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Thursday, 15 November 2012

EXPENSE ACCOUNT LEADERSHIP BATTLE...HANNINGFIELD V COCKELL


What it is about this country? ....
'Lord' Hanningfield of Troughing, pig farmer and Council leader stressed himself out  travelling the world on behalf of taxpayers and all we can do  is whine...
How about our Pooter Cockell who equally stressed himself out on jaunts to New York, San Francisco and Boston....equally onerous and done with a miserable Upper Class Virgin flight!
    

CROOKED COUNCIL LEADER!


The Tory peer used a county council credit card to spend more than £286,000 on luxury hotel stays and trips to India, China  and the Bahamas, it emerged today.
Lord Hanningfield ran up huge bills during his time as leader of Essex County Council, flying around the world and staying at resorts with lagoons and casinos.
Today the council published details of his credit card transactions from 2005 and 2010; they include trips to the US, Australia, Italy, France, Finland and Uganda.
It includes flights to the Bahamas costing £5,652 followed by a stay at the Wyndham Nassau which has been described as ‘paradise’ and offers its own lagoon and Las Vegas-style casino.
He also spent £1,538.30 staying at the luxury Hotel Imperial in Delhi. The thousands of transactions include spending on meals, books, flowers and train journeys.
Lord Hanningfield, 71, was last year jailed for falsely claiming parliamentary expenses. He served nine weeks of a nine-month sentence and was ordered to repay more than £30,000.
He was kicked out the the Conservative party in 2010 when allegations about his expenses first emerged.
A report published by the council states that Hanningfield received a further £236,644 in expenses and allowances between 2006 and 2011.
Lord Hanningfield reimbursed some costs identified as personal spending but there were problems with a lack of receipts and spending above recommended guidelines. Controls on the former council leader's spending had not been sufficiently ‘stringent’.

I wish Derek Myers, Town Clerk of the Rotten Borough would have been more 'stringent' with Pooter and his expenses.....


37 comments:

  1. Disgusting and Pooter is equally spendthrift with iur money

    ReplyDelete
  2. CLLR MATTHEW PALMER15 November 2012 at 22:18

    Sir Merrick is a first class chap. He may not have been to public school and he may even be a bit on the common side, but he trys very hard. He nows class when he sees it like Lord Feilding Mellen and that is important in a grand borough like ours. Stop nocking posh people. We should be proud to have peple of class leading us

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is staggering. But very brave of Essex County Council to publish the data. Quite different from the behaviour in K&C where the system went into overdrive to produce a cover up for Cockell's expenses.. The Chief Executive retrospectively changed the expenses rules on the grounds that they were "ambiguous" and the Council "took it on the chin" that First Class travel was formalised for Councillors in the same week that Generals and Air Chief Marshals were obliged to travel second in order to save public spending. Derek Myers also said that he authorised Pooter to use the Bentley in order to "save taxi fares" and he signed off entertainment of unnamed friends (or people whose names Pooter "forgot" to be absolutely precise) at expensive New York restaurants.

    The Hornton Street set up does not seem to understand that this is not the way to build public trust

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No bravery at all on the part of Essex Council. The information was dragged out into the public domain courtesy of a Freedom of Information request. Powerful stuff, this ability to uncover wrong doing using the law to insist on transparency. Disclosures like this demonstrate how important it is to keep an eye on the activities of self important local Government Leaders

      Delete
  4. They are all in it together. Was it Partridge? who stood against Pooter for the LGA Chairmanship? He also got fired as Leader of his Midlands Council for fiddling expenses on a grand scale. It is very sad

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sad? SAD?? What is wrong with you 22.25

      IT IS A DISGRACE

      Delete
    2. Parsons, Tory of Birmingham, not Partridge

      Delete
  5. Power corrupts. In monopoly councils (Tory and Labour) there are no checks and balances. After two terms of office (8 years) the Leaders get overtaken by hubris and start to believe that their Boroughs and council taxes are their personal property. The Americans understood this early. Their Presidents are limited to two terms of office. K&C needs to learn the lesson. So far as we know the Essex pox was far worse than the outbreak in Hornton Street. But on the other hand the Hornton Street cover up was palpable

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Essex never spent £30 million of council tax importing pink granite from China to decorate Chingford

      Delete
    2. Dont forget our own economic wizards in K&C like Cllr Liz Campbell. "I spent £100 million but it cost nothing". With accounting like that, who can put a foot wrong??????

