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NYCC Election Preview – Cllr Peter POPPLE

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NYCC Election Preview – Cllr Peter POPPLE

The Public Record – County Councillor Peter – Double Dipper

Double dipping

n.

- The practice of receiving compensation, benefits, etc, from two or more sources in a way regarded as unethical, as from a government pension and a government job.

Surely, the term is applicable to the act of accepting two separate Allowances (‘compensation, benefits, etc’), from two distinct ‘sources’ (NYCC and SBC), in respect of the one single expenditure arising from the fee contingent upon a single Broadband connection?

PeterP_mugshot

 

 

  • County Councillor Peter now stands as an Independent member after representing the Labour Party in previous elections
  • County Councillor Peter is a member of North Yorkshire County Council
  • County Councillor Peter sits on the NYCC Standards Committee
  • Member of Scarborough Borough Council
  • County Councillor Peter sits on the SBC Standards Committee
  • County Councillor Peter received £500+ per annum from NYCC for IT/Broadband
  • County Councillor Peter also received between £245 & £54.96 per annum over the years from SBC for IT/Broadband
  • County Councillor Peter has refused to pay back the excess money
  • County Councillor Peter believes he is fully entitled to receive two lots of IT/Broadband Allowances when he only pays out a fraction of that
  • County Councillor Peter attended one or more NYCC Council meetings where the IT/Broadband Allowance was discussed, so cannot claim to be unaware of it
  • County Councillor Peter last elected on 04/06/2009 and sits in the Northstead division
  • County Councillor Peter standing in forthcoming elections in Northstead ward
  • County Councillor Peter resigned the Chairship of the (pilot) Whitby Harbour Board
  • County Councillor Peter reported The Scarborough News to the Press Complaints Commission over the accurate reporting of the Broadband Allowance

All of the double-dipping NYCC/SBC Councillors were exonerated by the Standards Committees, the only dissenting voice being that of SBC Councillor Colin CHALLEN, who stated (on the Scarbrorough and Whitby Labour Party website):

“Another issue which emerged out of this hearing was that a County Council official appears to have provided at least four of the eight members with a paragraph long statement which those members then used in response to the County Council’s own investigating officer’s inquiries. This would be like a detective providing you with the answer to his own questions, and clearly this has muddied the essential independence of the officer – councillor relationship. It is a matter which warrants further investigation.”

Councillor Colin CHALLEN also stated:

“The simple solution would have been for the Committee to suggest to the members involved that if they thought that the identifiable sums paid (I won’t go into the arcane details of how the sum is calculated and paid) were excessive, then the difference could be repaid.”

Former West Yorkshire Police Detective Inspector Cedric CHRISTIE of the WYP Major Fraud Division has expressed the following opinion:

“Claiming twice for something like broadband is just the same as claiming mileage from two different authorities for the same journey. If I was investigating these circumstances I would consider a case of fraud by false representation under Section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006.”

SUTHERLAND_doubledipper1

 

Scarborough News – 4th October 2012

“Councillor’s Censure Fails”

Councillor Peter reported the newspaper (SN) to the Press Complaints commission describing the paper as ‘scurrilous’, ‘irresponsible’ and linked it to the Leveson inquiry which is looking into press standards. But the article was in fact accurate and the councillor withdrew his complaint after the newspaper strongly defended its position.

It had revealed that he was one of a number of councillors being asked to explain allowances claimed for internet usage.

“This complaint was an attempt by a councillor to disrupt the rightful, proper and legitimate duty of a newspaper to publish a bona fide report which was quite clearly in the public interest”, editor Ed Asquith informed the Commission.

Cllr had already ignored three opportunities to comment to the newspaper.

The comments section of this article is intended to be a public record of the work, good or bad, that this Councillor has done on behalf of the public. Please post only factual comments relating to Cllr Peter ’s past conduct so the public can judge if he is worth re-electing.

Swing-Bridge Failure

Other Double-Dipping Articles:

Local Councilors Broadband Expense Claims By Tim Thorne

‘Double Dipping’ – An Update by Tim Thorne

Yorkshire Councils Pipped For National Award

NYCC IT/Broadband Allowances abuse

37_double_dippers

 

[NW & TT]

Posted by on April 14, 2013. Filed under Featured,News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

31 Responses to NYCC Election Preview – Cllr Peter POPPLE


  1. Jonathon Chapman Reply

    April 14, 2013 at 10:46 am

    The only thing missing from your list is that Councillor Popple (and others) were absolved of any wrongdoing by an enquiry.

    http://goo.gl/Zl0mc

    • Tim Thorne Reply

      April 16, 2013 at 10:33 pm

      “The only thing missing from your list is that Councillor Popple (and others) were absolved of any wrongdoing by an enquiry.”

