Robert Goodwill MP: Another Double-Dipper comes out of the woodwork
– by Tim Hicks
IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST
Readers of Real Whitby will no doubt have been shocked by the recent revelations of double-dipping by fourteen Scarborough Councillors, who have been receiving excessive allowances for Broadband from both Scarborough Borough Council and North Yorkshire County Council and one, Councillor (Jane Kenyon), who has claimed for telephone calls and the rental of a telephone from the Police Authority, despite having an allowance to cover this from the North Yorkshire County Council. (The full details can be seen here):
As a result of the investigation by a number of Real Whitby journalists, the Councillors have been criticised in the local and national press, which resulted in the widely anticipated COVER-UP by Scarborough Council.
The North Yorkshire Police Authority adopted different tactics. I was unlawfully prevented from carrying out a Public Rights Inspection under the Audit Commission Act to review Councillor Kenyon’s expenses by Ms Judith Heeley, the Police Authority Treasurer, which would have revealed the existence of Councillor Kenyon’s claims for telephone calls and resulted in her double-dipping activities being exposed.
There has also been intimidation.
Some Councillors sent offensive emails to me and Councillor Kenyon abused her position as Chair of the North Yorkshire Police Authority to make a complaint against me to her Police force friends, to try and have me arrested for harassment. (See here for details).
It is interesting to note that only one person has spoken out publicly in support of Councillor Kenyon and that was fellow Conservative Robert Goodwill MP, himself exposed in a Private Eye article as well as adverse press comment over his practice of buying cheap economy-class airline tickets and pocketing the difference between the price and the amount he received to pay for the flight. Clearly an immoral act. Indeed, based on a previous case with which I am familiar, I am of the opinion that if he had done this while working for a commercial organisation he would have lost his job for it.
However, it is only the tax-payers’ money and so the same standards of scrutiny and accountability seemingly do not apply. The full sordid details of this scam can be found by following this link . As you can see, it causes him no pangs of conscience, indeed he is proud of it.
I was not therefore very surprised to discover that he has been involved in yet another financial scandal and is again accused of enriching himself by abusing his Parliamentary expense allowance.
The Yorkshire Post has revealed, on Friday 19th October 2012, that Mr Goodwill has also been double-dipping (follow this link), although in a much more sophisticated and skilful way, and on a much larger scale than the double-dipping practiced by Councillor Kenyon.
The public record shows that Mr Goodwill received a tax-payer subsidy in Mortgage Interest Payments and service charges to provide him with the means to own a second property in London, so that he had accommodation while he worked in Westminster as an MP.
It now transpires that having been given a second home by the generosity of the tax-payer which is certainly adequate for his accommodation needs as an MP; instead of living in it and thereby avoiding any further accommodation at the expense of the tax-payer, he has rented it out to obtain rental income from it (the first ‘dip’).
Then having deliberately given up his tax-payer funded accommodation in London to profit from it, he claimed £1,451.67 per month in expenses to rent a second set of accommodation for himself (the second ‘dip’) paid for by the tax-payer, thereby betraying the trust of the tax-payer by incurring extra expense to enrich himself from both the rental income on his tax-payer provided second home and from his parliamentary expenses.
Being rather old fashioned, I still believe in the principle that public figures have a duty to set an appropriate example. Although (unlike Councillor Kenyon) he has not apparently broken any laws, it is clear from Mr Goodwill’s conduct and remarks that he is a person that does not subscribe to these views and has very limited concepts of morality and integrity. This may explain why he had no qualms about supporting his fellow double dipper Councillor Kenyon’s conduct. Birds of a feather etc. etc.
The good name of Scarborough and Whitby has now been dragged through the press in connection with allegations of corruption and abuse three times in the last four months as a result of the actions of Mr Goodwill, Councillor Kenyon and their fellow double-dippers on the two Councils.
They have all let their constituents down very badly and betrayed their trust.
As a result, grave reservations must now hang over them concerning their judgment and suitability for public office.