Police Chief’s “Impossible Journeys”

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Police Chief’s “Impossible Journeys”

Police Chief’s  “Impossible Journeys”

  • an ‘In My View’ article by Nigel Ward, reporting on an extraordinarily penny-pinching pecuniary advantage obtained by one who, perhaps above all others, should be (and be seen to be) ‘whiter than white’.




“Les Misér(ables)”


The Merriam-Webster Dictionary offers an interesting definition of the word ‘miser’:

Miser. n.

–          a mean grasping person; especially: one who is extremely stingy with money.

It also offers a number of synonyms (some of them colloquial and mainly pejorative):

–          cheapskate, churl, hunks, niggard, penny-pincher, piker, scrooge, skinflint, tightwad.

I mention this because of its simplicity of language, which contrasts with the Wikipedia entry for the same word, and omits an important element:


–          A miser is a person who is reluctant to spend, sometimes to the point of forgoing even basic comforts and some necessities, in order to hoard money or other possessions. Although the word is sometimes used loosely to characterise anyone who is mean with their money, if such behaviour is not accompanied by taking delight in what is saved, it is not properly miserly.

I have highlighted that last part because it offers an insight into the extraordinary conduct of the subject of this article – County Councillor Carl LES.

County Councillor Carl LES is a man of considerable substance; aside from his business interests – a millionaire, he owns the Leeming Bar Services on the A1(M) – he also holds a number of key positions in local government.

County Councillor Carl LES is the Deputy Leader of North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) and its Executive Member for Central Financial Services, Assets, IT and Procurement. He is also the Chief Officer of the Appointments and Disciplinary Committee.

County Councillor Carl LES is the Chair of the North Yorkshire Police & Crime Panel (NYP&CP) – having previously ‘served’ as a member of the now-defunct North Yorkshire Police Authority (NYPA).

It is interesting to note that County Councillor Carl LES’s positions relate to financial and moral probity at the highest level in North Yorkshire. Let us keep that in mind.

And mindful (as we try always to be) of Lord Nolan’s Principles of Public Life – not least, the requirement of Leadership – the public must feel secure in its trust of a man of County Councillor Carl LES’s exalted status; he must be ‘whiter than white’ – a phrase that seems to have lost its currency in these days of extremist political correctness. It was a phrase in common usage before it fell foul of those who make an issue out of skin pigmentation. Here is the FreeDictionary definition of the phrase:

whiter than white. idiom.

someone who is whiter than white is completely good and honest and never does anything bad; “I never was convinced by the whiter than white image of her portrayed in the press”.

That Seventh Nolan Principle, by the way, reads:


–          Holders of public office should exhibit the [Nolan] Principles in their own behaviour. They should actively promote and robustly support the Principles and be willing to challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs.

County Councillor Carl LES is expected to be at the pinnacle of probity, exuding integrity from every pore.

So what are we to think when a careful scrutiny of the Public Record  (e.g. Expenses Claims Forms) of anyone in public life – no less so in the case of one whose specific remit is financial and legal probity – shows a consistent pattern of penny-pinching exploitation of the Expenses Schemes of two separate Authorities?

According to the Public Record (as provided under terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000), in the financial year 2010/11 (and for some years before and after), County Councillor Carl LES was eligible to claim Travel Expenses from NYCC and from the NYPA.

It is the duty of the Monitoring Officers of those Authorities to ensure that claims are genuine – or at least plausible.

An inspection of County Councillor Carl LES’s 2010/11 Mileage Claim Forms for NYCC and the NYPA suggests that the two Monitoring Officers (Carole DUNN for NYCC, and Jeremy HOLDERNESS for the NYPA) have been less than duly diligent. Nor would they appear to have ever considered the prudence of conferring with one another, to ensure that their respective Claims Forms were factually compatible.

For both Authorities, the Mileage Claim Forms are laid out in such a way as to require the logging of individual journeys, giving such details as start place and time, destination, return time and overall mileage, and the signature of the claimant.