      The inquiry was obviously poorly conducted. Cllr Popple’s letter to the investigating officer indicated he never knew about the IT/Broadband Allowance payment that was part of his basic allowance.

      ‘I was elected in 2009, therefore I did not know of this payment.’

      Cllr Popple attended a full County Council meeting in December 2009 where the Allowance payment was discussed and voted upon by the members:

      https://www3.northyorks.gov.uk/n2cabinet_cc/minutes_/20091216minutes/20091216minutes.pdf

      Clearly, his statement is at odds with the facts.

      • Jonathon Chapman Reply

        April 17, 2013 at 9:28 am

        “Clearly, his statement is at odds with the facts.”
        =====
        Based on the minutes you linked to, the only matter relating to the ICT (Information & Communications Technology) allowance which he should have known is that it no longer existed as a separate allowance, having been rolled into the Basic Allowance.

        While he might have guessed that the ICT allowance included broadband, the scope of ICT wasn’t discussed. Nor was the amount of the ICT allowance quantified at the meeting, either in its former standalone state or within the new Basic Allowance. This is apparent from the Report of the Independent Panel on Members Remuneration which was circulated at the meeting:
        https://www3.northyorks.gov.uk/n2cabinet_cc/reports_/20091216_/7reportoftheind/7reportoftheind.pdf

        (In fact the previous year’s report indicates that the ICT allowance had been £222 when it was rolled into the Basic Allowance.)

        However, the report does reiterate in 8.6 the reasoning behind the consolidation of the ICT allowance into the Basic Allowance:

        “Part of our reasoning was that the use of ICT was no longer something that could be seen as optional, but had become an important part of the approach that Councillor’s (sic) should take in communicating with the Council and with their constituents.”

        So by this time we appear to have an allowance which is no longer itemised and nor is it optional. Councillors are told that they must receive it as part of their overall Basic Allowance.

        Thus it seems to me that this meeting provides no evidence that a new councillor must have been made aware of the quantum or the scope of the former ICT allowance.

        • Tim Thorne Reply

          April 17, 2013 at 5:21 pm

          “So by this time we appear to have an allowance which is no longer itemised and nor is it optional.”

          Awful research, yet again. Why don’t comment on an article you know plenty about? I believe we’ve got one on hot air somewhere…

  2. rod mathers Reply

    April 14, 2013 at 11:55 am

    You really should inform yourself before posting, JC.

    http://www.labour4scarboroughandwhitby.net/?p=205

    “Another issue which emerged out of this hearing was that a County Council official appears to have provided at least four of the eight members with a paragraph long statement which those members then used in response to the County Council’s own investigating officer’s inquiries. This would be like a detective providing you with the answer to his own questions, and clearly this has muddied the essential independence of the officer – councillor relationship. It is a matter which warrants further investigation.”

    He (and others) were absolved in a very suspicious way. That will not help them in a court of law. I have a barrister’s word for that.

    • Jonathon Chapman Reply

      April 14, 2013 at 8:39 pm

      It would be a mistake to believe Tim Thorne’s assertion that I don’t do my research. I do my research, and I bite.

      Meanwhile, notwithstanding the opinion of any or all barristers, these councillors are not guilty of any wrongdoing.

      Not much point in having courts if you judges and juries can reach a verdict without them.

      • Tim Thorne Reply

        April 14, 2013 at 10:06 pm

        “Not much point in having courts if you judges and juries can reach a verdict without them.”

        I do remember MPs complaining bitterly that members of the public had reached an unfair verdict over their expenses. The court of public opinion is clearly very powerful.

  3. admin Reply

    April 14, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Nigel, the over use of bold makes the article very uneasy on the eye, you will loose people as soon as they look at it. Keep it simple, dont use bold everywhere and dont use all capitals. It looks dreadful and has been proven to loose the reader before they even start.

  4. Jonathon Chapman Reply

    April 14, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    Former West Yorkshire Police Detective Inspector Cedric CHRISTIE of the WYP Major Fraud Division got it wrong, didn’t he?

    As I understand it, none of these councillors “claimed” this allowance — they were all paid automatically.

