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Letter : County And Borough Councilors Claiming Twice For Broadband Expenses

101 Things To Do In Whitby

Councillor John WEIGHELL – Leader – North Yorkshire County Council

John,

It is a while since we spoke. With reference to NYCC’s promotional article on Page 17 of the Whitby Gazette of Friday 6th April 2012, entitled “Council always watching spending”, please allow me to paraphrase, in the interests of brevity, a passage that has been drawn to my attention by a number of neighbors:

The Council is seeking to make savings of £69M. In particular, the Council hopes to find £40M of these savings by revising staff terms and conditions of employment.

I hope you will agree that this is a fair characterization of the Council’s statement.

I also hope you will agree that members of the public, including the staff referred to in the article, are deeply affronted by the knowledge that ‘two-hatted’ Councillors throughout the County have been receiving allowances to reimburse out-of-pocket expenses for broadband and other ITC facilities – not only from NYCC, but also from their respective District Councils.

Indeed, one ‘two-hatted’ Council, serving also on the NYPA, has apparently been receiving an allowance to reimburse broadband and other ITC facilities in the sum of £750-£850 per annum.

Meanwhile, jobs, services and facilities including public transport are being subjected to swingeing cuts. Can these Councillors look into the eyes of the members of staff whose hours have been curtailed? Whose contracts have not been renewed? Whose futures remain uncertain? Can you?

In circumstances so straitened as to require the Council to tighten its belt to the tune of £69M, public opinion approaches the same level of disgust as was aroused by the MPs’ expenses scandal. Clearly, prosecutions are in order – certainly in the more flagrant cases.

I hope you will assure me – and the public at large – that the Council will be acting immediately to stop this so-called ‘double-dipping’, and to take punitive action against those who have effectively abused the privilege of the positions and betrayed the public who have voted them their trust.
I point out that, in the interests of transparency, I have included our colleague Robert Goodwill, MP for Whitby & Scarborough, into this email

Yours, with very kind regards,
Nigel

Further Reading

Posted by on April 7, 2012. Filed under Featured,News,NYCC,Scarborough Borough Council. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

34 Responses to Letter : County And Borough Councilors Claiming Twice For Broadband Expenses


  1. Col Freeman Reply

    April 7, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    If this is true, then its nothing short of an absolute disgrace. Many people in this area have lost their jobs, services have been shut or dropped to such a level that they may as well not exist anymore. Council employees, amongst them some on very low pay, have been placed on a 3 year pay freeze. Anyone using a car for Council business has had their allowance slashed at a time when fuel bills are going through the roof. All employees of NYCC have been forced to take yearly unpaid leave, basically a pay cut through the back door. If councilors are claiming twice then they should be severely disciplined, perhaps even facing criminal prosecution. And finally, why on earth are the council paying a broadband allowance of £500 per year when we all know the average price of broadband per year is £250. WHY WHY WHY is this happening ?

  2. Bob Whitby Reply

    April 7, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    It’s another loophole but I bet there are more. How about petrol expenses? You can almost bet that if they’re claiming for internet allowances (at excessive prices) from both Councils then they’ll be claiming petrol expenses from both as well.

    The Council know this goes on. When they say ‘save xx amount per year’ they mean make the public cough up more, they’re not stopping spending for themselves HA what a laugh, that would never do, make the public pay, after all, that’s what the public are there for isn’t it.

    • Jane Swales Reply

      April 8, 2012 at 9:37 am

      A Thought Experiment.

      Say that ten SBC councillors have been on the make to the tune of £500 a year. Equals £5,000.

      Say they have been doing it for an average of five years. Equals £25,000.

      SBC is one of eight Borough, District and City Councils in North Yorkshire. (Craven, Hambleton, Harrogate, Richmondshire, Ryedale, Selby and York).

      £25,000 times eight equals £200,000.

      Plus, many of these so-called double-dippers could be dipping elsewhere. Who else is handing out IT allowances? The National Park? The Police Authority? The PCT?

      Who is claiming travel, petrol, hospitality, food and drink, training courses from more than one source? When a member of three or more authorities attends a meeting some place else, what is to stop them claiming all those things three or more times?