Obviously, a simple comparison of the NYCC and NYPA Mileage Claim Forms must reveal any questionable claim worthy of closer inspection.

It does.

For example, it is not physically possible for County Councillor Carl LES, on behalf of the NYPA, to have left his home at Leeming Bar at 1:15pm to attend a Hambleton CSP Meeting at Stonecross, returning to Leeming Bar at 4:15pm (as he has claimed for 22nd July 2010), yet also, this time on behalf of NYCC, have left his home at Leeming Bar at 2:30pm (one hour and forty-five minutes before he got back from his NYPA trip to Stonecross) to attend an ED Board Meeting at County Hall, thence returning to Leeming Bar at 4:00pm – 15minutes before he claims to have returned from his earlier excursion.

Not without meeting himself coming back!

This could (just) plausibly be attributable to clerical error on the part of County Councillor Carl LES, were it not for the fact that his 2010/11 Mileage Claim Forms for NYCC and the NYPA exhibit a pattern of such ‘impossible journeys’ running into double figures.

On another occasion (23rd September 2010), County Councillor Carl LES claims to have travelled from Leeming Bar to Stonecross, and then back to Leeming Bar, between 1:30pm and 5:00pm, for an NYPA Meeting – only to then set off again back to Stonecross for another NYCC Meeting at 4:00pm – an hour before he claims to have arrived home from his earlier excursion – before returning to Leeming Bar at 6:00pm. Clearly, it is not physically possible to undertaken a second journey whilst the first jopurney was still in progress.

And I say nothing about the exaggerated nature of some (if not most) of the Mileage Claims, as compared to the figures provided by the AA Route Finder service.

I could go on, but I believe that the point has been made. The suspicion is unavoidable that County Councillor Carl LES has, at the very least, allowed himself an astonishing (and unacceptable) degree of latitude in the completion of his signed Mileage Claim Forms and that his ‘impossible journeys’ – overlooked by both Monitoring Officers – have indeed afforded him some (admittedly small) pecuniary advantage.

But the main point is this: to a man of County Councillor Carl LES’s considerable means, these few hundred pounds per year are very small beer indeed – so trivial in their impact on the LES family coffers as to be inexplicable in terms of any financial motivation.

What could be the true motivation behind such irregularities?

In my view, there is something profoundly disturbing in the notion that a man appointed to such prestigious positions as Executive Member for Central Financial Services, Assets, IT and Procurement and Chair of the North Yorkshire Police & Crime Panel (NYP&CP) should evince such extreme anal retentive traits as to exploit the Travel Allowances Schemes not for the money, but to satisfy some sense of being ‘above’ the law – some perverse sense of immunity to accountability – “taking delight” (like a miser) in having ‘beaten the system’.

And again in my view, one could with some justification contend that such conduct goes beyond the scope of a Formal Complaint against County Councillor Carl LES by a member of the public because it should also examine the negligence and/or incompetence of the Monitoring Officers, who have failed to detect it. Under the Nolan Principles, the public is within its rights to require that the Deputy Chair of NYCC and Chair of the Police & Crime Panel, both is, and can be seen to be, ‘whiter than white’. Anything less must risk bringing himself and his Authorities into disrepute. (Under the Localism Act 2011, remember, some breaches of the Councillors’ Code of Conduct are criminal offences. A criminal charge involving fraud must surely be incompatible with Chairing the NYP&CP).

In my view, when a man in a position of public trust – and County Councillor Carl LES occupies one of the highest positions of public trust in North Yorkshire – when a man in a position of public trust exploits the laxity of the monitoring process to accrue only a relatively small financial advantage for no better reasons than arrogance and hubris, he shows himself to be – solely on a point of character – utterly unfit for public office.

The law may see a man who steals to satisfy his hunger as being no better or worse than a man who steals to satisfy his ego. With only the two to choose between, I know which man I would prefer to Chair my Police & Crime Panel.

One would hope that County Councillor Carl LES would now adopt the honourable course – apologise, pay back the money and resign his many public positions.


