this.
    The details of the Members Allowances scheme for Craven Councillors can be found here :

    I have posted links to my last 2 years of allowances.

    So before I am publicly hanged by a lynch mob, can someone please show me where I have claimed the amount I am accused of for using Broadband? After all, that is the accusation is it not?

    • @ Paul:

      May I respectfully suggest that you re-read my article with a little more objectivity and a little less alarm?

      No-one is alleging that the ‘double-dippers’ have CLAIMED anything at all for the Broadband connectivity. The allegation is that they have RECEIVED payments from both SBC and NYCC. This is a matter of fact.

      However, and this is the salient point, many of them attended the NYCC meeting(s) at which the Allowances Scheme was discussed, voted upon, and ratified. They were therefore a party to the adoption of the conditions under which the Allowances Scheme is structured – and open to ‘double-dipping’. This, too, is a matter of fact. (Granted, your wife was not amongst them).

      The figures provided by Tim Thorne are in the public domain. If they are inaccurate, then the Public Record is innaccurate. That, too, is a statement of fact.

      If you wish to assert that those figures are untrue, they you must take your concerns to the Councils who have published them.

      If you concede that they are correct, then you also concede that the substance of that part of my article is correct. In asserting otherwise, you come perilously close to calling me a liar. I would urge you to consider very carefully before crossing that line; because calling a member of the public a liar, in print, in the public domain, is very certainly a serious breach of that Article of the Code of Conduct that requires elected members to treat everyone with respect.

      It may be that you hold no fear for the new, post Localism Act 2011), Standards Regime; there is a higher authority.

      Neither Richard FLINTON nor any of his staff has addressed the moral/ethical/value-for-money aspects of these Allowances abuses. It is very plain to see that receiving monies from two sources in recompense for one and the same item of expenditure, under a Scheme devised to facilitate just that, is unsupportable at any time – let alone during acute austerity measures.

      I cannot see why you and your wife do not sit down with your Broadband receipts for the four years in question and, deducting that sum from the total amount that you have together received during the same period, REPAY the difference to the Public Purse and apologise for your oversight.

      This would afford you a position that is, at least with the benefit of hindsight, a little more befitting to people have so selflessly sought to serve the public, without thought of personal gain.

      Think about it.

      • A little alarm? But of course seeing myself and my wife are the only ones singled out with photos. The photos are ok – easily available from Council Websites.
        More sinister is that there is a picture of my house!
        I am only interested in the allegations that have been made against me.
        As for the Code of Conduct and treating Members of the Public with respect ? Nowhere have I accused anyone of being a liar. However it is intimated that I am corrupt, am self-serving and am trying to line my pockets at tax payers expense. As such I have been “named and shamed” on several sites and a request to pass my photo on has been made on Facebook. Respect works two ways.
        All I have asked is for my accusers to show where I have claimed what i am accused of claiming for Broadband.
        I have posted my expenses. I have also posted the Scheme of Allowances.

        • Please do not be obtuse, I have made quite clear that it is not alleged that you have claimed; you have received. Or else the Public Record is false.

          Is it true or is it false that you and your wife together have received circa £6k over the specified four-year time-frame (08/09, 09/10, 10/1 & 11/12)?

          True or false?

          • Have we “received” £6,000 over 4 years solely for the use of a Broadband connection.

            The answer is no.

          • I think the point Paul is trying to make is that part of the CDC Allowance is supposed to be used to purchase a desktop PC or laptop and possibly a router or modem to connect to the Internet, if the ISP they use didn’t provide one.

            Perhaps in isolation the £408 figure that Paul receives could easily have accounted for his outlay.

            The problem here is that Paul’s wife also receives the payment from CDC with which she is supposed to provide IT equipment and a Broadband connection, whilst also receiving an allowance from NYCC. NYCC provide IT equipment to Councillors FOC and give a very generous allowance of £500 to buy Broadband.

        • “More sinister is that there is a picture of my house!”

          I would agree with Paul here. Remove the picture of the house please.

        • @ Paul:

          In your posting you state that:

          “But of course seeing myself and my wife are the only ones singled out with photos”.

          This is not so. All of the fifteen SBC/NYCC ‘double dippers’ have their official Council photographs displayed on the website within the body of the article. You have not in any sense been singled out in respect of the images reproduced.

          Whilst you are to be respected for entering into the debate, something that your fellow ‘double dippers’ are apparently afraid to do, please base your spirited (but flawed) rebuttals on fact, as I have done, and not on misrepresentation designed to mislead the wider readership.

          • The Facebook site “corruption busters” which links to this site
            and which was the 1st article I viewed on this matter,
            has only 1 picture. Therefore it specifically is singling me out.

  18. And Mr Perrow, quick off the mark I see. Unfortunately I cant reply on your site, but when you put things on your site too, please get it right.

  19. Isn’t Google wonderful, Paul?

    “Double – or even treble – Dipping – and more on council allowances.”

    “Some time ago Paakwa wrote about the habit of certain councillors receiving IT allowances, details HERE.

    After pointing out how some councillors received more than one allowance for IT equipment Craven District Council swiftly altered matters. it was decided to combine the IT allowance with the ‘ordinary’ allowance, so that it wouldn’t look as bad.

    For having such a burst of genius, the leader – Knowles-Fitton, he of Finnish rally and Spanish hacienda fame (More on those later) was awarded a trifling 25% increase in the leader’s allowance.

    The largest recipients of this ‘double-dipping’ appeared to be the English family, who claimed no fewer than 3 allowances for IT equipment, and probably hoped that now the allowances were combined no one would notice.

    Well they did.

    Readers might like to check out this site:

    Where a light is shone on ‘double-dipping’ and the English family.

    Congratulations to the site by the way, for achieving a ‘Highly Commended’ from Private Eye.

    That this matter seems to have struck home with at least one member of that family may be seen in a reply by Cllr. Paul English, made at 2:20 this morning (15th January) in an attempt to – well let’s say ‘clarify matters.’

    He makes much of his charitable events, and who could forget Craven Voluntary Action scheme -which he ran, except of course it collapsed after going into liquidation – but not before receiving £9,000 of public money from Skipton Town Council – where Cllr. Paul is also a councillor.

    Still, at least that burst into renewed life as Craven Recycled Furniture Centre aided by a grant from North Yorkshire County Council where the grants committee awarded the whole of one year’s allowance as a grant, and topped it with 30% of a further year’s.

    Whilst councillors on that committee did not seem to keen on awarding aid to that new organisation, the chair, using both her ‘ordinary’ vote and her second casting vote was able to ensure that Cllr. Paul English received the grant.
    The chair – for those who may be interested in such trivia – was Cllr.Polly English, the wife of Cllr. Paul English.

    Much more to come – especially on leader Knowles-Fitton and his trips at public expense to Finland and Wales.

    Pip Pip!”

    It jus’ keeps rollin’ along, alright, Paul. You keep pushing it.

    “Tote dat barge!
    Lif’ dat bale!
    Git a little drunk
    An’ you land in jail.”

  20. As a former Councillor myself, I’m amazed to see you carrying on like this. Your hole is getting deeper. Pleading your compliance with the rules is a risky business best avoided. Can’t you see how bad you’re making yourself look? Nobody gives a damn if you were within the rules. They don’t even mind you getting free broadband. They mind you getting fifteen hundred quid a year for it, when everyone one else is struggling to make ends meet and paying for their own broadband at around two hundred quid a year. Shape up, man. You’re a disgrace to democracy.

    • Once again and for the final time.

      I have posted links to my expenses. I have posted links to the Scheme of Members Allowances.
      So please show me where I have claimed what I am accused of.
      I have no problem people attacking me. If I vote a certain way, or someone doesnt like my policies. Fair enough.
      But please dont make things up against me.

      • Please do not be obtuse. Please desiste from obfuscating and prevaricating.

        I have made quite clear that it is not alleged that you have CLAIMED; you have RECEIVED. Or else the Public Record is false.

        Article 7.(2) of the Code of Conduct states:

        “You must give reasons for all decisions in accordance with any statutory requirements and
        any reasonable additional requirements imposed by your authority.”

        Please answer the question:

        Is it true or is it false that you and your wife together have received circa £6k over the specified four-year time-frame (08/09, 09/10, 10/11 & 11/12)?

        True or false?

  21. Mr English,

    The evidence has been presented.

    You make claims that it is “made up”, but have provided no evidence.

    That is just the same as saying “my dog ate it” when referring to your homework at school.

    Perhaps your metaphorical dog at your broadband allowances, or rolled them into ordinary allowances, to try to hide them.

    Time at the bar ladies and gentlemen, time at the bar!

    • I have provided links to my expenses claims, and a link to the Members Allowance terms of reference.
      What more evidence do you want?

  22. Aside from his double dipping, how come Paul English is a member of two different councils? What’s his connection to Skipton?

    • @ Des: Cllr Paul ENGLISH sits on Craven District Council. His wife Polly ENGLISH sits on Craven District Council, too, and is a County Councillor at North Yorkshire County Council.

      The ‘double-dippers’ exist in two main forms: those who receive (not claim) from two Councils, and those who share a household and therefore require only one Broadband connection, yet each receives payment for that.

      County Councillor Polly ENGLISH falls into both categories.

      (There is, in fact a third category. But we don’t need to go into that here).

      @ Paul ENGLISH,

      I have considered your objection to having a picture of your house displayed on the website.

      As a Councillors you and your wife have to disclose your home address and this is publicly available information. Picture of your house are available on the internet. Your home address and photographs of it are not classified information within the meaning of the Official Secrets Act or the Prevention of Terrorism Act and I am entirely at liberty to display an image of it.

      However, having regard to your feelings and your declared objection, I have nevertheless organised the replacemnt of the image with an image showing only the Council portrait photographs of you and your wife.

      I trust this is all OK between us now.


      • May I thank you for the removal of the picture of my house.
        In the past I have also had people going through my dustbins
        I am elected to 2 very small Local Authorities. The attention I receive is very flattering. But as you can see there is a limit.
        As I have stated, I am open to criticsm and am happy to engage in debate. If I vote in a certain manner or have a policy that people dont like then that is fair enough. Goes with the territory.
        However damning assumptions are not fair.
        Can I draw readers attention to the last paragraph of the Allowances for Councillors Terms of Reference which states :
        * The Basic Allowance is sufficient to cover the costs incurred in publishing a newsletter,
        postage, telephone calls and providing fax facilities and the capital and running costs of IT provision which is expected of Councillors.