      Pound to a penny this is the tip of an iceberg, corrupt throughout.

  3. Vanda Inman Reply

    April 7, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    Well Robert Goodwill certainly knows how to work his expenses to his own advantage – remember the “….I get to pocket the difference ….” (between his allowance and actual cost). Nigel do you have the full list of NYCC Councillor’s expenses claimed for 2010 and 2011?

  4. Vanda Inman Reply

    April 7, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    Thanks Nigel, just been re reading the Ipads/Helen Jesperson article and there is a link showing a whopping £ 25 K for Jane Kenyon as Chair of NYPA but not for County expenses – nice little earner I’d say. so does that mean she is claiming telephone and broadband expenses three times? Has she got three phone nos, three laptops, three ipads and three broadband connections, what a waste? Perhaps she should consider recycling or is it all ringfenced? or indeed are there three Jane Kenyons – the mind boggles.

  5. Peter Hofschröer Reply

    April 8, 2012 at 5:41 am

    I think it fair to say that the government of North Yorkshire (if not the entire country) is in the hands of a crime syndicate and that fraudulent accounting is only one of the rackets going on.

    More revelations are to follow!

  6. Richard Ineson Reply

    April 8, 2012 at 8:49 am

    Of course it is a disgrace, but it is not a surprise to find that this is going on, politicians of all kinds are a pretty grubby set of individuals – Archer, Aitken, Hamilton, spring immediately to mind. I wonder if there are any local Councillors, living at the same address, perhaps man and wife, who are both claiming these expenses from both of our Councils? I think that we should be told.

    Incidentally, does anyone have any up to date information about the two telephone lines which are connected to ‘the bollard which never rises’ on St.Anne’s Staithe/Pier Road? The last time I enquired, the bollard had run up a telephone bill of over £1200.00, I wonder with whom, it communicates?

  7. Patricia David Reply

    April 8, 2012 at 9:10 am

    Ros & Tom Fox are the first two names that spring to mind living at the same address, though she is no longer a Scarb.Cllr. Penny Marsden NYCC & SBC. SBC Asset Stripping the whole of their Assets for sale to developers – which bank account is that going to go in, and why. These assets belong to the people of Scarborough and are not the Council’s to sell. A town is defined by its properties old and new which are in Council/People ownership. They are also the financial security of the town in case of emergency need when their value may need to be borrowed against. SBC is frightening in its lack of business knowledge and ignorance

  8. Peter Hofschröer Reply

    April 8, 2012 at 9:26 am

    I wonder if Jane Kenyon is including the cost of her bollards in her expenses claims. If so, how many? And how many times is she claiming for the same one? :-)

  9. Peter Hofschröer Reply

    April 8, 2012 at 10:13 am

    “SBC is frightening in its lack of business knowledge and ignorance.”

    Maybe their business acumen is very good, but they are not applying it to the interests of the local people.

  10. Tony Paulson Reply

    April 8, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Dear Sir

    I think the continuing outrageous claims of financial misconduct against our dedicated and hardworking public servants by NIGEL? should stop. Surly there is enough material published by this man to haul him into court. I think he should be made to put up or shut up. A. Paulson.

    • Nigel Ward Reply

      April 8, 2012 at 11:31 am

      Be careful what you wish for, Tony Paulson. Nothing in this world would please us more than an opportunity to testify, under oath, in a court of law. This present issue of despicable and utterly immoral trough-snouting is merely one single currant in a deep, deep layer-cake of endemic corruption.

      There are many more. Fraud. Forgery. Property grabs. Wholesale cover-ups. Lord Maginnis of Drumglass is heading the campaign to expose all this and the Home Office has been alerted. You want us in court? Bring it on!

  11. Tom Brown Reply

    April 8, 2012 at 10:50 am

    When tails wag dogs, those dogs (like Pavlovs) are conditioned to turn a blind eye. After all its the tails who approve the expenses.