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  1. Richard Ineson May 27, 2013 at 6:06 pm - Reply

    An utter disgrace, but hardly unexpected behaviour from a Councillor who was a member of the shambles that was the North Yorkshire Police Authority. No one who was a member of that notoriously inept body, who oversaw the most outrageous misuse of the public purse, whilst at the same time, failing to manage the behaviour of senior police officers, who came to believe that the rules by which ordinary citizens conduct their lives, did not apply to them.
    If you have a strong stomach read on :-

    Here is what I wrote in response to the hilarious Jane Kenyon quote, published in the Whitby Gazette article entitled earlier this year, under the heading,

    “Crime concerns as cuts hit police”

    “Coun Jane Kenyon, of the Police Authority, said: “The one thing the Police Authority handed over to the Police and Crime Commissioner was a very sound balance sheet.“

    No thanks to County Councillor Jane Kenyon, Chair of the former NYPA and the NYPA Management Board, that it did so. The record of both of these management bodies as regards prudent management of the public purse and the proper management of the senior staff at North Yorkshire Police over the past decade was abysmal.

    The people of North Yorkshire were undoubtedly, badly served by both the members of the North Yorkshire Police Authority, the members of which were:

    • Chair: Cllr. Jane Kenyon

    • Mr. Bill Baugh

    • Cllr. Carl Les

    • Mr.Tony Hargreaves J.P.

    • Cllr. Keith Orrell

    • Cllr. Helen Swiers

    • Cllr. Polly English

    • Cllr. Fiona Fitzpatrick

    • Cllr. David Ireton

    • Cllr. Janet Jefferson

    • Cllr. Brian Marshall

    • Mr. Jason Fitzgerald-Smith

    • Mrs. Erica Taylor J.P.

    • Mrs. Rajinda Richards

    • Dr. Craig Shaw

    • Mr. Ian Whittaker J.P.

    and also the North Yorkshire Police Authority Management Board, the members of which were:-

    • Chair: Cllr. Jane Kenyon

    • Vice Chair: Mr. Bill Baugh

    • Mr. Tony Hargreaves J.P.

    • Cllr. Carl Les

    • Cllr. Keith Orrell

    The NYP Management Board had delegated powers to enable it to ensure, that amongst many other things, the Police Authority (NYPA) operated in an open and transparent manner.

    The Police Authority (NYPA) had a high-profile and standing. It supposedly monitored expenditure, (which presumably included salaries and allowances paid to the employees of the Authority, including its Chief Officers) against the Authority’s budget.

    The actions of the NYPA were criticised by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, who said that:

    “The Authority’s lack of control was unacceptable.”
    and also by Hugh Bayley M.P., former M.P Phil Willis and Julian Smith M.P.

    But, strangely, only eight out of seventy two Councillors supported a motion criticising Grahame Maxwell for wasting tax payers’ money.

    The most notable/outrageous/scandalous/disgraceful events in the recent past, which I can recall are:-

    The squandering of £500,000 on providing Volvo V70 and Range Rover vehicles for senior police officers who were not qualified to drive these vehicles on police business.

    The £28,000 shower installed in the office of then Chief Constable Della Canning.

    Then there is the matter of Peta Ackerley, the wife of former a Police Superintendent (in charge of NYPA Police Force training) who received £400,000 from the Force in payments to her training companies, companies which, according to an audit report, “often got work without going through proper procurement procedures”.

    Superintendent Ackerley escaped disciplinary action after his application to retire, after thirty years service, was resignation was accepted by Chief Constable Grahame Maxwell; on this point, Officers have the right to retire after thirty years, but where disciplinary charges are outstanding this right can be waived until the charges have been heard, in this case this was not done.

    Phil Willis, M.P. for Harrogate & Knaresborough at the time, said,

    “Hopefully, this brings to an end a period when NY Police had a cavalier attitude to accountability for public money”.
    High hopes indeed.

    Then there are the circumstances surrounding the early retirement of Assistant Chief Constable, David Collins. in July 2009, who earned a £100,000 salary, and who took sick leave in November 2008, claiming stress, and was still off work in June 2009, on half his salary.