        To state that this element of money is used solely for Broadband is untrue and misleading. For example, I actually produce more newsletters than any other Craven Councillor and distribute them to every address in my Ward.
        I do not want a prize, or any award, just fair criticsm and not damning assumptions.

        • @ Paul.

          Thank you for conceding that it is true that you and your wife have indeed received what, for brevity, we may characterise as ‘the £6K’. That is helpful.

          You seem to imply, though, that beyond the expenditure of your IT overheads, the said £6K received by you and you wife – ie the balance, amounting to circa £5K – has been legitimately expended on what the Terms of Reference characterise as “publishing a newsletter, postage, telephone calls and providing fax facilities”.

          I take your word for the volume and distribition of your newsletters. That sounds highly commendable; credit where it is due. You offer no information regarding the newsletters of your wife.

          In these days of email, postage expenses are unlikely have been significantly onerous.

          UK landline telephone calls come free in my Broadband package, at considerably less than £1K p.a. The CDC website lists you both at the same landline, so, in terms of ‘best value for money’, one could not reasonably attach the call charges to all three of the separately sourced reimbursements (yours from CDC and your wide’s from both CDC and NYCC).

          Therefore, I retain my view that that you have profited (and, if with foreknowledge, profiteered) from the Allowances Schemes, for personal gain.

          It may be that you can account for every penny of ‘the £6K’, in which case I may need to recondsider my position.

          In the meantime, I think the general tone of the comments gives an indication of how people feel about profiteering against a backdrop of stringent austerity.

          I really must agree with those who have been calling for the return of every penny beyond genuine expenditure. The Allowances schemes serve to ensure that Councillors do not find themselves out-of-pocket as a consequence of their public service. That is reasonable. Those NYCC Councillors who ratified the system in the clear knowledge that it facilitated profiteering can offer no mitigation of their actions. They set up up a perk opportunity.

          For the avoidance of doubt, I have never suggested that either you or your wife fall into that category. But I do believe that £6K is far beyond your actual outgoings and I invite you to repay the surplus. I would hope that you do so uninfluenced by the prospect of the coming election but rather from a sense of recognition of the validity of the argument.

          • Another example of my expenditure is the use of a mobile phone. My basic contract with (the Network 3) is £34 per month. This is a phone I use for Council duties, accesing internet, emails etc when I am out of the house.
            That amounts to £408 per year alone. And no, it is not the flashest, biggest, most expensive gadget I could get my supposedly greedy hands on.
            (I have a seperate mobile for personal use)

            • Paul.

              Please. Just pay back the profits. You will come out smelling of roses. Surely you can see that your position is not supported by the electorate. If you value your contribution to your community you will no doubt seek re-election. Stand with honour. Change is coming and you must adapt. Take the advice of Mr Hicks, Ms Meredith and others, and do the right thing.

              Pay back the profits, please. Show some character.

  23. Mr English, an innocent man would be incensed with these accusations and would make every effort to present clear and irrefutably evidence that the published material was both inaccurate and false.

    References to other sites do not aid you. Publish your defence here for all to see.

    The fine reputation of Mr Ward and the Real Whitby site has been built by provable truth.

    At this point, Mr English, you stand condemned of both ‘double’ dipping, or worse, and a dirty little scam aided by your wife as Chairman of a grants committee.

    Either present evidence to prove Real Whitby wrong or turn yourself into your local police station and pray that that act weighs in your favour at trial.

    • I have supplied links to my expenses and links to the
      terms of reference for expenses.
      What more can I do?
      Am awaiting the evidence against me?
      Really us pointless carrying on this discussion.

  24. Wow!…you have such interesting and colourful characters up there in Yorkshire…
    Can just anyone get to be a councillor (and on multiple councils too!), I mean to apply ASAP, well I will so long as I don’t have to do any of that trouser leg, funny handshake stuff…
    I am appalled by the extent of what is occurring in your local councils’…DO you think it is a ‘template’ that all councils follow?…egad!, I will have to have a look at mine…
    I have to wonder though, just why? would a person NOT claim travel allowances of circa £4,000 when on such a ‘poor’ hourly wage for the work they do! It seems inconsistent with receiving ‘multiple’ allowances , even by oversight (yes …fair play to Jane Swales for pointing it out there) just to pay it back would seem to ratify claims of general do-gooding in the past/present/future…but to shilly shally about ‘looking like the hand is still in the till’ whilst posturing and avoiding the point does one NO CREDIT (geddit!) at all!
    I do note however that the ‘claims’ are made in a personal capacity AND that the figures show it was only some ‘other’ person of a similar name and address that received ‘both’ allowances…don’t we just love being ‘pettifogged’ by our elected representatives (I do…it is akin to a national sport nowadays, hopefully soon it may become a ‘blood sport’ as we watch the final throes of the cornered beasties!), I wonder if the ‘other’ person is going to come and have a say?

  25. Re Paul English’s remark above that:
    “All I have asked is for my accusers to show where I have claimed what i am accused of claiming for Broadband.”
    He has a point in that the allowances are for total IT equipment, not broadband alone.
    Not much of a point I admit, but somtimes people have to grasp at straws.
    Both he and Polly English were asked for their comments on ‘treble-dipping’ and both refused to comment.

    In case anyone is tempted to feel sorry for Paul English, who is ‘Struggling badly to keep his head above water’ here is a little more information:

    Paul English’s wife is also a councillor, Cllr. Polly English, and last year (2011-2012) received the following:

    Craven District Council Allowance – £4,200
    Craven District Council Expenses – Unknown

    North Yorkshire County Council Allowances – £8,994
    North Yorkshire County Council Expenses – £1,293

    North Yorkshire Police Authority Allowances – £8.982
    North Yorkshire Police Authority Expenses – £1,932.39*

    This adds up to £25,401.39 plus any expenses from CDC.

    Readers might like to look at
    where there is a link to a letter from Polly, claiming that she only received around £6,000/annum as a councillor, conveniently seeming to forget her work on North Yorkshire County Council, and of course her work alongside the esteemed Jane Kenyon on North Yorkshire Police Authority. All these added up to a further circa. £19,000 which somehow she overlooked.

    Readers might further be interested in how Polly Chair of a grant committee of NYCC used both her votes to ensure that a grant request taking more than a year’s budget was given to a scheme following a request from the manager of that scheme.

    That manager was her husband – Paul English, and the money was needed because his earlier scheme had gone into liquidation, after consuming £9,000 from a grant given by Skipton Town Council; a council where, as he has pointed out, Paul is a councillor.
    As indeed is Polly – although that will have had nothing to do with the awarding of any grants, it is – I stress – purely coincidental.

    Just one last thing Paul! As Columbo used to say.
    You have written that you can’t reply on my site – you can.
    It’s the big bit near the top, just under the jolly chap whose nose grows when he tells a lie, and says “click HERE’ to contact me.
    Sorry if it’s not clear, but here it is in full:
    I look forward to publishing your words.

    • The same old faces and protagonists are here
      As expected.
      I tried to engage and have a discussion.
      But it has proved pointless.
      Some of the authors on here have genuinely tried
      To engage.
      However others have appeared with their own agendas,
      Twisted facts and re-writing of history to suit your agenda.
      In my opinion that makes you worse than the people you
      Consistently try to attack.
      I realise its nearly election time and therefore
      It’s time to play.
      Thanks for the debate.

  26. “Another example of my expenditure is the use of a mobile phone.”

    In isolation your expenditure isn’t a problem. When coupled with your wife’s allowances it is a problem.

    Your household receives three payments from two different Authorities for one Broadband connection. This is completely unacceptable. Can’t you see that?

    • Once again you state that the allowances we “receive” are solely for the use of “1 Broadband Connection”
      If that was true then yes I do see the problem and would hold my hands up and congratulate you for “outing me”
      But the allowance is NOT for “1 Broadband Connection”
      Can you not see that ?

      • “If that was true then yes I do see the problem”

        Given that you only have one Broadband connection at your home it must be true. Your household receives three separate allowances for a Broadband connection. If you’ve had three different Broadband connections then this article would be well wide of the mark.

        No one wants to out you. We want the practice stopped. We want our elected members to recognise the problem and put in place rules that will make sure money is not frittered from the public purse as is currently the case.

        Selby DC have a sensible portion about allowances in their Constitution. If your wife was an elected member in Selby she would only receive a £50 per annum allowance from Selby DC as she receives the sizeable allowance and equipment from NYCC.

  27. So is it for two broadband connections in the same household?

  28. paul mate. you have spent all day on here.

    dont you have nothing better to do?

    there are roads all over the county that need fixing.

    cant you get onto the roads department and get them into gear?

    send them an email from your phone. or from your broadband account.

  29. Paul. Question:

    If you both have mobile phones with mobile internet, why do you need broadband connections at home?

    Also, we managed perfectly well in the past without all of these gadgets, so why do you both need so many now?

    My elderly mother still manages to run her affairs very well, and she doesn’t have the internet or a mobile phone.

    Why would any of you need a mobile phone for “official business”? If you’re not at the “office”, or on official business, you shouldn’t be chatting away on mobiles.

    If you must have us pay for your lifestyle, at least get the job done. There’s a bridge in Scarborough that’s falling on people’s heads. There are holes in roads all over the county – I’ve driven through huge numbers of them over the last week, and no sign of anyone fixing them.
    We’ve got a myriad of problems in the County and no one is sorting them out. What was the last problem you managed to fix with your flash mobile, or your broadband account?

  30. Paul English’s mails become ever more irrational and illogical.
    Consider his statement:

    “The Basic Allowance is sufficient to cover the costs incurred in publishing a newsletter,
    postage, telephone calls and providing fax facilities and the capital and running costs of IT provision which is expected of Councillors.”

    Part of his allowance from Craven District Council is therefore to pay for his IT equipment – that is a fact supplied by him. And he takes the full allowance – that is a fact again supplied by him.

    Equally obviously his wife gets the same full allowance, and that too is a fact supplied by his link to CDC where it makes plain that she has claimed it.

    North Yorkshire CC provided IT equipment for Polly English – a fact that was not denied by either of the Englishes when put to them.

    And yet he has the incredible gall to state:

    “Once again and for the final time.
    “I have posted links to my expenses. I have posted links to the Scheme of Members Allowances.
    So please show me where I have claimed what I am accused of.”

    The answer is clear Paul English – you and your wife have taken the money you provided the proof of your taking it, and all your blustering will do is to dig the hole deeper.