  12. Jon Risdon Reply

    April 8, 2012 at 11:24 am

    I think Tom’s comment is very apposite: it’s all very well complaining about greed & graft, which many would resignedly concede is ‘just human nature’, but we have to remember that it’s our communal acquiescence in the form of inactivity [i.e., passive acceptance] which allows it to continue & thrive. If it’s not possible to bring proven criminals to justice, at least they can be voted out of office at the earliest opportunity.

  13. Sean Maguire Reply

    April 8, 2012 at 11:26 am

    I love hearing that this outrageous behavious is being exposed for what it is! Not only is it a total disregard of peoples’ trust; it’s CRIMINAL activity!
    Here in Ireland we are scratching the surface to see worse goings on!
    Well done to all the people working for TRUTH! let’s just hope YOUR judicial system isn’t as corrupt as ours here in Ireland or there won’t be any JUSTICE! GO FOR IT!

  14. Sunny Day Reply

    April 8, 2012 at 11:30 am

    These people [council workers] must be accountable for EVERY PENNY of public money spent, without question. Instant dismissal for any found guilty of any dishonesty what-so-ever. Perhaps they should then be prosecuted to deter others thinking of stealing from the people!

  15. admin Reply

    April 8, 2012 at 11:31 am

    I would have several questions about Nigel’s letter.

    1. Is there definitive proof that any of these councilors are claiming twice for one connection, or are they claiming for separate connections down separate phone lines ?

    2.Is it illegal to claim twice (Clearly its morally unacceptable), but whats the situation regarding the law.

    • Nigel Ward Reply

      April 8, 2012 at 11:44 am

      @ Admin: I am told that ‘Tim Thorne’ is preparing an article on this, citing all the source documents and statements.I have personally approached some of the ‘two-hatters’. Normally very forthcoming, they have gone conspicuously silent. Since it is clearly the case that the allowances from some authorities vastly exceed the real cost of broadband (eg. NYPA paid Cllr Kenyon circa £850 last year – wheras my broadband is about £220), then having two lines simply means coining a profit twice. Is it illegal to claim twice? Would it be illegal if you claimed your travel money twice? But let’s wait for Tim Thorne’s detailed article . . .

      • admin Reply

        April 8, 2012 at 11:54 am

        If people can make profit out of the allowance then where does the blame lie. This is a separate issue to claiming twice, but the people paying over the odds must take a look at this and drop the allowance to the actual cost of broadband. If you can get Broadband in Whitby for £220 then that’s all they should be paid, its the authority itself that is at fault in such a situation.

    • Nick Reply

      April 8, 2012 at 11:47 am

      A more important question: Why are they allowed to claim in the first place?

      After all, I have to have broadband at home so my children can access the internet to do homework. I use that same connection to do work that I’ve brought home from my job (I don’t get to claim a penny toward this connection).

      The schools that require parents to allow their children to surf the internet in order to complete homework assignments should be made to compensate me for that internet usage if we are use the same justifications as our illustrious councillors.

      Anyone who has an employer that requests you take some of your work home and complete it via the web, should be FORCED to pay up too.

      It’s not right, and in my OPINION it’s theft, pure and simple.

      Would these people have internet connections at home if they weren’t councillors? I would imagine they would.

      In fact, what would be a great idea is that if the public purse is paying for these connections, the public should be entitled to complete records of all data accessed by these people – porn and all!

      Just my tupence worth….

  16. Dianne Coates Reply

    April 8, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Have you got proof of wrong doing. If so lets have the names so we can write to the council and ask for action to be taken. If anyone is wrongly accused then they should be given a full apology in public. If I was wrongly accused I would have you in court.

    • Nick Reply

      April 8, 2012 at 11:59 am

      Dianne – that’s a good idea that we should have names etc.

      I’m all for the idea of openness and transparency. So why are the Council and it’s senior Officers so opposed to the idea???

      Many times they’ve been asked to disclose information on a variety of topics and issues, and they hide behind veils of secrecy and smoke screens – of various metaphorical and legal kinds.

      You tell us Dianne; why should we, the public, be so passive about this ‘looting’ any more? Why should we not DEMAND the immediate resignations and/or examination in a Court of Law of these people, when suspected of wrongdoing?