    On 4th June, he attended a University of York conference and handed out flyers to delegates to promote his own life-coaching consultancy service.

    But, unfortunately for Mr Collins, one of the conference delegates was his former boss, North Yorkshire’s ex-Chief Constable Della Canning, who promptly reported him to the North Yorkshire Police Authority.

    They duly investigated, and discovered Mr Collins was also offering mentoring services via the internet.

    The 49-year-old was allowed to back up his business qualifications with training while he worked as a Police Officer, but he did not have permission to seek customers for his business.

    Shortly after being discovered by Ms Canning, Mr Collins went on holiday. When he returned, he discovered that the Police Authority wanted to relieve him of his post.

    Instead, Mr Collins, of Monk Fryston, near Selby, successfully applied for retirement. Because of this, he still received a six-figure sum for his 30 years of service.

    Jeremy Holderness, the Chief Executive of North Yorkshire Police Authority, said:

    “Although the authority considered all options with regard to the conduct of Mr Collins in the circumstances, it was not possible to instigate formal disciplinary action against him as he was no longer a serving police officer.”
    There are other considerations here of course – if Mr.Collins was too sick to work, he was presumably claiming sickness/incapacity benefit, under the terms of which, the claimant is not allowed to do any work of any kind, perhaps the Dept. of Work and Pensions might have an interest in reclaiming any benefits which might have been paid in this case.

    The nepotism cases which resulted in the resignation/early retirement of Adam Briggs and Graham Maxwell

    It has previously been revealed that the Independent Police Complaints Commission spent over £100,000 investigating claims that Grahame Maxwell and his deputy, Adam Briggs, unfairly helped relatives during a recruitment exercise for new Police Officers.

    Two counts of misconduct were upheld against Mr Briggs, and he retired from the force.

    But the main focus of the investigation and subsequent disciplinary action was Grahame Maxwell himself, with tens of thousands of pounds mounting up in legal costs after the Chief Constable initially challenged the charge of gross misconduct.

    He only admitted the charge at the last minute, and was given a final written warning.

    The full police authority costs for bringing the cases against Mr Maxwell and Mr Briggs were £218,456.

    Around £19,000 was spent on inquiries involving both Officers – but the bulk was spent solely on the Chief Constable’s case.

    If Mr Maxwell had admitted gross misconduct the previous October, most of the £200,000+ costs could have been avoided. It is understood it may still have cost around £20,000 to carry out the formalities of a hearing.

    Skipton & Ripon Tory MP Julian Smith, who previously described Mr Maxwell’s position as “untenable”, said:

    “Taken with the one hundred thousand pounds spent by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, the amount of money this investigation has cost so far is over a quarter of a million pounds.”
    In addition, this is not necessarily the end of the money spent, as these figures do not include any money spent by the Force itself.

    Had the Chief Constable admitted his guilt immediately, instead of at the very last minute, hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money could have been saved on legal costs.

    It is deeply regrettable that during challenging economic times, the actions of the County’s leading Police Officer should have cost the Police Authority so much money. Whether it’s been the communities of North Yorkshire or Police Officers themselves, the people I’ve spoken to have been very clear.

    They have been shocked by this situation and I think they will be even more surprised by these costs.”

    York Labour MP Hugh Bayley, who previously suggested the Chief Constable should consider his position, said:

    “With the police budget being so squeezed by the Government, it’s tragic that so much money has been spent on this. Money is desperately needed for front-line policing.”
    The Police Authority said it had nothing to add to an earlier statement which said Mr Maxwell “could have avoided organisational and personal turmoil and unnecessary cost to the council tax payer” if he had admitted his guilt immediately.

    Responding to a Freedom of Information request, the North Yorkshire Force said it had spent £1,171.00 on advice from legal counsel in relation to the inquiries into Mr Maxwell and Mr Briggs and also £1,763.88 on a public relations agency.

    Mr Maxwell himself declined to comment.