    • rod mathers Reply

      April 15, 2013 at 7:20 am

      Why not read before commenting? The Fraud Act recognises crimes of omission and commission. The dippers know about having been overpaid and have done nothing to repay the overpayment. That is illegal. If you find that acceptable you are as bad as they are. I bet you hold on to overpaid change at the checkout, don’t you? And posting the same drivel again and again is obsessive trolling. Get a life, Agent ‘Chapman’…

      • Jonathon Chapman Reply

        April 15, 2013 at 9:01 am

        As I understand it, these councillors received automatic IT/broadband payments from two pots because they were doing two jobs. It would be perfectly logical if their actual expenditure on IT/broadband increased by virtue of doing two jobs rather than one.

        I gather that those councillors whose actual outlay was covered by one payment chose not to accept the second payment.

        • rod mathers Reply

          April 15, 2013 at 9:44 am

          You really should go and read all the double-dipping reports. Then you would’nt post such inaccurate remarks. These people have a single connection, a single expenditure. They have received reimbursemnt from two separate sources for that single expenditure. In your enthusiasm to absolve them you have made the very basic error of drawing attention to the very simple underlying principle – it is wrong to accept reimbursemnet twice for a single outlay. Having been made aware of their alleged ‘oversight’, they have refused to pay back the overpayment. Simple analogy: Go to an ATM. Enter £10 for withdrawal. The ATM gives you £20, but only debits your account for £10. If you do not return the £10 overpayment money, you are a thief. Being a Councillor does not absolve you from that accusation. If anything, it makes it worse because Councillors are in a position of holding the public trust. Read the articles.

          • Jonathon Chapman Reply

            April 15, 2013 at 12:19 pm

            I have read a couple of local newspaper articles as well as much of the stuff published on RW but if there is a newspaper report somewhere (not here) that you think would give me a better understanding, I would be pleased to discover it.

            I think it would be useful to establish beyond doubt what this payment covers as it clearly covers more than a simple broadband connection.

            And it would be useful to compare the duties of a borough councillor with those of a county councillor in order to establish beyond doubt what additional duties are undertaken as a consequence of serving on both councils.

            • Andrea Smith Reply

              April 15, 2013 at 12:30 pm

              If your not happy with this site as a source of information, why not go to the horses mouth ? speak to both councils, speak to all the people alleged of double dipping and then write it all up and publish ? Maybe the admin would let you publish here or on thier facebook page, if they dont then you could set up a free blog and publish there. Simply rubbishing every story based on your dislike of the site just makes you look a bit sad. Get stuck in and dig out the evidence. Im sure the double dippers will be glad of your support.

            • James Miller Reply

              April 15, 2013 at 3:55 pm

              I doubt that even a sledge hammer on your cranium would give you a better understanding. Elsewhere on this site I pointed out that ‘receiving’ is what is at issue, not ‘claiming’. In law if you receive some payment to which you are not entitled and do not return it then you are guilty of a misdemeanor. Because a couple of (not very good) lawyers working for the council have said that it is legal because it is paid automatically does not actually make it legal. That can only be tested in a court of law, not in a bureaucrat’s office. Unfortunately, no anti-corruption millionaires are available to test it. According to both SBC and NYCC this payment is to cover the basic broadband connection only, they do get other expenses you know to cover other things. What else is it to cover please? You seem to have some quite original ideas there.

              • Jonathon Chapman Reply

                April 16, 2013 at 8:19 am

                “According to both SBC and NYCC this payment is to cover the basic broadband connection only”
                =====
                That’s not what I read in the paper, but maybe the reporter got it wrong. If the payment were intended to cover basic broadband only, it would indeed put a different complexion on it. Is there confirmation somewhere?
                 
                “What else is it to cover please?”
                =====
                The “IT’ element of it could cover a multitude of possible expenses including computer maintenance, website design and maintenance, bulk e-mailing services, internal and exterior ‘phone line repairs and maintenance, router repairs, capital costs such as routers, socket faceplates, etc, installation and rental of a second/dedicated ‘phone line, subscriptions to internet services/software such as sp*m detection, virus cleaning, video-conferencing, file storage, etc, insurance and so on…

                • Jonathon Chapman Reply

                  April 16, 2013 at 8:22 am

                  Glenn, fyi I seem to have discovered that a comment which includes the word “sp*m” gets hoovered up by your filtering system and deposited in your trash instead of displaying.