      For far too long these people appear to have been ripping off the public purse. The poorest are the hardest hit with tax hikes to pay for these perks, and these people sit comfortably in their ivory towers.

      You wouldn’t be one of those who thinks that ‘some animals are more equal than others’ would you? Your comment seems to be rather defensive of those who appear to be getting an unfair advantage!

      Perhaps I’m reading too far into what you said, if that is the case, then I offer my apologies. Although, my previous questions still stand, and my opinions are just that – OPINIONS. It’s my hope that the facts/evidence that Nigel, and others seem to be gathering together are used in a Court of Law and examined to the fullest. Let’s see an end to the activities of those flagrantly enjoying perks that they should have no right to.

  17. Dianne Coates Reply

    April 8, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    I am unsure what it is about conspiracy theorists, but your all so paranoid. I wrote 3 sentences and you want to dissect it like an FBI agent. Its plain and simple. Deal in facts and people will take you seriously. Get it wrong and you will loose credit and be less likely to be taken seriously in future. I read this site often. I really enjoy it, but what I do notice is many of you go off half cocked. You get all excited at the slightest sniff of corruption, you don’t gather full evidence and your not concise. There’s many examples of this throughout Real Whitby. The Me too voucher saga being just one. I think it is time you dealt in facts, so lets have all the info on these corrupt “two hatted” councilors. Who are they would be a start.

    • Nigel Ward Reply

      April 8, 2012 at 12:56 pm

      The answers to many of the questions that you are quite right to raise have been assiduously documented here, including the names of the ten ‘two-hatted’ SBC/NYCC Councillors who have accepted allowances in respect of broadband from both Councils:

      http://www.real-whitby.co.uk/ipads-for-councilors-nigel-ward-to-ms-helen-jesperson-data-management-officer-nycc

      Nearly all of the additionl information (which, as I stated above, Tim Thorne is writing up at this very moment) is information already available in the public domain, for example, FOIA responses, statements of Councillors ‘allowances’ (expenses), rules governing the claiming of allowances, etc. believe me, this information takes a great deal of tracking down.

      But the investigation process invariably starts with a ‘whistle-blower’ of good conscience INSIDE the authority who – because of having no confidence in the internal ‘whistle-blowing’ process (having seen, from the inside, the rigid determination to cover-up any and all improprieties)- comes to Real Whitby with documents in hand.

      Of course, it is up to you whether you choose to call us conspiracy theorists or voluntary workers in the public interest. That will not change the fact that some in the public sector are acting in their own private interests – and not in the service of the public who pays their very lucrative salaries and pensions.

  18. Patricia David Reply

    April 8, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    I have always been very careful when people start on accusations of corruption in public places. I have absolutely no personal evidence of it, therefore I do not know. What I do have personal evidence of however, is ineptitude, incompetence, inefficiency and ignorance of business matters and how business works. So I take your point Peter and I am not sure which interpretation I would prefer!