    The enquiry/hearing was held in secret, at a secret location. Strange, then, that the North Yorkshire Police Authority Management Board proclaims that one of its aims is to ensure that NYPA operated in an ‘open and transparent manner’.

    Then, of course, came the revelations about enormous sums of money spent on ‘personal development’ by Adam Briggs and Graham Maxwell.

    NYPA Chief Executive Jeremy Holderness said the Allowances were designed to ensure its Chief Constable and his Deputy could “perform at the top of their game” and “develop into more senior rôles”.

    He said:

    “Such allowances are not unfamiliar in policing, or indeed many other avenues of business, and they are seen to be quite reasonable in the circumstances of employment of senior professionals.”
    He said such Allowances were generally beneficial and, calling the IPCC response “disproportionate”, he added:

    “We agree that, in this instance, sadly the arrangements might not have operated as we would have wished and we have learned lessons for the future.”
    This list of abuses of the public purse and the trust of the people, by NYPA and its senior management of the North Yorkshire Police, over several years, is not exhaustive, but illustrates the cavalier attitude of both to the misuse of public money and a failure to maintain public confidence in the integrity of the Police Force by failing to manage the activities of certain senior Police Officers in a proper manner.

    The North Yorkshire Police Authority was abolished on 22nd November 2012 and has been replaced by the North Yorkshire Police & Crime Panel (Chair: County Councillor Carl Les) and North Yorkshire Police & Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan (Conservative).

    It is past the time for Cllr. Carl Les to consider his position. Resign.

  2. Brian Dodds May 27, 2013 at 6:46 pm - Reply

    Before an honorable resignation and repayment of any monies could be considered we must think about the level of honesty and integrity this would require. By the evidence presented in this article those two desirable qualities are conspicuous by their absence, this councillor has betrayed every confidence that has been placed in him, he is totally devoid of integrity and should not be allowed to ever hold a position of public authority again.

  3. Neil Scott May 27, 2013 at 8:16 pm - Reply

    A Cleveland Police Detectives Lies at Teeside Crown Court May See his OWN 16 witnesses and 6 Top judges Jailked for PURJURY. https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=152108544927446&id=100003849046512&set=a.136282809843353.24612.100003849046512&_mn_=5. Please Share this Evidence. http://Wp.me/p2euOV-4. Full Story here.

  4. Richard Ineson May 29, 2013 at 9:22 am - Reply

    It would also boost the numbers of pigs with the capability of flight.

  5. Richard Ineson May 31, 2013 at 8:19 am - Reply

    Looking at it logically, is it possible that Carl Les employs a ‘double’? A lot of prominent people such as Cllr. Les employ a ‘double’ to undertake their routine duties such as opening supermarkets or attending church fetes etc. whilst they employ their enormous intellects on more important matters. A ‘double’ would explain these apparent discrepancies in Cllr. Les’s mileage claims.

    Other possibilities are that he has, unknowingly, been cloned, or genetically modified by aliens, we know for a fact that one of our other Councillors has Martian ancestry, we must give Cllr. Les the benefit of the doubt until these disturbing possibilities have been thoroughly examined. How many more of our Councillor are not whom they seem to be? I think that we should be told.

  6. Stakesby Legs June 18, 2013 at 10:48 pm - Reply

    These two should be sharing a cell.


    Dave McLuckie ‘asked friend to take penalty points’

  7. Zen June 25, 2013 at 12:58 am - Reply

    Keep up the Good Work.

    See how all the bad energy is returning to source, and The Truth is steadily emerging, as (R)evolution takes effect.

    (R)evolution – is simply keeping peaceful evolution in mind, and letting the system destroy itself, by working with The Law of Karma, and returning bad energy back to source. Simple.

