Friday, 24 June 2011

CWaC Council spending on Credit Cards UPDATED 13/07/11

Further to my previous post  on the subject I have just received a response to my freedom of information request about £2878.50 spent on credit card for Hotel Accommodation at the Old Swan Hotel.

1) How many people were accommodated at the Old Swan? 11

2) For How long were they accommodated at the Old Swan? 3 nights

3) What was the reason for staying at the Old Swan? LGA conference 30 June 2009-02 July 2009

4) What mix of officers/councillors were accommodated. Chief Executive and 6 officers, Leader of the Council and 3 Councillors.

5) Was the payment for anything other than accommodation? Payment was for bed and breakfast.

The response raises a number of questions,
Why did CWaC Council send 11 members and officers to the conference especially since the registration rate per delegate alone was £519 plus £77.85 VAT – total £596.85? Please note – the delegate registration fee does not include bedroom accommodation costs.  
Why did they spend  3 nights at the Old Swan when the conference only lasted 3 days which would have only required 2 nights accommodation?
Why did they pay more than double the cheapest available accommodation rates available?
To me it looks more like a swan out to the Old Swan at taxpayer's expense!

I have submitted another freedom of information request to clarify the amount spent on the registration fee. I have also asked a number of other councils how many people they sent to the conference because 11 appears to be far more than necessary.

UPDATE 29th June 2011:  Response to my FOI request "Further to your enquiry about the registration fee for attendance at the 2009 LGA conference/exhibition I can confirm that the registration fee only applied to the Chief Executive, Leader and Councillors as officers attended as exhibitors. The registration fee was £596.85 per delegate (inclusive of VAT). Total registration fee was therefore £2984.25."

Therefore, the cost so far identified are £2878.50 accommodation cost plus £2984.25 registration fee = a total of £5862.75 plus travel costs for 11 people plus the wages for 18 officer days (6 officers * 3 days).

UPDATE 2 13th July 2011: Just had a response to a similar Freedom of Information request I sent to another council for comparison. Suffolk County Council sent 6 people to the same conference, 1 officer and 5 members. Other councils to follow.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please note all comments are moderated and will not be published unless they are relevant to the post in question and do not contain statements or links to material which could be considered defamatory.