                • James Miller Reply

                  April 17, 2013 at 6:17 pm

                  Of all the twaddle I’ve read, this is the tops.

                  Double dippers are effectively receiving £750 p.a. for broadband expenses. A top quality broadband connection complete with line and calls costs just under £30 per calendar month (I know because that’s what it costs me) which is £350 per year. That gives them £400 p.a. for domain hosting, computer repairs (I’ll ignore line repairs because 99% are outside the premises and are the responsibility of BTW. Website design? The few councillors who actually have their own websites look like they designed them themselves so a book on basic HTML (once only payment) about £10. Router repairs? Most ISPs provide free routers so no charge, just phone for a new one. They are so cheap nowadays anyway that nobody would bother repairing one. Bin job and £20 retail for a new on if the ISP doesn’t provide one. Bulk emailing services? why the blazes should a local councillor need a £20 p.a. bulk emailing service. Sp*m filter, free under a GNU licence, likewise virus detection, AVG or Avast are excellent and free and there are others. Video conferencing? The mind boggles but if they do need it, which I doubt, buy a webcam for a tenner and go through Facebook. Once again you are talking out of a part of your anatomy that is not on your face. I reckon that, even in a worst case scenario, they would have about £350 p.a. to play with, enough to buy a new computer every year.

                  I know a couple of good shrinks who are very reasonable with prices if you ever want to join the real world.

                  • Jonathon Chapman Reply

                    April 18, 2013 at 5:15 pm

                    Being rude doesn’t help your case. It just makes you sound rattled.

                    I have no idea what specific expenses this IT & Broadband allowance is designed to cover – and I assume you don’t know either. It would be a good starting point for the discussion. But without that knowledge it is very easy to speculate how ‘IT’ expenses of over £750pa could be incurred.

                    My very basic broadband service from a good-quality ISP up North costs me £420pa – and they don’t give me a free router £40 a pop so let’s say £20pa). I know there are cheap services but when I tried them, they were neither efficient nor reliable.

                    Domain name and web hosting can easily cost £30pa and web design is whatever it costs but assuming these councillors aren’t capable or don’t have the time to do it, £100pa would be a modest charge by a third party for creating and updating the website. This wouldn’t include photography or graphic design, for which a further £100pa would be cheap.

                    Now let’s assume that our Councillors are of a certain age or disposition that leaves them occasionally bewildered by computers and the internet – an obvious handicap since they are under instructions to use these tools to communicate. So they have to have an IT man come and straighten them out when systems crash or the internet stops working. Even if he is only needed 3 times a year, there goes £150 (plumbers get more round here).

                    So, we’re up to £820pa now and we’ve only just begun.

                    Now, do our chaps have some long documents, articles, emails to write? At the speed that most people of a certain age can type, it would be unreasonable to spend many ‘executive’ hours on an administrative task so perhaps they pay someone to do a couple of hours’ text inputting for them, say once a week – at, say £10 per hour or £1,000pa.

                    That would take us up to £1,820pa. But there are dozens of additional expenses which might be incurred under this heading. I could go on but we’re shooting in the dark, aren’t we?

                    If you can find out exactly what this expenditure allowance covers, or used to cover when it was a standalone item, we can talk more sensibly. It sounds like Cllr Challen might be able to give you a steer.

                    • James Miller

                      April 19, 2013 at 11:50 am

                      I don’t think it matters what the allowance is to cover, it is virtually impossible to spend £750 p.a. on a web connection even if you are a moron. But if your figures are right then anybody who isn’t double dipping is really being ripped off, particularly by SBC who only pay them £250 p.a.

                      You are being ripped off by your ISP at £420 p.m. I used to be with fast.co.uk, who are acclaimed as the best for businesses. £240 p.a. I am now retired (but not as stupid as you seem to think our retirement age councillors are) and am with eclipse.co.uk, £29 per month including telephony services including calls and free router if I had wanted it, but I didn’t because I prefer my own because I still have a network and can interface all my machines to and through it. My speeds are always at least 13 mbps even late evenings.