  19. Bob Turner Reply

    April 8, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    A slightly ‘sideways’ comment on this topic but eventually relevant!…
    I emulated Nigel Ward’s actions in my own area and contacted the 40 local Councillors and the 25 strong Local Authority Strategic Management Team/Heads of Departments to seek their views on David Cameron’s and Eric Pickles various ‘Accountability & Transparency’ comments.
    Three Councillors agreed unequivocally with the comments. The very few remaining Councillors that could be bothered to respond performed their usual ducking and diving act and offered nothing more meaningless political rhetoric. Why? Having been presented with an ideal opportunity to encourage and engage with the electorate (if only from a political/self interest perspective) why did the vast majority feel that they had to be so defensive/negative?
    From personal experiences there appears to be far too cosy a relationship between Local Authority and many Councillors, the latter that are, allegedly, supposed to represent the interests of the voters. It hardly inspired confidence when I asked my County and City Councillors, “Exactly how much influence do you have on decision making at County Hall and the Civic Centre?” County Councillor responds, “None at all really”, and City Councillor comments, “But we do make your opinions known”. Mmm… I see, how VERY encouraging! Perhaps I am unfortunate to be lumbered with weak and ineffectual Councillors but, if their comments are true and I see no reason to disbelieve it based upon their past performances, I do sometimes question precisely why there are (some) Councillors at all.
    The Council’s CEO responded that he “Thought it inappropriate to comment on statements issued by Central Government”. Intentionally or otherwise the CEO completely missed the point that it was immaterial WHO made the comments but it was the content itself that was important.
    In isolation the individual sums for Broadband costs is small but nevertheless important and closer scrutiny of ALL expenditure is essential. It is when these amounts are multiplied many times across the County/Country that the figures must be staggering. Authority has a far too cavalier approach to the spending of tax payer’s money as I experienced in a voluntary role within a nationwide taxpayer funded organisation. I sought to upgrade the computer I used as a volunteer and I agreed to source the necessary funding from OUTSIDE this organisation. I priced a suitable replacement at a little over £400 but was informed by the organisation that I could only purchase the PC through their OWN I.T. department at a cost of £750, “because of existing contracts”! The £750 PC was of a much lower specification than the £400 unit. The £400 PC would have been purchased from the SAME Company that has the ‘existing contracts’ previously referred to! Start multiplying and the waste/unnecessary expenditure must add up to millions in this organisation alone.
    It’s a regrettable fact that authority’s levels of arrogance and financial mismanagement achieves new heights on a daily basis and if chewing at the foundations is the only way to change things then so be it.

  20. Peter Hofschröer Reply

    April 8, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    An eminent barrister commented on the Grandma B affair as follows,

    “If you wrote to me, alleging that I had been guilty of one or more of the offences which you persistently set out in detail, and in demanding my arrest, I would immediately pass that to my lawyers, who would write to you either threatening a writ for libel, if not the writ itself, or going to court to obtain an injunction against you, or bring a criminal action against you for harassment, or whatever else the legal brain could devise. What is astonishing, in the many months in which you have been firing off your emails to police and officials, is that not one of them has responded with a legal threat against you. That tells its own story.“

    This advice applies equally to this current issue, particularly as those accused on this website are involved in other crimes, which they are not denying.

    If Tony Paulson would be kind enough to give me the contact details of a straight cop in North Yorkshire Police (there has to be at least one, right, or am I really, really naive?), then I have an enormous amount of work for him. We have now accumulated enough evidence to arrest every chief officer of North Yorkshire Police, and dozens of other officers,the entire senior management of the City of York Council, the Lord Mayor, other councillors, every member of North Yorkshire Police Authority, to name but a few of the people actively involved in the fraud of an 83 year-old invalid, whose case is, more than likely the smallest tip of a massive iceberg.

    Conspiracy theory? No. Questions are being asked in Parliament. And more are to come.

  21. Peter Hofschröer Reply

    April 8, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    ****** NEWSFLASH ******

    The fraud investigator working on the Grandma B case has just requested the arrest of every member of North Yorkshire Police Authority including our old friend Jane Kenyon for offences including (variously) misconduct in public office, conspiracy to defraud, fraud and false accounting.

    They can get up to LIFE in jail for misconduct in public office alone.

    Couldn’t happen to nicer people, eh?

    And this is just for starters.

  22. Peter Jolliffe Reply

    April 8, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    I am afraid this is all we can ever expect while we continue to live in a monetary system, this is just one of the reasons why I now strongly support changing to the Resource Based Economy being advocated by the Zeitgeist movement and the Venus Project.There could be no corruption of any kind with that system.

  23. Bob Roberts Reply

    April 9, 2012 at 9:59 am

    One has to question why a councillor seeks election in the first instance?
    Perhaps we should have a nomination for the most public spirited councillor OR would that constitute and election? Seriously though just why do these individuals seek this position in public service?
    Is it to fill time in once retired or to maintain a position of authority, or simply serving the community or finally simply just getting on the gravy train? Perhaps we could have categories in columns and the public could vote on just how they perceive individual councillors both SBC and NYC and maybe it will show a trend.