  31. The argument goes on, and on, and on, not once has Cllr English stopped to think, why are all these people so angry, why are they all making so much fuss. The answer is simple, we have to suffer reduction of public services, raises in council tax, parking fees etc. Everyone is being told they have to tighten their belts, except those elected representitives who, I believe, should be leading by example. Instead of thet they are busy coming up with ways to disguise the fact that allowances are way above what is reasonable to any right thinking person. As a very annoyed tax paying member of the electorate I am disgusted at the obvious lack of integrity of our elected councillors.

  32. Wish I had 25grand a year to struggle on…

  33. And the hole gets deeper with each comment.

    So the man trying to justify his boost in income has within their home 3 mobile phones, 3 computers each with their own broadband connection and requires 3 lots of bits and bobs to enable them to do their job?

    I have my own mobile with unlimited texts and thousands of free minutes, costs me £20.00 a month and guess what I also use it for work rather than use works for private calls messages, commenting on sites like this etc. At work I fax, e-mail, print etc and it costs far less than the double dippers are being given. I also use my own computer for working outside the office, costs me £20.00 a month to run. Those little stick things are great for transfering information.

    Many people do extra unpaid and do it gladly because they are helping the people the represent.

    No justification, no amount of covering will change the fact that the double dippers are happy to be given our money for something they don’t have.

    Nigel, some good things have hailed from Bootle, me being one of them.

  34. Produce a newsletter, like what we get where I live. Thought tax payers money couldn’t be used for electioneering.

    As for paid parish councillors. One of ours is an SBC, NYCC and a parish councillor and has been accepting two lots of broadband money for years.

  35. Put Cllr English in the ducking stool. If he survives, then he is a witch and we will burn him.
    If he drowns he was innocent.

    As I have stated above :

    The same old faces and protagonists are now here
    as expected.
    I tried to engage and have a discussion.
    But it has proved pointless.
    Some of the authors on here have genuinely tried
    to engage.
    However others have appeared with their own agendas,
    twisted facts and re-writing of history to suit your agenda.
    In my opinion that makes you worse than the people you consistently try to attack.
    I realise its nearly election time and therefore
    it’s time to play.
    Thanks for the debate.

  36. No answer to my question then mr english.

    So the man trying to justify his boost in income has within their home 3 mobile phones, 3 computers each with their own broadband connection and requires 3 lots of bits and bobs to enable them to do their job?

    • What’s the point?
      Have tried to engage in debate.
      All that happens is more insults get thrown,
      other websites have now jumped on the bandwagon and around and around we go in circles.
      No one is listening anyway.
      All minds have been made up and the jury has decided I am guilty.
      Remember the accusation is my household has received £6,000 over the last 4 years for Broadband.
      I have seen plenty of accusations, but not a single link supporting any of the figures.
      All links I have supplied are conveniently ignored.
      All postings I ave made on the Facebook site linking to this site have now been deleted.
      So much for open debate.
      I took the bait.

      • “Remember the accusation is my household has received £6,000 over the last 4 years for Broadband.”

        You’re right, the £6,000 figure is incorrect. I’ll remove the IT portion. If we take only part of your CDC allowance for Broadband it still adds up to a sizeable amount.

        Cllr P English CDC £250
        Cllr Mrs P English CDC £250
        Cllr Mrs P English NYCC £489

        Cllr P English CDC £250
        Cllr Mrs P English CDC £250
        Cllr Mrs P English NYCC £501.23

        Cllr P English CDC £250
        Cllr Mrs P English CDC £250
        Cllr Mrs P English NYCC £501.23

        Cllr P English CDC £250
        Cllr Mrs P English CDC £250
        Cllr Mrs P English NYCC £501.23

        Total: £3992.69.

        Just out of interest, did your single Broadband connection cost you a similar amount over the four year period?

        • So if it is incorrect, does that mean the picture posted above is also now incorrect? I suppose an apology is out of the question?
          Can you also reveal where have you taken these figures from? Or are you continuously making them up / amending them as you go along to justify some sort of argument ? Links / evidence please for your figures would be appreciated.

          • “Can you also reveal where have you taken these figures from?”

            Paul, is an element of your CDC basic allowance earmarked for you to buy a broadband connection for your home? I’ve put that figure at £250 because other Councils in North Yorkshire do the same. The NYCC figure is well known.

  37. I was offered seven paid weeks holiday a year as part of my employment package. I turned it down as the cost to those who pay was unfair.

  38. Councillors have always worked the same way, anything that goes wrong they go straight back to the previous office bearer and ask them what they would / did do and the advice would be acted on. However as you say the game has changed and there is a history of THAT too. Those that have been ‘ON’ the cusp have always come unstuck, WHY? because the game states that if a problem arises they go back to the previous office holder and ask. Only in THESE cases where change is being made the prospective advice is wrong and for all intent and purpose drops the NEW management in the DODO.

    Mark my words THIS is what will / is happen(ing) in this case.

    It isn’t so much as they don’t know what to do it is because they are afraid to rock the boat, the VOTE does not come JUST from the community (public) it also comes from those sitting ON the council. It is CLEAR that the council VOTE is FAR more important than the public VOTE.

    In this IS your ANSWER, the problem may NOT be what they are doing but WHY, and as such the solution is to take responsibility away from them or at the very least have the council vote or acceptance of an individual to office taken away from within the council. This would result in ‘WE the PUBLIC (PEOPLE) say THIS is who will be in charge and if you don’t like it we – WE will replace you too until we have a council that is INDEPENDENT and formed from a known hegemony.

    What do you think?

    Namaste, rev phil;

  39. Paul English has a point when he talks about the amount he and his wife have had in IT allowances, and – IMHO – you are wasting time and effort in trying to decide how much.
    The simple point is that – as Paul English himself stated – Craven District Council pay allowances, and part of those allowances is for:

    “The capital and running costs of IT provision”

    Paul and his wife have both accepted the full allowance, in addition to that from North Yorkshire, and thereby ‘treble dipped.’
    The exact amount is irrelevant, and you should not allow yourself to be sidetracked by that.

    The principle is irrefutable – the English household has ‘treble – dipped’ and the smoke and mirrors of exact amounts is, in this instance, totally irrelevant.

    And whilst Paul English may believe himself to have been singled out in this affair, because there are other Craven councillors who accept this allowance in addition to one from North Yorkshire his is the only family (AFAIK) which ‘treble dips.’

    Or is it?

  40. My, such a lot of people having a go.

    Given that Cllr English’s allowances are for

    *Contacting his ward constituents who requested help.
    *Contacting his council officers.
    *Contact with various parties on council matters.
    *Acquiring information using a variety of means.
    *A broadband connection.
    *Laptop (it should be seperate from all familial and work equipment to ensure confidentiality).
    *Software for said laptop.
    *Printing costs for the production of newsletters.

    Given that some of these costs cannot always be shared between positions I cannot see why anyone is complaining about ANY councillors IT allowances, I know I cannot do the above for three different jobs with the sums provided by the council.

    I know that Scarboro councillors have been villified for ‘odd’ practices – sea walls anyone? But to have hissy fits about IT and communication allowances is,frankly, silly – whether receiving it for one or several positions. Any councillor who does their job without taking up this allowance is either extremely wealthy or not doing their job.

    Now to the thorny question of two mobile phones. In industry executives are usually required to have a seperate works mobile – so to have a dig at any councillor for having one is ridiculous.

  41. My argument on here has been against the picture above with damning allegations that my household has received £6,000 over the past 4 years for a Broadband connection costing less than £1,000.
    This is blatantly untrue, and it seems the figures are now being changed to try to support this argument.
    I await an apology with baited breath.

    Now the argument has changed and the charge is that my household is in receipt of 3 allowances. This is not disputed.

    I am elected onto Craven District Council in my own right and take the allowances in lieu of the work I do for that organisation.

    My wife is elected onto Craven District Council in her own right and takes thhe allowance in lieu of the work she does there.

    She is also elected onto NYCC in her own right and takes the allowance for the work she does there.

    Is the argument now, that because we are husband and wife, we should do the work for free ?

    I have a friend who works as a barmaid Monday to Wednesday. She also has a weekend job at another pub. Should she do her weekend work for free because she is paid by another pub for doing different work?

    The roles at Craven and NYCC are completely separate.

    AnarchyUK yesterday posted a link and raised an issue which has been ignored. I repost it here and wonder if it will lead to any debate?

    • “Now the argument has changed and the charge is that my household is in receipt of 3 allowances. This is not disputed.”

      The argument has established that the £6,000 figure is wrong and the amount you’ve received over four years as a Broadband Allowance is around £4,000, which is still a hefty amount.

      It is good to see you accept that your household receives three allowances for Broadband, which was always the point of the article and another article on the Craven Matters site some time ago. What do you intend to do about it?

      • Where have I said that we receive 3 allowances specifically for Broadband. Can I have the quote please?

        You have now conceded that the £6,000 figure is wrong, without any apology or attempt to correct the misinformation you are posting on various sites. I would expect better from a self-appointed seeker of the truth. Isn’t the whole point of this site and the Facebook site about integrity?

        You are now using a figure of £4,000.
        Again I ask where have you got this figure from?
        You continue to guess and invent amounts to suit your argument.
        Can I also emphasise that there is no such thing as a “Broadband Allowance”.
        This is another thing you have invented.

        This really is a pointless discussion now.

        • “Where have I said that we receive 3 allowances specifically for Broadband. Can I have the quote please?”


          ‘Now the argument has changed and the charge is that my household is in receipt of 3 allowances. This is not disputed.’

          Are you disputing that your CDC Basic Allowance does not contain an element for IT? A large portion of the IT Allowance is so that Councillors can get Broadband in their homes, enabling them to communicate easily with their ward constituents.

          “You continue to guess and invent amounts to suit your argument.”

          If we can get the amount down from £4,000 to something approximating what you pay out for Broadband then there will be no further argument and apologies will be forthcoming.

          What is wrong with the figure I’ve assigned in respect of your CDC Basic Allowance? Too high? Are you suggesting you don’t receive any monies from CDC with which you are supposed to use to buy Broadband? I’m a bit puzzled by it.

          • You state that ” A large portion of the IT Allowance is so that Councillors can get Broadband in their homes, enabling them to communicate easily with their ward constituents. ”

            Again I will refer you to the last paragraph of the Members Allowances Scheme for Craven District Council. I have already posted it before but it has obviously passed you by. It states

            “The Basic Allowance is sufficient to cover the costs incurred in publishing a newsletter,
            postage, telephone calls and providing fax facilities and the capital and running costs of
            IT provision, which is expected of Councillors.”

            From that statement, how do you derive that a “A large portion of the IT Allowance is so that Councillors can get Broadband in their homes, enabling them to communicate easily with their ward constituents”

            Where does your wording “a large portion” come from?