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete
  7. Cockell was also swinging this stuff at London Councils when he was Chairman. $400 to entertain an LGA Councillor to a slap up dinner at Keanes restaurant in New York, with fine wines, paid for by K&C council tax

    ReplyDelete
  8. It is simply small minded and derisory to begrudge a hard working Leader like Sir Merrick Cockell the occasional comfort of a Bentley journey to Heathrow before and after a long flight and the very occasional indulgent meal in the company of friends. It would be more magnanimous to tick this off as gratitude. Essex is something else entirely

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree.....for example, he was exhausted after one of his long journeys in Virgin Upper Class and it was good to be able to have the Bentley and driver standing by at Heathrow. It had been a very busy time...that £400 dinner for two(it was pure business-a discussion on important matters with convicted felon, Ian Clement)
      Any why should he not have stayed at the same luxury New York hotel favoured by M. Strauss-Kahn...after all, Sir Merrick is a terribly important man. The next thing is the Dame will be complaining about his £130,000 a year 'salary'
      On one of his frequent trips the hardworking man was so exhausted he forgot who he had spent £300 'entertaining' one evening....I am sure it was necessary for the good of the Rotten Borough. Get a bloody grip 08:53 and stop being so bloody naive. Cockell is a sponger.

      Delete
  9. I think that Mr Myers should have a close look at the expenses of all Councillors just to ensure that similar fraud is not going on at RBK&C. As far as I am aware the matter of Sir Merrick Cockell's expenses in New York are still yet to be clarified adequately. As for Sir Merrick; as he clearly either refuses or cannot remember who he had dinner with that night in New York, he should either volunteer or be forced give the money back to the borough with interest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Note For The Record16 November 2012 at 09:34

      As soon as the Dame discovered (using an FOI) that Cllr Cockell entertained a "friend" to dinner on a Saturday night in New York and charged it up to the council tax, she wrote to the Leader and asked him to repay the money. She was ignored. If Sir Merrick had done as requested, it would have been the end of the matter.

      Instead Sir Merrick told colleagues "I did nothing wrong. Unfortunately I cannot remember the name of the person and this is why there is no name in the expenses claim"

      At that time the expenses rules of K&C required that expense claims needed to show the name and position of the person being entertained before the claim could be signed off and charged against residents taxes. In this case an exception was agreed by Derek Myers, the Chief Executive

      Delete
    2. The poodle parlour at its outstanding best

      Delete
  10. This country needs to get a grip and not tolerate the antics which the likes of Hanningfield and Cockell get up to when it comes to expenses. The UK tax payer gets ripped off at every possible opportunity, be it people claiming unjustified expenses, companies not paying tax or undesirables being put up at tax payers expense who in any normal country would be ejected. David Cameron needs to sharpen up and act incisively.

    ReplyDelete
  11. What an opportunity for a No Confidence campaign. Who is responsible for signing off these expenses? Should we pursue an FoI request to justify these trips?

    Phone 07799647160

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. David. All expenses were signed off by the Derek Myers, the Chief Executive. FOIs show an extensive record of travelling, expenses and charges at top class hotels, First Class flights, stretch limos etc. The justification is that the trips were made and therefore signed for. Questions about why New York and San Francisco trips extended into weekends (and hotels charged up) were not answered

      Delete
  12. It is exactly the behaviour of the likes of Hanningfield, Sir Merrick and Prescott (for different reasons)which is why the number of people who bother turning out at the polling station is so low. The people feel as if they are not being listened to and being used and then dispensed with. Look at the Corby bi-election and the way that the disgraceful Tory MP just upped sticks without any consideration for her constituents or party; she just used people for her own ends. A very selfish person and a dreadful example of how an MP should behave.

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