    A simple solution to end the practise of “double dipping” as its known in industrial parlance would be simply for NYC and SBC to communicate and supply a broadband connection to those who do not have one. This would eliminate those who already have a connection from replicating the ISP provision and control the use of the service per se. It would also save a bucket load of money since if for instance SBC/NYC approached Plusnet as a typicl provider for 100 connections they would get a huge discount and probably save £1000s of pounds. End the monetary component and its a problem solved!

  24. Peter Hofschröer Reply

    April 9, 2012 at 10:19 am

    But then the people that would need tó make that decision are the very ones profiting from the current arrangement.

  25. frank Reply

    April 17, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    keep up the good work
    i love to hear of people taking on the big guns especially when it is over the free and easy spending of hard working taxpayers money by greedy people in public office who betray the trust put in them for selfish gain.
    go for the jugular mate ,if you have the proof keep doing what your doing and get them in a court of law and hopefully they will get their just desserts.

    frank.

  26. Peter Hofschröer Reply

    April 21, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    This thread of e-mails I think sums up the situation. I do hope Uncle Joe replies.

    ******

    ——– Original Message ——–
    Subject: CORRUPTION IN NORTH YORKSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL
    Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2012 20:11:21 +0200
    From: Peter Hofschröer
    To: Cllr.Joseph Plant
    CC: cllr.john.weighell@northyorks.gov.uk, “chandrashekhar.krishnan@transparency.org.uk” , Rachel Davies , “robert.barrington@transparency.org.uk”

    Dear Mr Plant,

    Thank you for your reply.

    I note that you are now referring me to the Legal Department of North Yorkshire County Council. As I have not committed any offence, then presumably it is you that has done so. Please do correct me if I am wrong here.

    As your reply has now put us in the situation of considering the relevant legislation, may I remind you of what this is, although I am sure, as a county councillor, you already know.

    Please go to:

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2004/3082/made

    There you will see that the law is as follows:

    “Restrictions on indemnities 6.—

    (1) No indemnity may be provided under this Order in relation to any action by, or failure to act by, any member or officer which—
    (a) constitutes a criminal offence; or
    (b) is the result of fraud, or other deliberate wrongdoing or recklessness on the part of that member or officer.

    (2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) (a), an indemnity may be provided in relation to—
    (a) subject to article 8 below, the defence of any criminal proceedings brought against the officer or member; and
    (b) any civil liability arising as a consequence of any action or failure to act which also constitutes a criminal offence.”

    As fraud is a criminal offence, and it certainly appears you have committed a criminal offence here, then the Legal Department of North Yorkshire County Council is not the office to which this matter should be referred. May I advise you instead to contact North Yorkshire Police and make a full confession? I am sure that Chief Constable Grahame Maxwell will be only too pleased to advise you on how to deal with fraudulent expanse accounting. He does seem to have a considerable amount of experience in such matters.

    Please note that this thread of e-mails is available in the public domain on:

    http://www.real-whitby.co.uk/letter-county-and-borough-councilors-claiming-twice-for-broadband-expenses

    Please confirm you have made a full confession.