            • “Where does your wording “a large portion” come from?”

              You keep mentioning the ‘Members Allowances Scheme’ as if it was some kind of proof. The IT allowance does not cover ‘publishing a newsletter, postage, telephone calls and providing fax facilities’, the Basic Allowance covers that. The IT Allowance covers ‘the capital and running costs of IT provision’. Those items will include a PC, networking equipment a and monthly recurring fee for Broadband.

              It seems sensible to conclude a large portion of the IT Allowance is used for Broadband.

              So, your household gets three allowances for Broadband, which you freely admit, but you don’t feel that we tax payers should be in the least upset about that?

  42. Incidentally, I find it most amusing that any journalist procrastinates about morality given their professions excesses.

    As for their expenses . . . . .

  43. You’re wasting your time, Tim. Coun English is putting up a smokescreen to cover his old lady kelly. he’s not the one with the county seat to protect. she is. specially wthout the protection of the orange lady.

  44. It is good to see a Councillor come out and state the obvious to bring this debate back to the original message.

    Councillor Simon PARKES has posted the following on the Corruption Busters faceBook page:

    “As a Labour Councillor in Whitby who does NOT claim these monies I can only hope that at election time when people go to vote they ask them selves “who has really helped me, who is not stealing from the tax payer” and they vote for that person, no matter what his/her politics, its time to elect councillors who have a clean record.”

    [Yesterday 15/01/13, at 08:39pm]

    • Nice to see your balanced and independent journalism by only quoting a comment from the Facebook page that serves your purpose.
      Just for clarity, that comment was in relation to an article posted on the Facebook site on 19th December 2012

      The article above, including my picture and allegations which have now been admitted to be untrue, was posted to Facebook on 15th January 2013.

      It is good to see the ability to cut and paste exists. Unfortunately it was not available yesterday when all comments on the Facebook site were deleted.

      • Good also to see that Cllr Simon Parkes does not claim any expenses on Whitby Council.
        This is probably due to the fact that none are paid.

  45. Mr Thorne

    Can you show me where it states in CDC rules on allowances that a “large portion of the IT Allowance is so that Councillors can get Broadband in their homes”.

    Try as I might I cannot find such a statement, and I put it to you that you will not be able to either.

  46. Nigel

    Are you really advocating that councillors accept no allowances or expenses, because that seems to be the case in your championing of the alien abductee Cllr Parkes.

    Perhaps his “more important mother” (the green one) has provided the wherewithal for Cllr Parkes to forgo his allowance. I know that too many would be unable to work for their community if the allowances were not there.

  47. Intrigued by the comment “alien abductee”
    so I have just googled it

    You couldnt make this up ?

  48. Oh dear Mr Ward

    It would appear that Cllr Parkes is not giving us the whole story when he says that “As a Labour Councillor in Whitby who does NOT claim these monies I can only hope that at election time . . . “.

    A quick check with Whitby Town Council confirms that their esteemed councillors do not get ANY IT allowances or expenses.

  49. From following the above it seems to me that the ‘system’ is most at fault. Whilst some Cllrs take advantage of the system because it is wholly inadequate, others do not. Surely it is the Officers of NYCC responsibility, they have the most resources and access.

    At present the most generous basic allowance is about £ 9,000 from county and £ 4000 for Borough, with absolutely nothing for Parish council work. Given that Parish Council work is the most integrated within the community I feel this is most unfair.

    A few Councillors have said to me they find it extremely difficult to work/run a business whilst also being a Councillor, especially with families to support, and will not be standing again. Other Cllrs have said the time wasted at Borough level meetings is just that, wasted, because there is very little to actually do, and that most of a Borough Councillors work and timeload is spent dealing with County Council’s responsibility eg roads, schools, health, environment etc. Should Borough Councils really act as ‘filters’ for County level Councillors?

    I would like to ask again, do you think Councillors should be paid a reasonable salary?

    I find it very disturbing that democracy is being eroded by a system, controlled by a few.

    I think it is time to cut out the middle man, restructure Parish Councils, pay Parish Councillors a salary, and let the Chair of that Parish report directly to a larger authority.

  50. Yellow Bill. If you’re going to use long words like ‘procrastinates’, please make sure you understand what they mean, or what you say won’t make any sense.

    Paul English. You do yourself no favours with your obfuscation and labouring over semantics. For your own benefit, might I suggest that if you genuinely believe you’ve done nothing wrong, that you lobby the relevant authorities to redefine the allowances, in a way that makes them simple to understand, to the council-tax payers, who arepaying for them. I have no issue with you being reimbursed for legitimate expences, but at the moment it looks to me that you and your wife have been paid several times over for the same fixed-charge and I am not very happy about that.

    As for asking what Nigel Ward has done for his community, might I suggest he’s done an awful lot in uncovering the blatant corruption in public office which is rife in our region. What have you done?

  51. I see that ‘Yellow Bill’ has this to say:

    “I know I cannot do the above for three different jobs with the sums provided by the council.”

    And goes on to support Paul English mainly by using the old political trick of shooting the messenger.

    Now Paakwa is not one to want to shoot any messenger, but for some reason when I try to think of anyone who would:

    Defend the practice of treble dipping;
    Has three different jobs with sums provided by councils;
    And has a yellow bill.

    No name springs to mind.

    I’ll just go and relax.
    Perhaps by putting the kettle on. (Geddit?)

    The amount is irrelevant, although Nigel’s figures up to April 2011 are of course correct, for it was from April 2011 that Craven District Council ‘hid’ the IT allowance.

    Whilst appreciating that the exact amount is relevant to some, of much more financial concern I would argue is Polly English’s take from the Police Authority. Having attended 6 formal meetings and 22 informal, she received £10,914.39 in allowances and expenses, with car allowance being at the princely sum of 60.1p/mile
    This equates to just under £390 per meeting.

    Any talk of more hours being worked in addition to these meetings will – in my case – fall on deaf ears. She already has a position as town councillor which her husband states takes 10/15 hours per week, her position as District Councillor which Paul assures us takes 25 hours per week, her position as County councillor, which must take more than that, her position as dog groomer for which she earned over £6,000 in that same year, and one can only guess that ‘Yellow Bill’ sorry, Polly, is superwoman and cannot possibly sleep.

    And I don’t believe that.

    Do you?

    • First

      I am me, Bill, not Polly. Further, I have never been a councillor and I am not a member of any political party.

      Can I ask, Paakwa, if you think that councillors should not be reimbursed for the expenses that they pay in the course of their duties? Also, do you really think that councillors should shoulder the cost of their communications expenses?

      • Another wrong assumption Paakwa, or should I say Mr. Perrow ?

        But pointless asking for apologies on this site.

        • If Polly were to post on any site, she will use her real name and not try to hide behind a cloak of anonymity.
          Just like I do.

    • Are you Alan?

  52. Now didn’t that bring forth some swift comments?

    Firstly apologies – there are none from me, for to whom should they be offered?
    To Bill for thinking he might be Polly, or to Polly for my mistaking Bill for her?
    So no apologies, for there are none due.

    Secondly do I believe that councillors should be reimbursed for expenses?
    Indeed I DO believe that councillors should be reimbursed for expenses.

    I am a councillor, and I DO receive expenses, but by what is – IMHO – a proper method. Council approves any expenditure I make, and I then take in a receipt for that expenditure.

    This applies to ANY expenses, and I believe that to be a proper and fair way – not Craven Council’s method of wrapping it up in allowances.

    Whilst I do not claim for any communications expenses that is my choice. Were I to ask council, then I am sure that they would pay them, but that, as I say, is my choice, and I would not complain about any councillor being repaid justifiable expenditure.

    The whole thrust of this matter is simple, although Paul English and others keep on attempting to cloud the issue.

    No one at all has objected to councillors receiving due expenses.

    No one at all has objected to councillors receiving an allowance with part of that being for IT expenditure.

    Many have objected when seeing councillors and councillor households receiving two or three allowances for that expenditure.

    As our little furry friend would say:


    • OK Alan

      Second question

      Can you accept that two different councillors can have two totally different sets of people with whom they have to communicate – even if they serve the same ward?

  53. Whilst the whole thrust of this debate is about people who double or treble dip, I will give you an answer – although it is such an obvious answer that I am surprised at the question.

    The Allowance from CDC has been stated by Paul English to be for the following reasons:

    “The Basic Allowance is sufficient to cover the costs incurred in publishing a newsletter,
    postage, telephone calls and providing fax facilities and the capital and running costs of IT provision which is expected of Councillors.”

    As Paul English has offered this, and it is on CDC’s website, I hope we can all agree with that statement as being accurate and factual.

    My belief – which can be pretty elastic – does not extend to believing that the English family have three sets of fax equipment, three sets of IT equipment, three sets of broadband fees etc.

    Do YOU believe that they have?

    For the record Paul English has not stated that he does have all that equipment or expenditure, I think for for pretty obvious reasons, including the fact that neither he nor his wife have a single fax between them

    And now a question for you Bill:
    You stated above that:

    “I know I cannot do the above for three different jobs with the sums provided by the council.”

    and you then went on to say:

    “I have never been a councillor”

    How is it Bill that you know the amount paid which even Paul English is arguing about, and that you know that you could not do the job for this unknown amount of money?
    Are you perchance a council officer?
    Or have been one?

    Just curious, but I have answered three of your questions, so you might like to answer one from me.

    • Sorry Alan

      I have never been a councillor, nor have I been associated with councils, except in that I have worked in the past within education.

  54. After this petty and acrimonious defence of the indefensible policy of accepting three nominally distinct sets of allowances, all intended to cover (among other things, perhaps) one and the same Broadband connection, we are left with the following distatesteful residue.

    Councillor Simon Parkes has been attacked, not on the present issue (re which, his position is unassailable) but for his personal views outside of his work as a Councillor. Google will never let that be forgotten.

    Whereas Councillor Paul English and his silent wife, supported by their army of three massed ‘debaters’, will be remembered as chancers – unrepentant exploiters of a most deplorable system.

    that’s a result. Google is forever!

    Who’s next?

    • You are kidding me.

      Cllr Parkes deliberately obfuscated his position, seemingly to make it seem that he refused to accept an allowance when the actuality is that there was no allowance to refuse.

    • Where have I attacked him?

      If my comments towards him are deemed as an attack, then how do all the comments aimed at me on here rank?
      Suppose they are ok?

  55. I think all these replies justify the fact the English family have 3 computers and 3 broadbands. Well justified in my opinion

  56. Stakesby Legs is absolutely accurate, when all else fails then politicians will shoot the messenger.
    Or try, as some on this message thread – including Paul English – have done.
    But as one great person once said:

    ‘You cannot fool all the people all of the time.’