                      Domain names and hosting is at least £30 p.a. Who are you getting it from? It is possible to get a domain name for less than £10 p.a. unless you want a dot com. That includes directing to your I.P. Are you mixing up our local councillors with the Secretary General of the U.N. perhaps. Hosting, my ISP gives me a couple of gigs free webspace, sufficient even for BS to blow his trumpet, and if you need more then you can get it from the USA for 2 bucks p.m. for 10 gigs, which is about the size of the Houses of Parliament’s total website. (Just in case you don’t know, it is the world wide web and it doesn’t matter a damn where your site is hosted.) You can even host it yourself, with free software like Samba Server, from your own machine if it is on 24/7. If it isn’t then hosting is at most going to cost £18 p.a. So your £30 p.a. min is actually a max. Not many local Councillors have or need a web site at all, let alone your ‘designed for ICI’ one. The political party members would normally share their local party’s. So again, twaddle.

                      Crashes that need an engineer? At least 3 times a year? Hahahaha. I am of the age and disposition of which you speak and have been running an on-line network for fun for 10 years and have only had one serious crash. I took the ‘phone a friend’ option to get it going again.

                      Councillors of any ilk are not given expenses to employ secretaries. They volunteer to do that for themselves when they stand for election.

                      I do agree though that you want shooting in the dark (or the light, most people wouldn’t be fussy). My therapist idea is probably less drastic though. Get real. Of course if you work in PR (spinning) then all you need to do is to learn that if you are going to spin, then make sure more than 2% of your public are going to believe it. And please stop saying that all our older councillors are thick.

                  • Tim Thorne Reply

                    April 19, 2013 at 12:00 pm

                    “I don’t think it matters what the allowance is to cover, it is virtually impossible to spend £750 p.a. on a web connection even if you are a moron.”

                    If you don’t have xDSL access and you rely on a dongle, then I think it would be possible.

                    • James Miller

                      April 19, 2013 at 6:27 pm

                      Do you mean we have councillors without access to a land-line? If so, I think you are right. Have any of the double dippers not got access to a land line Tim? Even the occasional one who lives miles from anywhere must have access to one a land line. If not, why are they councillors. Do their constituents have to phone them via Telstar? Very expensive for them.

                  • Tim Thorne Reply

                    April 20, 2013 at 11:08 am

                    The limit for ADSL is around 6km IIRC, depending on line quality. Voice works at longer distances, so it is possible to have a landline that is clear as a bell but no ADSL.

  5. Tim Thorne Reply

    April 14, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    “As I understand it, none of these councillors “claimed” this allowance — they were all paid automatically.”

    Some Councillors specifically requested that they NOT be automatically be paid the IT/Broadband Allowance for the Borough Council as they were receiving the IT/Broadband Allowance from the County Council. Their wishes were granted.

  6. James Miller Reply

    May 3, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Well Tim, there goes another one. It appears that the voters of Northstead did not accept your suggestion that P.P. was outside the land-line area for Broadband. 2 down.

    • Tim Thorne Reply

      May 3, 2013 at 12:11 pm

      Never suggested that was Peter Popple, even though we did discuss it here. I’ll give you a clue. I didn’t put an article in about her because I thought there was some doubt. Or two clues as the case may be.

      • James Miller Reply

        May 3, 2013 at 4:06 pm

        There goes my sarcasm again. Won’t really apologise because I am slightly manic with the Scarborough town results where 2 of my least favourite county councillors, P.P. and B. Simpleton, have got their first electoral lesson in morality. Manic delight makes me have senior moments. I think I called Frank Chalmers ‘Frank Charmless’ on one page for which I apologise profusely. That is a silly game which a neighbour and I play, giving people nicknames based on their real names. Mind you, in some ex County Councillors cases the nicks are justified. Lol. Pity the voters of Whitby and Castle Division seem to be rather more set in their ways than those of Eastfield and Northstead.

  7. Nigel Ward Reply

    May 4, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    SBC Councillor and Portfolio Holder Peter POPPLE was NOT re-elected to North Yorkshire County Council.

    No public confidence in the Portfolio-Holder.

  8. Tim Thorne Reply

    May 4, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    Peter Popple isn’t a member of the Cabinet, so he isn’t a portfolio holder.

    • Real Whitby Reply

      May 5, 2013 at 7:52 am

      You are quite right, Tim. We stand corrected.

      But let’s see what the Uncle Tom’s Cabinet re-shuffle looks like. (I hope mistakenly describing someone as a Portfolio-Holder is not defamatory).

  9. Real Whitby Webmaster Reply

    May 5, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Please dont use the Real Whitby username to comment. Comment as yourself under your own names please. Saves confusion if ever the police or courts wants to know who has said what. Obviosuly your identifiable by an ip but lets not confuse things.


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