    Yours sincerely,
    Peter Hofschröer

    On 21/04/2012 15:02, Cllr.Joseph Plant wrote:
    > Dear Mr Hofschroer
    > I have nothing to add to what I have already said.
    > If you want confirmation/clarification of what I have said on this then please write to the legal department at North Yorkshire County Council
    > Regards
    > Joe Plant
    > Cllr Joe Plant
    >
    > Whitby West Cliff Ward
    >
    > St Fillans
    >
    > White Point Avenue
    >
    > Whitby
    >
    > YO21 3JG
    >
    > t: 01947 821159 m: 07780 883507
    >
    > http://www.scarborough.gov.uk
    >
    >
    > From: Peter Hofschröer
    > Sent: 18 April 2012 17:44
    > To: Cllr.Joseph Plant
    > Subject: Re: Broadband Arrangements
    >
    > Dear Cllr Plant,
    >
    > May I trouble you for a reply here?
    >
    > If I do not hear from you within seven days, then I will take it as read that you do not intend to return one of your claims for a broadband connection.
    >
    > Yours sincerely,
    > Peter Hofschröer
    >
    >
    >
    > On 12/04/2012 06:44, Peter Hofschröer wrote:
    >> Dear Cllr Plant,
    >>
    >> Thank you for your reply.
    >>
    >> Having considered it in the light of the statement of NYCC’s Paul Atkinson, I would like to clarify the position, as I see it.
    >>
    >> 1. You have stated that you are in receipt of NYCC’s standard Basic Allowance.
    >> 2. Paul Atkinson has confirmed that the Basic Allowance includes an allowance for Broadband connection fees.
    >> 3. Paul Atkinson has confirmed that members were informed that they may renounce, in writing, “any part” of the Basic Allowance, (see Section 6 of the Members’ Allowance Scheme).
    >> 4. You did not elect to renounce “any part” of the Basic Allowance. It follows, therefore, that you have claimed it (and received it) in full, and including the unspecified Broadband element.
    >> 5. Therefore, there is no disputation over the fact that you have received money for Broadband connection fees from NYCC..
    >> 6. You also concede that you have claimed (and received) both equipment and the Broadband allowance from SBC.
    >>
    >> Is it not the case, then, that you have accepted expense allowances from both NYCC and SBC in respect of your Broadband connection fees?
    >>
    >> This may be true of many Councillors, both of SBC and the other District/City Councils throughout the County. In my view, it is inappropriate for Councillors to claim and receive money from the public purse TWICE for the same item of expenditure.
    >>
    >> Is it your intention to return at least one of your Broadband allowances?
    >>
    >> Yours sincerely,
    >> Peter Hofschröäer
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> On 11/04/2012 12:33, Cllr.Joseph Plant wrote:
    >>> Dear Mr Hofschroer.
    >>> Thank you for your email. I have no problem in answering your question.
    >>> In the interest of transparency I have copied the Whitby Gazette into the reply to your question.
    >>> The County Council’s Members Allowances Scheme pays a single Basic Allowance for my role as a Member of the County Council. Whilst there is an expectation linked to that allowance that I make available a broadband connection, there is no specific element included in that allowance for the cost of broadband so I do not claim, as such, an amount for broadband from the County Council. The County Council also has a scheme to make available equipment to Members to carry out their role. Because I already have equipment and allowance made available by the Borough Council, I have not taken advantage of the County Council scheme and do not have any equipment from the County Council.
    >>> I could have chosen to take advantage of the County Council Scheme, but It would have meant, another laptop/printer and a new telephone line.
    >>> I made the decision not to, as I did not think it was acceptable to the tax payer to do so.
    >>> Kind Regards
    >>> Cllr Joe Plant
    >>>
    >>> Whitby West Cliff Ward
    >>>
    >>> St Fillans
    >>>
    >>> White Point Avenue
    >>>
    >>> Whitby
    >>>
    >>> YO21 3JG
    >>>
    >>> t: 01947 821159 m: 07780 883507
    >>>
    >>> http://www.scarborough.gov.uk
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> From: Peter Hofschröer
    >>> Sent: 10 April 2012 20:09
    >>> To: Cllr.Andrew Backhouse; Cllr.John Blackburn; Cllr.Bill Chatt; Cllr.Mike Cockerill; Cllr.David Jeffels; Cllr.Janet Jefferson; Cllr.Penny Marsden; Cllr.Joseph Plant; Cllr.Peter Popple; Cllr.Brian Simpson
    >>> Subject: Broadband Arrangements
    >>>
    >>> Dear Cllrs Backhouse, Blackburn, Chatt, Cockerill, Jeffels, Jefferson, Marsden, Plant, Popple and Simpson,
    >>>
    >>> You may be aware that there is a public debate going on as to whether certain councillors in North Yorkshire, who sit on various other authorities such as NYCC and NYPA are “double-dipping” their expense claims.
    >>>
    >>> As I am sure none of you have got anything to hide and in the interests of transparency, please would you be so good as to declare your broadband arrangements. For clarity, do you, as Councillors for both SBC and NYCC, maintain two separate telephone lines with two separate (and separately billed) broadband facilities – or do you conduct all your Council ITC activities using one and the same broadband facility?
    >>>
    >>> Thank you.
    >>>
    >>> Yours sincerely,
    >>> Peter Hofschröer


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