    The point is simple – no household in the opinion of most people can need three sets of allowances for the same IT objectives.
    The taking of such allowances may be legal, just as main residence swapping was for M.P’s – but it does not mean that the public approve; and it is THEIR money, so they will sit in judgement on how it is spent.

    That is what this thread is about, despite the best efforts of two or three to change it, or to attack people for nothing to do with the matter in hand.

  57. Well This is all getting a bit silly. Paul, I may or may not agree with your position, however I hope that no-one has censored any of your comments on this site, because I welcome them, It must be difficult for you to contribute under such pressure from the others, well done on that. In terms of “attacking people”, referring to councilor parks extra terrestrial connections cant really be seen as a personal attack on him. If people are seeing it this way then your too sensitive by far and the world has gone bonkers. With regards to “attacks” I would also question the use of “Dick” in the topic title ? Also the posting of a picture of Paul’s home which has nothing at all to do with his council business or this site. As Ive said in the past, like when MP Goodwill was attacked over his home use of his own personal computer, these articles need to stick to the relevant points. Peoples personal lives should be left private. In many ways this is a great article about wrongful spending of public money, but it is undone by the topic title, the psoting of a picture of somesones personal abode. The corruption busters are good, but they need to learn from their mistakes. For every point you score, you loose 2 if you cant leave peoples personal lives alone. This is the type of reporting I would expect from tabloids like The Sun. We need to be much better than that crap.

    • Thank you for a moment of reason.
      As stated I have tried to engage on here in debate. Insults are the norm…. but i do not like lies and fabricated stories. That is the reason I engaged.
      The picture above of myself and my wife claims that we have received £6,000 over the past 4 years for a Broadband connection that costs £1,000.
      It has been since admitted that this is not correct.I have continually asked for proof (remember the burden of proof is on the accuser) and none as been forthcoming. Indeed figures have now been amended and changed. Noone has supplied the source of these figures.
      I have posted links to my expenses and repeatedly posted either a link to the Members Allowances terms of reference at Craven or I have even posted them on this site.
      Therefore I would respectfully ask for an apology and a retraction on both this site and the Facebook site.
      Also this story has now appeared on 2 Craven based websites which I have no intention with engaging with.
      Remarks I have made on here have been cut and pasted and placed on these sites. And the authors have now ambushed this site as it seems no one is engaging on their sites.
      That is why I will now respectfully retire from this debate.
      As can be seen, at every opportunity, 2 particular contributers attack myself and my wife on a host of issues.
      If anyone posts in support of me, they are presumed to be stooges, friends or even my wife.
      I can honestly say I know none of the contributers on this site other than the 2 Craven activists, who have spent a lot of energy past and present (which is very flattering) attacking myself and my wife.
      They have their own political agenda and it is one I have no desire to be part of.

  58. Paakwa said

    “My belief – which can be pretty elastic – does not extend to believing that the English family have three sets of fax equipment, three sets of IT equipment, three sets of broadband fees etc.

    Do YOU believe that they have?”

    I would be most concerned if the English family did not have two seperate laptops with which to conduct their council work. How can the average person (who has limited computer savvy) maintain confidentiality. Indeed, I believe that at one point NYCC supplied their councillors with laptops that only had to be used for council business and they expected their councillors only to conduct council business on those computers. I will contact NYCC tomorrow to see if this is still the case

    ANY councillor – and this includes you and the redoubtable (and eminently doubtable) Cllr Parkes – who does not seperate their work from familial computer in this way could be transgressing the Data Protection act.

  59. Bill, you mention two computers, but there are three sets of allowances, not two. You also fail to mention the three faxes, three broadband payments, etc. Have you no viewpoint on those?

    I take it from your mention of the Data Protection Act that you have some knowledge of that – you haven’t answered yet so I repeat, are you, or were you, a council worker or officer?

    But let’s be practical here – whilst Paul and Polly may have two separate computers, they are unlikely to be locked away in places where the other partner or other family members cannot get to them, especially curious teenagers or technicians who have often to repair computers.
    In such circumstances a computer protected with personal passwords unknown to the other partner is more secure than what you have suggested, and will help to prevent other family members or repair technicians from gaining access to reserved information.
    Which is precisely how councils themselves operate their servers, with password protection for officers and councillors, to keep separate areas for each of them!
    Craven District Council has – or at least had – almost three hundred employees and thirty councillors. Much information stored on their network is privileged, and therefore password protected allowing only those permitted to see it by virtue of those passwords. Whilst the office cleaner may have access to the CEO’s computer terminal in the evening, they will not be able to access privileged information on it, indeed they will not be able to log on. Or at least they should not!

    Do you think that NYCC and all other councils are in breach of the Data Protection Act because all information is stored on the same block of hard drives?

    Now how about returning to the thread. ‘Is double or triple dipping acceptable?’ and giving us your view on that simple question.
    Along with the answer to mine of course, “are you, or have you been, employed by a council?”

    • Alan

      At 17:32 I posted

      “Sorry Alan

      I have never been a councillor, nor have I been associated with councils, except in that I have worked in the past within education. ”

      Yes, I have an indepth knowledge of amongst many other things IT, given that IT was my speciality. I also know that windows passwords are far to easy to bypass. Your equivicating laptop use by councillors to the security of servers and networks is fascile, frankly

      The Data Protection Act makes no exception for husbands or wives, and I know that NYCC did not used to – you cannot risk them seeing confidential data if they do not need to. Accounts on a families home computers are not safe enough in my opinion (and again, I believe NYCC)

      As to three sets of computers for two councillors with three different jobs. I would expect at least one for cllr 1s council work, one for councillor 2s work and the familial machine. If councillor 1 has a second position as a NYCC councillor then I would think that given how NYCC used to work, a third laptop would be usual.

      Concerning your point with the rest of the IT equipment. Note that the allowance is per annum. Now, either the council expects councillors to make new capital expenditure OR most of the allowance is for other forms of communication – snail mail, phones (seperate from personal equipment) and consumables. Therefore one, two or three faxes/printers/routers/extenders/hardware firewalls and uncle Tom Cobbley and all – the point is moot

  60. 3 broadband payments for one household so that’s 3 computers, 3 phones etc just for council business as mr english has stated he has a separate phone for council work so the assumption can be made that his wife has two plus at least one each for personal use and at least four computers. I hope your’e well insured.

  61. Just before I sign off, due to certain individuals now hijacking this site, I will confirm some points.
    (isn’t it interesting that we have got to this point with everybody assuming what we have and what we dont have – amazing that they can base such damning accussations on such presumptions)

    Firstly – we have 3 computers.

    Polly has a lap top supplied by NYCC. This can ONLY be used for NYCC business. It is very restricted (The IT dept at NYCC – have limited what it can be used for in its internal settings)
    So for instance, it cannot be used to go on Facebook,and is locked out of a whole host of websites.

    I have a lap top. This I use for my Council work.
    I upgraded my lap top last year as my older one blew up. That laptop cost me £650. It wasnt a top of the range model, nor was it a cheap model. It was a model suited to the job it is used for.

    We also have a main PC. We can both use this. Polly can use this for her other Council work and we can use it for personal use. This computer is 3 years old and will need replacing soon. The last computer we bought cost around £700. It wasnt a top of the range model, nor was it a cheap model. It was a model suited to the job it is used for.

    We have 2 printers. 1 is supplied by NYCC for use with the NYCC computer only.

    We both have mobile phones which we use for Council business. ( I have a personal mobile for non Council business)
    Both mobiles we use for Council business are on contracts.

    We have a telephone line to the house and 1 Broadband connection.

    My mobile contract cost approx £34 per month. That is £408 per year and gives me unlimited texts, calls and internet access. I need my mobile so I can be contacted by residents / officers / police / voluntary organisations etc when I am on the move and out of the house. It is useful when I am at a residents home dealing with an issue, so I can make calls or look up information on their behalf. I use an Apple 4.
    Pollys mobile contract is similar.

    So that is the IT side of things.

    Now I am sure there will be plenty of comeback to these comments, and I will be accused of lining my pockets at taxpayers expense.
    But throughout I have tried to be open and honest and I give you some kind of indication of the expenses that we have.

    I await the lynch mobs comments……….

  62. Tim,
    You yourself have downgraded your estimated amount of our estimated received expenses from £6,000 to £4,000 over te last 4 years. Your working out….not mine.

    So lets see……

    My estimations for the past 4 years are:

    mobile (Paul) £34 per month = £408 per year = £1632
    mobile (Polly)£20 per month = £240 per year = £960
    new laptop = £650
    new PC = £700

    Am unsure of the Broadband / telephone costs, but lets say we pay the same as Nigel stated in his post on January 15, 2013 at 10:18 am = £719.52

    Total so far = £4,661.52

    So we are already underpayed by £661.52 on your figures for the past 4 years.

    Throw on top of this figure stamps, envelopes, printer cartridges, numerous newsletter costs over the 4 year period.

    Actually I am glad you have brought this issue to my attention !

    Can I have my retraction and apology now ?

    • Paul,

      The money for the mobiles comes out of the Basic Allowance, not the IT Allowance. The £400 per annum IT allowance you receive is for IT equipment including laptop, printer, network hardware and a Broadband connection to use that kit.

      If you want to take the laptops into account then the figure moves back to £6,000.

      1 x Laptop: £650
      1 x Laptop: £700
      1 x 4 years of Broadband: £719.52
      Total Outlay for IT: £2069.52
      Total Allowances received: £6024.69
      Difference between the two: £3955.17

      • Where is the link to the IT allowance vs just basic allowance?

        There isn’t one is there?

      • Making the rules up again as you go along I see.

        What is the point. I mean really.

        Call yourself a journalist……Absolutely pathetic

        What is a mobile if I am using it to access emails and the internet ?

        It is even called an iphone !!!

        Can you not admit you are wrong, and the accusations levelled on here are wrong ?

        Really, just admit it, people would think better of you.

        • “Making the rules up again as you go along I see.”

          Hardly. Go have a chat with your Council Officers. Ask them what the IT allowance is supposed to be used for. Ask them what the Basic Allowance is supposed to be used for. Ask them from which allowance telephone calls, broadband expenses, laptops, printers, stamps and newsletter costs should come from. Then ask your Council Officer to point you to a document on their website which proves you are right, I am wrong and that should settle this.

          • I can find no indication of a defined IT allowance on either NYCC or CDC websites.

            Can you tell me where you gleaned your information from?

          • No reply again.

