Double-Dipping: McCartney puts record straight!

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Double-Dipping: McCartney puts record straight!

Double-Dipping: McCartney puts record straight!

  • an update on the long-running ‘Double-Dipping’ scandal by Tim THORNE, reporting on one County Councillor who, as soon as he became aware of the unnecessary over-payment, has returned the money to his District Council and instructed that he wants no further ‘automatic’ payments to him in future.

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All has been quiet on the Double-Dipping front for some time now; not really surprising given that North Yorkshire County Council elections were scheduled for the 2nd May. No-one was willing to stick their head above the parapet, given it might affect their chances in the election.

The deafening silence was broken on the 2nd May 2013 by County Councillor John McCartney (Eggborough ward) of Selby District Council, and North Yorkshire County Council (Osgoldcross division).

In an email to Real Whitby, Cllr McCartney has revealed that he was unaware his NYCC Allowance included a substantial sum for Broadband. On the strength of the information in the Real Whitby article he contacted Selby District Council and arranged to repay monies he’d received from Selby District Council for IT.

Well done, Sir!

Cllr_John_McCartney

 

An Officer at Selby District Council has contacted all dual-hatted Councillors and made them aware of the situation. I expect a few more Councillors from Selby District Council will be following Cllr McCartney’s example and repaying their IT/Broadband Allowance in the near future. We’ll keep you updated on that.

Of the 72 Councillors that comprised North Yorkshire County Council during the last term of office, 49 of them were dual-hatted Councillors. Of those 49, 37 were receiving an IT/Broadband Allowance from two Authorities – Double-Dipping.

There was a recent outbreak of concern that elected members must abide by the Nolan Principles by the Deputy Monitoring Officer at Scarborough Borough Council Lisa Dixon.

One wonders why there was no regard for the Nolan Principles during the Standards Committees hearings into the Double-Dipping at NYCC and SBC during 2012?

Do Carole Dunn (Monitoring Officer, NYCC) and Lisa Dixon (Monitoring Officer, SBC) still believe that Councillors are fully entitled to claim the IT/Broadband Allowance from both Authorities? Why didn’t they take the Nolan Principles into account during those hearings? I think we should be told!

Double-Dipping Time-Line

  • 7th Apr 2012: Standards Complaint submitted to North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) and Scarborough Borough Council (SBC) by Nigel.
  • 9th Apr 2012: First Double-Dipping article published on Real Whitby.
  • 3rd Aug 2012: Update: Investigations underway at NYCC and SBC.
  • 21st Sep 2012: Cllrs first pilloried in Private Eye’s ‘Rotten Boroughs’.
  • 18th Oct 2012: SBC Standards Committee meets and decides there was no wrong-doing. Nolan Principles not taken into account.
  • 21st Oct 2012: Cllr Colin Challen (SBC Standards Committee) speaks out about Double-Dipping, citing Nolan and urging repayment.
  • 22nd Oct 2012: Cllrs’ statements published on Real Whitby.
  • 28th Oct 2012: NYCC Standards Committee meets and also decides there was no wrong-doing. Nolan Principles again not taken into account.
  • 20th Dec 2012: Cllrs are ‘Highly Commended’ in 2012 Private Eye ‘Rotten Borough Awards’ – ‘Expenses Fiddler of the Year’ category.
  • 2nd May 2013: County Councillor John McCartney of North Yorkshire County Council and Selby District Council tells Real Whitby he has repaid the money.

Other Double-Dipping Articles:

NYCC IT/Broadband Allowances abuse

Yorkshire Councils Pipped For National Award

County Council: Collusion, Cover-Ups and Coincidences?

‘Double Dipping’ – An Update by Tim Thorne

Local Councilors Broadband Expense Claims By Tim Thorne

Please consider signing Derek ROBINSON’s e-petition to the Prime Minister:

“The Prime Minister: Regulate expenses to local authority councillors outlawing duplicate claims”.

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About the Author:

Website Admin for the Real Whitby Website. All authors of the Real Whitby Website have access to publish on the website. Individual authors will usually sign off their articles with their own names.

7 Comments

  1. kathleen parker May 15, 2013 at 12:16 pm - Reply

    Well well well! At last a Concillor with honesty,they should all remember WE pay their allowences. Thankyou Cllr McCartney.

  2. Richard Ineson May 15, 2013 at 12:21 pm - Reply

    A rarity indeed, a Councillor with honesty and integrity. Well done Cllr. McCartney.

  3. Tom Brodrick May 15, 2013 at 2:29 pm - Reply

    Well done Councillor McCartney.
    One cannot put enough emphasis on the importance of this issue and it is through Councillor McCartney’s actions that real stand up Councillors will follow suit.
    It is through Councillor McCartneys actions that people may have more reassurance in the political system.

  4. E Truesdale May 15, 2013 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    Thank you, Cllr. McCartney for setting a good example! Now that they’ve been made aware, it would seem others will follow suit. Seems like a system that was put in place by the clerks to save themselves time, but it sure isn’t good management.

  5. Tim Hicks May 15, 2013 at 3:08 pm - Reply

    I would ike to echo the sentiments expressed by the other commentators that Councillor McCartney has behaved reasonably and honestly. As soon as the issue was brought to his attention, he considered it carefully, did the right thing and set the appropriate example. Very well done.

    However, we should not forget that Selby District Council also comes out of this very well. An officer of the Council contacted all dual-hatted Councillors and impartially made them aware of the situation, so they could make an informed and impartial decision according to their own conscience as to what they wanted to do.

    Lets hope that more Councillors follow Cllr McCartney’s example.

    Tim

  6. Tom Brown May 15, 2013 at 5:56 pm - Reply

    Nigel please accept that the ‘Common Purpose’ (GOOGLE IT) council officers, police commissioners, Chief constables, Chief executives or Borough,County,City and executives,even Town Clerks, Social workers,school head teachers, and of course Prime Ministers,Home and Justice secretaries of state are trained to go beyond authority like THE QUEEN AND OUR UNWRITTEN CONSTITUTION. And remember that our so called members of parliament and Councillors who will do anything for 30 pieces of silver (or to keep their private lives incognito) even though some think that they are protected by the Martians. But if they succeed there will not be an authority to go beyond. Thus speaks a conspiracy theorist.

  7. Tim Thorne May 15, 2013 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    I see Bill Chatt got a little hot under the collar at the Council Meeting yesterday. He reported Colin Challen for daring to give an opinion on the double-dipping Standards hearing.

    http://www.labour4scarboroughandwhitby.net/?p=1075

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