  8. Neil Scott June 30, 2013 at 10:56 am - Reply

    If only police Were expendable. When mistakes Lead to misconduct instead of Protection for the corrupt ones. http://Wp.me/p2euOV-4. Whistle blowers Stop things like this happening. http://www.itv.com/news/tyne-tees/story/2013-05-11/cleveland-police-pay-550-000-compensation/

  9. Neil Scott July 28, 2013 at 9:30 pm - Reply

    Noone is taking me Seriously. >>>ITS a Cleveland Police Fruad<<<

    •••5 Cleveland chief officers arrested•••
    ***Rape charges against Officer***
    ***90 Forensics Cases investigated**
    ***Cleveland Authority HEAD Jailed**
    ***IPCC staff are involved***

    Copy and Paste the pictures on Facebook.

    Written Confession from DC 1309 A Crawford.


    Missing from police data register 99244564.







    Evidence.of NO CCTV Coverage of any of the forensics at the. Cleveland Police station scientific departments,and a detectives Confession to handling forensics SG4 blood said to have been found at a burglary when it was taken from me at that station and all evidence in police logs were Lost,along with the CCTV footage of who took what.

    This is freedom of information request with reference to the recent email sent to you dated 22 may 2013:

    I request CCTV footage of the Cleveland police submissions unit,scientific support,police headquarters,ladgate lane,Middlesbrough cleveland.between the dates of 23 march 2009 and 17 april 2009 for when the blood was found listed as SG3,SG4,SG5,was held and listed as M/09/3742,Dna listed as 17/0M/09/3742,were both kept,and handled,this is to see if at any time my blood was Contaminated or altered before it was sent to forensics in weltherby/birminham for testing.via courier,you stated that NO CCTV was held,I would like to request a review,or my case under the review Procedures of Cleveland Police force,as it was the continuity case for the prosecution stated that at no time did any of the blood samples found at the scene of a burglary I'd been convicted of Entered or was taken at any time to the Middlehaven station when several of the prosecution witnesses stated at trial that officer DC Crawford did sign a statement to the effect that he had one sample listed as SG4 without the other Two samples said by the continuity as "all Packed together" that crawford then stated fgrom middlehaven station that he Sent SG4 to forensics whic0h apposed what the 16 witnesses for continuity CPS stated at my trial,I know for a fact with Evidence that contradictory statements held that the 16 witnesses lied at my trial,that DC crawford had taken from me at Middlehaven station two samples that were not Rercorded as such on 23 march 2009,two samples, referenced, only one was listed and referenced for court showing that blood was hiden from court,and my trial,that 6 top judges received this and ignored it as tampering with Forensics evidence given to them in CPS statements for the officers involvements,which shows perjury at teeside Crown courts,that CCTV footage of the incident was deliberately lost or destroyed for the purpose of this Criminal offence,committed by the officers at that time.the officers have intimidated/harrassed me with over 23 false arrests in ten years,from 2002,officers of the force have abused my human rights to live and work in england with false accusations from hearsay memebers of the public and officials in erimus housing,I believe the aim of all of the arrests were Aimed specifically at my Clean Bus and Coach licence as it was taken from me after the burglary court case,when DVLA were informed of a Psychologists report used blatently at this trial,also the PNC computer was Abused anfd details were given to Erimus housing and the landlord of the burglary case steven Locke for the pupose of an insurance Scam to claim 3 times the amount of the cost accoured in the burglary Eviction against me by Erimus housing,ie £50,900 in which DC Alastair Crawford was Present as a witness against me,he admitted that I was blamed for 3 burglaries at the Same address listed at Teeside Crown Court when he knew I was on Court ordered electronic G4S Tagg.

  10. Neil Scott July 29, 2013 at 11:07 pm - Reply

    Falsified evidence allegations without CCTV Security at Cleveland Police farce. There’s No Law in Middlesbrough with a Corrupt mayor Ray mallon,corrupt Cheifs of Cleveland police force sean Price derek bonnard,dave McCluckie,Dc 1309 Alastair Crawford Dc 945 kellam Chaytor forensics evidence interference with evidence Steve beattie,with judges Who received falsified forensics evidence statements like judge Spittle,Fox,gordon,Moses. http://Wp.me/p2euOV-4.

  11. Charlie Foulkes September 26, 2013 at 7:22 am - Reply

    Nice work, Real Whitby!

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