            I think that you must be making the IT Allowance up. A word to the wise Mr Thorne – there is a publication called McNaes Essential Law for Journalists. ISBN 0-406-77282-7. It may be a good idea to gen up on it.

            Goodbye, and thanks for the fish

          • But we dont have an IT allowance?
            We have one allowance to cover everything.
            But you already knew that. I have posted it on here enough times.
            But just in case you missed it :


            • Paul,

              Your Basic Allowance covers: “The basic allowance covers costs of attending Council meetings and acting as a representative of the Council (e.g. parish council meetings, other ‘external’ organisations). Costs also include incidentals such as telephone calls, postage etc.”

              This was taken from an Independent Remuneration Committee document dated Nov 2009 before the IT Allowance was rolled into the basic allowance.

              This is what they had to say about the IT Allowance:

              “Use of IT now needs little encouragement – most Members have computers, use the internet and emails etc – and after start-up costs for new councillors (purchase of computer, printer etc) the allowance is fairly generous for running costs (paper, printer cartridges etc).”

              As a Council you voted this in and it is in operation today.

              • So, no separate IT Allowance and what reference there is doesn’t even mention broadband?

                There is a chapter in McNaes that has the title Criminal Libel, Slander and Malicious Falsehoods. I suggest you get to know the latter.

              • So now you are telling me that you are better at claiming Council expenses than me?

                Heard it all now.

                I have posted you the link. Here it is in black and white.

                The Basic Allowance is sufficient to cover the costs incurred in publishing a newsletter,
                postage, telephone calls and providing fax facilities and the capital and running costs of
                IT provision, which is expected of Councillors.

                Can I see the link you are using?

                Oh and by the way, I thought in this country it is for you to prove my guilt, rather than me to prove my innocence.

                I see you are now changing the justice system too to prove your argument.

                Give up

                • Paul,

                  Here is a link to a document from the Independent Remuneration Panel. It discusses your member’s allowance scheme and what allowance pay for what. This was before it was all rolled into the basic allowance. Your Basic Allowance went from £3,800 to £4,200, but the £600 allowance was rolled into Basic Allowance. It was effectively a £200 pay cut, but it was mentioned you no longer needed a £600 IT Allowance as most of you had bought your IT kit in the year previously and that they considered £400 enough for the year ahead.


                  • You are quoting from an Appendix of a report that went to a Committee?

                    Can you not see where you are going wrong here?

                    Anyway, just to humour you,
                    In this report you have sent a link to it states :

                    Members’ Basic Allowance

                    • Create one simple basic allowance of £4,200, to be paid to all members, removing the distinction between the basic and IT elements.

                    You’ll find it in Section 1.2 of the Executive Summary

                    • “Can you not see where you are going wrong here?”

                      Paul, as a Council you voted to implement their report findings. It is now obvious you have realised that £400 of your current Basic Allowance is for IT. Part of that £400 is for Cllrs to pay for a Broadband connection. You receive this allowance, your wife receives one and your wife also gets another one from NYCC. You admit to having only a single Broadband connection at your home.

                      The system is wrong. It wastes too much money. You seem to want to defend it. Why don’t you do something in the public interest and change it so Cllrs receive a fair amount for Broadband?

                      Perhaps your wife should renounce the Broadband part of her NYCC allowance?

                      Perhaps you or your wife should renounce the Broadband part of your CDC allowance?

                      I’ll leave it in your hands what to do.

                  • Tim said

                    “Then ask your Council Officer to point you to a document on their website which proves you are right, I am wrong and that should settle this. ”

                    No need….you have just done it for me.

                    You posted this link


                    I refer to

                    Members’ Basic Allowance

                    • Create one simple basic allowance of £4,200, to be paid to all members, removing the distinction between the basic and IT elements.

                    You’ll find it in Section 1.2 of the Executive Summary

                    Thank you and good night

  63. Anyway enough is enough

    I politely request the admin of this site to offer a full apology and retraction of the accusations levelled against me and my wife as posted in the picture in the main article.
    Equally the same full apology and retraction on the Facebook site.

    I am asking nicely, so this is your chance to put an end to the matter here and now.

  64. Of course people make assumptions. Your household pulled in three broadbrand payments for three broadband lines so it follows that you would have three computers for council business each individually linked, are you following my drift mr english?

    Don’t answer you already have. You have one broadband line in your house which services 3 computers.

    We’ve got one broadband line in our house and it sevices my computer and the childrens ipads and 4 mobile phones all for £20.00 a month.

  65. Yellow Bill – whilst you have proven quite clearly what you understand about computers, I take it that now you are going to take Paul English to take for having – in his words – one computer which is used for his wife’s council work with CDC and Skipton Town Council which he also uses for family work?
    And also – presumably – for his work with the charity and Skipton town Council.
    And of course they don’t have that third laptop which you state is necessary.

    Do you know- somehow I don’t think you will be taking him to task for breaching your opinion – and on this occasion at least Paul is more in the right than you are – for you clearly know little, if anything, about computing.

    That’s my final words on this subject, a subject matter which is simple, and people will make their minds up come May.
    And unlike Paul I really do mean my final words:-)

  66. If Paul has an iPhone, and Polly has one too, why do they need computers AND laptops?

    I have just one laptop. It serves my needs. I have a phone at home with an answermachine on it. I work, I communicate with colleagues and clients.

    I have no need to spend £600 a year on new IT equipment. My current PC is five years old – it still works. It does everything I could ever need it to do, and more.

    Why would Paul and Polly want to buy a new computer/laptop/iPhone every year? That’s incredibly wasteful, and not very environmentally friendly. So much for looking after the planet.

    • Where does it say we buy a new laptop / phone every year ?

      • So if you were using it to cover your expenses, how in the heck does it cost you £400 a year to run a computer!

        I run a computer, printer, and fax machine – for work.

        It does not cost me £400 a year. Better yet, how the heck can both you and your wife run all that IT equipment off of THREE separate IT allowances, why not one?

        It must be difficult. I wish I had that kind of budget, I would have a new computer every year. A new printer too. Or maybe just a trip to Timbuktu.

        I must admit though, that you are the ONLY Councillor to respond… well done.

  67. My precise words were,

    “Apparently, the English family, because a cursory investigation reveals that, for the four years 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11 and 2011/12, Councillors Polly and Paul ENGLISH have together received a total of almost £6,000 (actually, £5,992) – for a single Broadband connection that cannot have exceeded a grand total of around £1,000.”

    The caveat “apparently”, coupled with the further caveat “a cursory investigation”, makes clear that the figures that follow were offered on a strictly provisional basis, pending closer evaluation.

    That closer evaluation has now revealed that some of the Allowances received may have been intended to cover expenditure other than Broadband, though such is not the case with respect to quite separate Broadband Allowances paid by NYCC prior to their integration into the (proportionately increased) NYCC Basic Allowance.

    Nevertheless, the combined Allowances do amount to circa £6,000 and the single Broadband expenditure to less than £1,000, as anticpated.

    Conflicting information suggests that the provision of ink-cartridges, postage etc, falls quite separately under the terms of the Basic Allowance of CDC. That remains unclear.

    What is clear is that Councillor Paul ENGLISH has conceded that his household subscribes to a single Broadband connection (though he earlier claimed that such was merely an assumption) and that he and his wife between them do indeed receive Allowances to cover that single Broadband connection, from three separate avenues of payment – two from Craven District Council and one from North Yorkshire County Council ie: that they have collectively ‘triple-dipped’, as Paakwa has helpfully confirmed.

    Councillor ENGLISH has further conceded, to my reading, that it is true that the cost of their joint household Broadband connection is actually in the order of £720, in fact, 28% less than my provisional estimate of £1,000, thus increasing the scope for profiteering by a further £280.

    He has not made clear the extent of the expenditure that he maintains he has disbursed in respect of other items which may, or may not, fall within the purposes of the circa £6,000 which he concedes that and his wife have collectively received.

    Tim Thorne has estimated, with reference to Public Record sources, that the total expenditure undertaken by Councillor Paul ENGLISH and his wife, including their Broadband connection and such sundry other items the proper inclusion of which remains unclear, together amounts to £2,069.52, and Councillor Paul ENGLISH has not challenged that figure.

    So, assuming the accuracy of the Public Record, what is abundantly clear is that Councillor ENGLISH and his wife have indeed accrued a tidy profit on their reimbursements under the various Allowances schemes, though possibly in the order of around £4,000, rather than the £5,000 that I originally estimated, as cited above.

    If Councillor ENGLISH will accept my apology for the margin of error in my estimate, clearly marked as “apparently” and based on “a cursory investigation”, and concede that a profit of around £4,000 stands to the net credit of himself and his wife, he is welcome to it. If he wishes to see the brief synopsis of my statement as it appears within the image amended to include reference to the as-yet uncertain sundries that he himself has estimated at £1,350, so as to reduce the estimated profit to approaching £4,000, rather than the £5,000 of my provisional estimate, I am happy to oblige.

    It will not in any way diminish the glaring message that Councillor ENGLISH and his wife have taken full advantage of the system, to considerable personal gain.

    He has not asserted that he and his wife renounced any of the available Allowances in respect of their Boradband connection – though his wife most certainly could (and should) have followed the example of Councillors TINDALL and KENYON and others whose names escape me at this moment.

    Perhaps he will assure us that they did.

    I would add that the system itself is deeply flawed, the responsibility for which, in the case of NYCC, must be laid at the door of those Councillors who ratified it – many of whom later proceeded to exploit it . . . as we shall be seeing.

    That glaring message has been well understood by readers who have found disingenuous and self-serving the smoke-and-mirrors attempts to introduce quite separate issues into what Councillor ENGLISH wishes to characterise as a debate (though it hardly deserves dignifying with that term, considering the extremely unworthy tactics levelled against Councillor Simon PARKES by Councillor ENGLISH’s tiny following).

    Polite requests to Councillor ENGLISH to repay the unnecessary overpayments have been disregarded without comment.

    The reality is that, for Councillor ENGLISH, it is not solely about the money, although the loss of Councillor Polly ENGLISH’s circa £10,000 p.a. from the NYPA will no doubt be sorely missed; that particular gravy train has ground to a halt.

    He is mindful, too, of the precariousness of the 7-vote majority underpinning his wife’s seat on Craven District Council, and the scarcely more secure 76-vote majority underpinning her North Yorkshire County Council seat, neither of which she may now credibly fight on a platform of moral rectitude. Failure to achieve election to either or both Councils would see the loss of a further significant injection into the ENGLISH household; times will tighten as the gravy train heads off into the distance.

    That is my opinion, and, like all of my articles, this one was published under the ‘In My View’ rubric, in the public interest.

