Payback Time for Cllr David Jeffels



Payback Time for Cllr David Jeffels

  • TIM THORNE reports on a small step forward in the up-hill struggle to claw back the taxpayers’ money from elected members who have taken more than their fair share of Allowances and/or Expenses. Today; County Councillor DAVID JEFFELS – tomorrow; who know how many more?

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Real Whitby readers may remember a recent article about Conservative Councillors claiming for travel to attend Conservative Group Meetings at County Hall, North Yorkshire County Council’s (NYCC) headquarters in Northallerton.

From the Freedom of Information (FOI) data gathered – the mileage sheets of  County Councillor David Jeffels (Seamer & Derwent Valley Ward) – we established that Conservative County Councillors from North Yorkshire attended quarterly ‘Conservative Group’ meetings at County Hall, with the traveling costs picked up by the taxpayer.

Further scrutiny of the mileage sheets revealed that County Councillor David Jeffels also attended a ‘Conservative Away Day’ meeting on the 17th October 2011 at the ‘Leeming Bar Hotel’ and claimed traveling costs for attending that meeting, too.

The ‘Leeming Bar Hotel’ is thought to be the Lodge@LeemingBar, which are the business premises of prominent Conservative County Councillor Carl Les, chair of the North Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel. A recent Real Whitby article, Impossible Journeys, raised a few questions about the mileage claims of Cllr Les.

Queries were raised with NYCC, asking why the taxpayer was picking up the cost for travel to political group meetings. NYCC’s response was that the Independent Remuneration Panel will be reviewing the practice of the County Council funding travel to political group meetings this autumn.

NYCC also indicated that they would be seeking to recoup the cost of travel to the ‘Conservative Away Day’ meeting at the ‘Leeming Bar Hotel’ from County Councillor David Jeffels.

  • “So far as the Away Day at the Leeming Bar Hotel is concerned Councillor Jeffels points out that there was no indication at that time that such meetings would not qualify for mileage claims.  However, as the position has now been clarified those expenses are to be recouped.”

County Councillor Jeffels was asked to comment about the mileage repayment and made the following statement:

  • “The claim was made in October 2011 in good faith. However, changes were made to the claimants system by the council in May 2013, and I have agreed that the sum paid in 2011 should be repaid to NYCC and this has been done.”

It would be interesting to know how many current Conservative County Councillors attended the meeting at the ‘Leeming Bar Hotel’ and claimed for travel. I wonder if they are also in the process of repaying the traveling costs?

In 2012, County Councillor David Jeffels was investigated by NYCC and Scarborough Borough Council (SBC) regarding his IT/Broadband expenses, which came to be known as the Double-Dipping saga. The investigation cleared County Councillor David Jeffels of any impropriety, but it was noted by a member of the Standards Committee that the wording of County Councillor David Jeffels’ statement was virtually identical to that of other County Councillors investigated, which raised other questions . . .

Other NYCC Articles:

County Council, Collusion, Cover Ups and Coincidences?

NYCC Election Preview – County Councillor David Jeffels

NYCC Funding Conservative Party Jollies?

NYCC Out Of Control?

Yorkshire Councils Pipped For National Award

Police Chief’s Impossible Journeys

NYCC Car Allowances – Nice Work If You Can Get It!

CLLR_DAVID_JEFFELS

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5 Responses to "Payback Time for Cllr David Jeffels"

  1. David Brierley  August 25, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    The trouble with Conservative minded individuals is, they believe themselves to be superior beings in our human species, that they “deserve” a bigger piece of the pie… so they take it anyway. They cannot recognise their habitual greed for more and more of what does not belong to them as thievery with intent to illegaly possess… they see their corrupt political practices as “business opportunities”, patting themselves on the back for achieving financial gain through their political membership in the “Masonic Lodge”.

    Reply
  2. Nigel Ward  August 26, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    It is interesting to note that when Tim Thorne uncovered the matter of the cribbed defence statements in the Double-Dipping investigations last October (2012), County Councillor David JEFFELS, along with Cllrs Bill CHATT, Brian SIMPSON, Janet JEFFERSON, Joe PLANT, Mike COCKERILL, Penny MARSDEN, Peter POPPLE, Andy BACKHOUSE and John BLACKBURN all came up with the same pettyfogging excuse – the rules weren’t clear or clearly understood. Right . . .

    By now, these names are becoming well known to readers, because they seem to crop up again and again, in one corruption exposé after another – be it “Me Too!”, Potash, Stamps or . . . (well, let me not spoil the next one).

    One is left with the impression that there is a certain type of Councillor who assiduouly examines the regulations, trawling for ‘grey areas’ where money can be acquired with little risk of sanctions, even if caught out.

    They are now establishing a ‘pattern of behaviour’.

    What about the Council inititating a “three strikes and you’re out!” policy? In the absence of the “zero tolerance” policy applied to ordinary members of the public, that is?

    Reply
  3. David Brown  August 26, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    See http://www.real-whitby.co.uk/county-council-collusion-cover-ups-and-coincidences

    Reading the councillors’ statements in Mr Thorne’s article of last Oct (link above), two points sprang to mind.

    1) Councillor Jeffels is alone in admitting that “I am able to access emails sent by NYCC on my SBC computer.” What he is saying is that he had no need to draw any broadband allowance from NYCC at all, but did so anyway. He wanted the money. How dare he?

    2) The second point of interest is that back then, Mr Thorne’s article attracted only 66 Facebook thumbs-ups. Today’s article has well over a thousand. That tells us that when the public actually get to find out about councillors milking the system they support its exposure with a passion, just as they did with the MP’s a few years ago.

    Keep up the good work, Mr Thorne,

    Reply
  4. jgharston  August 28, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    When I was a councillor I got a bus pass (declared on my tax return as “payment in kind”). If I needed to travel outside the district council officers would arrange bus or train tickets, or a minibus if a group of us were going somewhere.

    Admittedly, though, I have no idea how I’d get from Whitby to Northallerton by bus, and it would chop out a significant chunk of the day travelling.

    Reply
  5. Peter Hofschröer  August 29, 2013 at 7:58 am

    One wonders if Carl Les provided the attendees of the ‘Conservative Away Day’ with hospitality for free or if that was added to one of more of his expense claims?

    And did Carl Les claim mileage for attending the meeting at his own premises?

    If so, how many claims did he make?

    Reply

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