    I believe that the public interest is well served by the exposure of public servants who abuse the public trust, making decisions to accept excessive Allowances that they are at liberty to renounce, yet the acceptance of which favours their own personal gain. I find it deplorable.

    • I do suggest that you follow my advice to Mr Thorne and read McNaes.

      Litigation is such a costly way for you to get your opinion across, don’t you think?

  68. I have challenged everything.

    You have ignored everything.

  69. no mr english you have tried to duck and dive and distance your wife from the equation. Won’t work your household accepted three lots of tax payers money per year for something you are not paying for and neither of you have the decency to hold your hands up and offer to pay the money back and not accept future payments.

  70. NYCC and SBC had the chance to rectify things and all they did was make it possible for those on both councils to still claim two lots whilst telling the rest of us savings have to be made.

  71. bunch of theifing gypos if you ask me.

    i want to know why it int possible to find a job in this town. my dad says its cos all the cimnals in council have taxed everyone to death.

    i rekon my dads right

    give us our money back.

  72. Pot calling. What a sickening contribution you have made. All three of you.

  73. I have never seen a clearer case of a drowning man clutching at straws,somebody put him out of his misery please. And as for Polly -I am surprised (or am I really?)that anyone who had anything to do with the blatant and colossal mismanagement of money and staff at North Yorkshire Police Authority has got the nerve to continue to serve on any Council as a representative of the people, in any capacity. Polly, it is time to consider your position, put the people first for once, instead of your expenses claims.

  74. Having read all this and trying to be subjective I have a few comments:

    Firstly I think Cllr Paul English should be congratulated for taking the time to engage on here. Not many of our elected representatives even bother.
    Seeing some of the attacks launched on here, are we surprised that elected members prefer to hide away from sites like this?
    If we want them to engage then we must do better when they do.

    My next point is that although I am no big fan of politicians, I cannot find anywhere on here, any conclusive evidence that Councillor English has committed any offence. No links to any expenditure have been provided by his accusers. Surely the burden is for them to prove “beyond reasonable doubt” that he is guilty as charged. It is not for him to try to prove his innocence.
    Indeed figures have been constantly changed, mid argument – which does not do his accusers any favours.

    I can find no statements or evidence that there is a specific “Broadband Allowance”. Nor can I find any “IT Allowance” and I have looked on both the North Yorkshire and Craven websites.

    From my reading of the documents, “allowances” can be spent any way they want.
    If a Councillor has no internet, computer or phone, they would be equally entitled to the monies – even if it was just to reimburse them for their time attending meetings.
    I cannot see anywhere the summation that “a large portion” has to be spent solely on Broadband.

    There is a moral question of “should Councillors claim more than one set of expenses?”
    But if they are doing work on the authorities, and that is the going rate – then why should they not?
    I think however that Councillors (and indeed MP’s) should not be in a position to set their own levels of allowances. This should be done by an independent body.

    If we are to publicly accuse an individual of committing an offence, be it actual or moral, surely we should have a prima facie case before publicly accusing them and naming and shaming them on websites.

    As stated, I have no real empathy for politicians. But if I was sat on a jury looking at all this, I’m afraid I would have to give a “not guilty” verdict.
    The authors have not proven their argument “beyond all reasonable doubt”.

    • “It is not for him to try to prove his innocence.”

      In isolation Paul’s allowance isn’t a problem. If Paul was the only Councillor at the address then £400 per annum to provide himself some IT equipment and a Broadband line to perform his duties as a local Councillor wouldn’t raise an eyebrow from anyone.

      However, his wife also gets the £400 per annum from Craven District Council for IT kit and Broadband as well as £500 from NYCC for Broadband.

      They’ve known about these allowances for years as Craven Matters made them aware. They’ve read meeting agendas. They voted at Council meetings to subsume the IT allowances into the basic salary to make the IT allowance less visible to everyone.

      Now they are trying to wriggle out of the fact that their basic allowances contain money for Broadband.

      If they were truly concerned about the problem they’d set about rectifying the system so that councillors who sit on more than one council or cohabit or both will not receive additional benefit from tax payer money.

      • You misrepresent Cllr English’ position yet again.

        I don’t think that he has ever denied that a portion of CDCs basic allowance is for broadband. His contention is that it is neither the sole reason for it or even a large part as has been the contention on here.

        You are being rather free with the actuality again Tim

        • “I don’t think that he has ever denied that a portion of CDCs basic allowance is for broadband.”

          His lack of inaction about it since it was first brought to his attention by Craven Matters says a great deal I think.

          How many years ago did Craven Matter bring it up?

      • Once again you are mentioning figures of £400 per year to provide IT equipment and Broadband.
        You have also mentioned a figure of £500 from NYCC for Broadband.
        But these figures do not appear anywhere.They do not exist.

        I am in complete agreement that Councillors / MP’s should not be in a position to vote on the levels or terms of their expenses – but that will need to come from Government. With all due respect, a couple of Councillors sitting on a tiny authority are not going to change this. And MP’s probably wont want to.

        I did note that the CDC terms of reference refer to printing a newsletter. This may be a better angle / argument to follow – it would be interesting to see how many of the Councillors actually have?

  75. For those who are trying to defend the indefensible.

    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 ofthe IT facilities provided to them.

    • With respect Wendy, your quote does not even suggest that the whole of the allowance is for broadband, nor even the greater part of it as you and others on here infer.

  76. Now your telling me what I infer?

    Maybe if you did your research you would find what we mean and not what you think we mean.

  77. I take it that was aimed at me Wendy?

    Interesting as I am equally against corruption within politics. But that doesn’t mean it is correct or ethical to just invent things. Have journalists not learned any lessons during the last 3 years. Maybe they should get their own house in order before accusing politicians?

    Well seeing as I am currently snowed in and bored I will add this for those who are trying to prove the unprovable.

    The statement you have quoted says nothing of a specific “Broadband Allowance”. Nor does it mention a specific “IT Allowance”.
    There are no such things, despite it being intimated by earlier subscribers.
    Nor are these type of allowances mentioned anywhere in the document you have linked.

    There is only 1 allowance – “The Basic Allowance” which covers a multitude of things. There is no indication of what percentage of the “Basic Allowance” is to be spent on what.
    So the guestimate figures for the NYCC element in the accusers workings of £489 and £501.23 are just that. Guesses! It is the accusers alone who have decided this figure….. but it is not backed up in the document or by fact.
    These figures do not exist. The accusers have not proven they exist.

    I am intrigued how an earlier summation by Tim Thorne on January 16, 2013 at 12:58 pm that
    ” A large portion of the IT Allowance is so that Councillors can get Broadband in their homes, enabling them to communicate easily with their ward constituents.” has been arrived at from this document, when there is no mention of “large portions” and no mention of “IT Allowance”. Neither statement exists!

    The only actual indicative figures listed on this document are for the additional expenses of travel and sustenance or an overnight allowance in or out of London.

    Paragraph 7.0 Covers the issue of “Dual Membership” which I think is one of the issues here – thus the term “double dipping”.
    Nowhere in here are the words “IT” or “Broadband” mentioned.
    The only issues covered by “Dual Membership” are travel and sustenance allowances, which are additional.
    In fact in an 18 page document, the word “Broadband” only appears once.

    I do suggest some of the contributors’ take note of Yellow Bill and his reference to
    McNaes Essential Law for Journalists.
    ISBN 0-406-77282-7
    and the chapter he has highlighted “Criminal Libel, Slander and Malicious Falsehoods” for you have left yourselves wide open.

    I did have high hopes when I arrived at this original article that another group of politicians had been proven to be up to no good. However, I am actually disappointed and embarrassed having read and researched it that I belong to a like-minded campaign.

    • “So the guestimate figures for the NYCC element in the accusers workings of £489”

      “The 2008/09 rate for Basic Allowances was set at £8772 per annum. This includes an amount of £489 per annum to reflect the use of ICT for County Council purposes”

      • For the use of IT
        Not solely for the provision of broadband. There is a difference.

        • “Not solely for the provision of broadband.”

          Years ago that used to be true. Now, NYCC provides all the IT equipment necessary. The only thing a Cllr needs to buy to be able to use the kit provided by NYCC is a Broadband connection.

          “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.”

          • Tim, on January 16, 2013 at 12:58 pm you stated
            “A large portion of the IT Allowance is so that Councillors can get Broadband in their homes, enabling them to communicate easily with their ward constituents.”

            So it doesn’t say that does it? You invented it.

            As I suggest you have invented the figures for your argument as it is obvious you can not guide me to any. If you had them, you would post the links. Why would you not?

            Unfortunately, you display the morals and ethics of a “bent copper”.
            Someone who fabricates evidence to try to secure a conviction is in my opinion the lowest of the low. And that is far worse behaviour than what you are trying to accuse people of.
            As some one who is trying to reveal corruption and mispractice, you are quite happy to do even worse in an attempt to win an argument.
            Think about it.

            • “As I suggest you have invented the figures for your argument as it is obvious you can not guide me to any.”

              You’re deliberately mixing up statements about the IT allowance of Craven District Council with that of North Yorkshire County Council. How very disingenuous of you.

              • Not at all.

                All I have done is directly quote you.

                Indeed it is you who is mixing up the statements.

                For instance, can you show me the reference to “broadband” on any relevant CDC documents or policies?

                • “All I have done is directly quote you.”

                  No, you are quoting me discussing CDC, when clearly we were discussing NYCC. Like I said, you are clearly a disingenuous person. If, as you say, you are also busy investigating corruption and justice then I wouldn’t hold out much hope of getting any results given your modus operandi.

  78. Haha, you need to look furthur back the figures are all there, if your lucky you may even find the minutes of the meeting where a group of the double dippers voted to change the way the accounts were doccumented, we did.

    • So you will be able to provide the links then?
      As I’ve said many times, the emphasis is on the accusers to prove the allegations.
      Allegations and evidence are not down to luck as you suggest. You state that you have seen evidence of figures and minutes. Can you provide the links please. Why is this so difficult?

      • “Can you provide the links please.”

        The minutes of all NYCC Council meetings for over a decade are on the NYCC website if you care to trawl through them. We’ve already been through them, which is why we say that the NYCC £500 is for Broadband. NYCC Cllrs now get all the hardware required to perform their duties from NYCC.

        The Broadband allowance is high for a couple of reasons. NYCC, upon recommendations from the IRP, voted to link it to the basic allowance. When the cost of Broadband was coming down across the country NYCC were raising the allowance every year. It was recognised as being too high. When an issue was made of it years ago Cllrs voted to subsume the Broadband allowance into the basic allowance. Instead of cutting the allowance and subsuming it into the basic allowance they subsumed the lot. At the height of the current recession Cllrs voted to give themselves a sly pay rise. Conduct truly becoming?

        • So how do NYCC councillors contact those many people who are not on the internet? How do they perform their role in real time? Do you really expect NYCC councillors to limit themselves to emails and websites?

          • The above post in reply to Mr Thornes assertion that “We’ve already been through them, which is why we say that the NYCC £500 is for Broadband. NYCC Cllrs now get all the hardware required to perform their duties from NYCC”

            Apologies, I forgot to insert the link in it.

          • It was reported they get free ink cartridges, stamps and paper. Or they could burn part of the £500 of the Broadband Allowance and do smoke signals.

  79. “Apologies, I forgot to insert the link in it.”

    Fifteen years worth of reading if you’re interested in finding out how all this came about.

    • You have intimated that you have done your homework, found all the evidence and come to your conclusion.
      Then surely you have the catergorical evidence?
      The killer statement that confirms without doubt your allegations.
      I dont want the link for the last 15 years of minutes from every meeting at NYCC.
      Just tossing a file at someone and saying “oh its in here somewhere” is not good enough.
      If this was the type of evidence / stance you submitted to a court you would be laughed out of the building.
      Again I ask – why is it so difficult to provide the link / evidence of your allegations?

      • “If this was the type of evidence / stance you submitted to a court you would be laughed out of the building.”

        People can see a large amount of public money in the shape of three broadband allowances being paid to two Cllrs who openly admit they have bought one Broadband connection. The court of public opinion says guilty.

        • Which “Broadband Allowances” are these?

          What is “the Court of Public Opinion”?

          Again – two make believe statements to try to justify an allegation – neither supported with evidence or fact.

          I have previously stated that I would vote “note guilty” if I was sat on a jury in respect to this matter.

          How can people “see a large amount of public money in the shape of three broadband allowances” if you will not provide the figures and your sources for them?

          • Figures have already been provided. You just don’t accept them. If you don’t like my figures I suggest that you produce some of your own to support your own argument that the Cllrs English are not receiving more than they should be from the public purse.

  80. “Figures have already been provided”
    Indeed they have – your figures.

    All I have asked is that you supply the source of these figures, together with any relevant documentation.
    You state you have them. Do you or not?
    If you can present them then I will be the first to congratulate the research and attack the greedy Councillors. But you are either unwilling or unable.

    I am not supporting Cllr English. But it is not up to me or him to produce anything. It is for the accusers to prove beyond reasonable doubt that something has happened.

    I campaign against corruption, and for justice.
    That works equally to journalists as well as Councillors.

    You try to take the moral high ground. But from my reading of all this, it is the journalists here who are more corrupt, They are quite happy to twist facts and invent evidence in an attempt to convict someone.
    As I have said earlier – that is the behaviour of a “bent copper”.
    You should be ashamed of yourself.

    • These figures are in the public domain. I challenged my local County Councillor (Brian Simpson) to comment on the figures provided by Town and County Hall. He did not deny them. Told me that his actions were those approved (true) and that he had no obligations to answer to a local voter (not true). You sir, or madam, are either blind or an idiot. I hope you are blind, that is no fault of yours. If it is a sort of stupidity it is.

      • Blind or an idiot?
        If I cannot be convinced of a point of view or argument, the best thing to do is to persuade me. Instead you hurl insults. That’s very mature of you.

        Your County Councllor did not want to engage with you? I wonder why….if this is the treatment I get as a neutral onlooker!

        I stated in an earlier post, if we want elected members to engage, shouting them down or being insulting is not the way to do it. Is it any wonder that only one Councillor has bothered?

        You say the figures are in the public domain. All I have asked is for links or copies of them to be shown on here. All I have been offered is a link to the last 15 years of every NYCC meeting and been told to look for myself.

        • No sir, you are not ‘neutral’. Somebody neutral looks at the facts not there own preconceived ideas. You apparently can’t be bothered to take an empirical approach thus my accusation that you are an ‘idiot’. And just for the record, my County Councillor, who used to be a friend of mine, when I was in politics myself, does ‘engage’. He has told me that my questions are factual but he does not wish to reply to them. Therefore it is obvious that one of us is very very mistaken. I apologise for calling you an idiot. Maybe moron was quite strong enough.

          • Sorry, that should be ‘their’ preconceived ideas. My grammar is good, my typing awful.

          • So now you want to argue with me about my “neutrality”?

            Facts are, if I am not mistaken, things that are proven without doubt.

            This has not happened, thus my questioning. Items are being presented as “fact” without the evidence to support it. Therefore it cannot be “fact”

            Now you accuse me of being an “idiot”. That’s very kind of you. More insults seeing you cannot persuade me with reasoning.

            And I see your County Councillor does engage with you by in your words stating ” he does not wish to reply to them”
            That is some engagement.

  81. New Dawn, I have copied the links if you would like to email me I will forward these to you.

    What thickens the plot even more is that at a NYCC Standards Meeting 13.09.10 it was decided to add the IT allowance to the Basic allowance because those Members who could not use the IT felt discriminated against because they were not getting the IT allowance!

    • Thank you Vanda. Maybe some progress at last.
      If you have copied the links, please just put them on here for everyone to inspect.
      If they are in the “public domain” as many have stated, then there is no reason that they cant be put on this public forum.
      There is no need for secrecy or the sending of private emails.

  82. – 09/10 shows an IT allowance of £ 50 pcm = £ 600 pa.

    The NYCC info is easily found following Tim’s link.

    I understand that all Councils provide Laptops, hardware & software, therefore the IT allowance is for broadband, as stated in many of the Standards Committee pdf Documents found on the relevant websites.

    Meanwhile, how come some Councillors managed to not receive and in deed did deduct the Broadband amount from their allowances?

    • Thank you Vanda.
      The original article / accusation is for 4 years not just the one.
      The link you have provided is an “IT Allowance” and not solely for Broadband, which is continually intimated.
      Other than NYCC, I am not aware that any of the other Councils do provide hardware. But I will check on this.
      Your final point is interesting, it may be that all the Councils have differing expenses / allowances so we are comparing apples with pears.
      As I have previously commented, it is for the accusers to “prove beyond reasonable doubt their accusations”.
      This has still not happened.

      • “The link you have provided is an “IT Allowance” and not solely for Broadband, which is continually intimated.”

        Utter rubbish and completely disingenuous, as is your modus operandi. We can attribute around £200 of the Craven District Council £400 IT Allowance to Broadband as the prices for Broadband are easily researched.

        Everyone realises the English household receives three separate allowances for Broadband. Even you realise that, but the best you can do is attempt to quibble about the figures.

        • You quote
          “We can attribute around £200 of the Craven District Council £400 IT Allowance to Broadband as the prices for Broadband are easily researched.”

          “We can” = These are just your figures!

          How are you arriving at these figures of £200 for Broadband?

          Where does it say this? Where does it indicate 50%?
          Where is the IT Allowance? Links please


        • And I have no “modus operandi” other than finding the truth via facts.

          You seem to suggest that if I don’t agree with you then I have an ulterior motive?

          • “And I have no “modus operandi” other than finding the truth via facts.”

            You’ve been given plenty of facts. You choose to ignore them and ask the same question again. You’re going around in circles like some demented dog chasing its own tail.

      • If we take only part of your CDC allowance for Broadband it still adds up to a sizeable amount.

        Cllr P English CDC £250
        Cllr Mrs P English CDC £250
        Cllr Mrs P English NYCC £489

        Cllr P English CDC £250
        Cllr Mrs P English CDC £250
        Cllr Mrs P English NYCC £501.23

        Cllr P English CDC £250
        Cllr Mrs P English CDC £250
        Cllr Mrs P English NYCC £501.23

        Cllr P English CDC £250
        Cllr Mrs P English CDC £250
        Cllr Mrs P English NYCC £501.23

        Total: £3992.69.

    • Vanda

      You understand wrong. ONly NYCC provides laptop and printer.

      Further, the basic allowaqnce is for ALL communications, telephone, snail mail and computer based. Further it is for producing newsletters to communicate with ALL people in the councillors ward. Have you any idea how much a newsletter costs to produce? Even if you do it yourself and not involve a printer.

      • “Further, the basic allowaqnce is for ALL communications, telephone, snail mail and computer based.”

        No it isn’t. The basic allowance is used to pay for telephone calls and postage. The basic allowance contains an IT allowance. Part of the IT allowance is used for Broadband connectivity. Please get your facts right.

  83. “So you have a document that says the Basic Allowance is used for phones and the IT Allowance is used for Broadband?”

    Yes. It was quoted ‘up there’. Do keep up.

    • No – I thought you qouted your own figures without them being evidenced by documentation.

      And remember, you have changed your figures many times already.
      Which ones are you using now?

      • “No – I thought you qouted your own figures without them being evidenced by documentation.”

        Have you recently had a head trauma or something? We’re talking about the CDC basic allowance and what should be paid for out of that, telephone calls and postage for instance.

        If you’re going to continue behave like some demented dog chasing its own tail then we can play something a little more easy for you to understand, like fetch?

        • Insults?

          That really does good things for the case you are trying to present.

          But I must admit your insults are much better than your evidence.

          • “But I must admit your insults are much better than your evidence.”

            My evidence is just fine. Even Paul English now accepts his household receives three lots of money for a Broadband connection. The argument is now about the amount of money involved, agreed?

            How would you like to converse with me next time? Shall I just field the same answers that you don’t accept to the same questions that you’ve already asked?

            • Does he?

              From what I can see, it was he who voulnteered the information.
              And I think his last post was

              “January 17, 2013 at 1:37 am

              I have challenged everything.

              You have ignored everything.”

              Maybe he may post again?

              But I have spent a pleasant few days on here and enough is enough. I do agree with you when you talk about going around in circles.

              We will agree to disagree.

              Good look with your future campaigns – but please, if you are going to nail someone, make sure the lid is banged down firmly.

              • “…but please, if you are going to nail someone, make sure the lid is banged down firmly.”

                thats what my girlfriend says.

                but i have read the info above and it looks clear to me. someone is getting three lots of money for one connection. its not fair.

                i have to pay for my own connection and they should only get one lot of money for one connection.

                they probably only watch porn on it anway. half of em seem to.

  84. The information is there, it’s a good thing that some are willing to take the time to educate themselves rather than accept all they are spoon fed by those who have a vested interest in keeping things hidden from those who pay.

  85. Ecky thump. We had fun in those days didn’t we?

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