Monday, 27 February 2012

Pension Contributions for 39 Councillors: £124,080.40

[Nationally] More than one in five local councillors has claimed the right to a gold-plated town hall pension.

The number of elected representatives who have climbed aboard the local government pensions gravy train has soared by more than a quarter in just three years.

More than 4,500 now qualify for guaranteed pensions based on the allowances they are paid as councillors, which can exceed £50,000 a year.

My comment: I submitted the FOI request below in order to identify how many CWaC Councillors are in the pension scheme and how much it costs the Council taxpayer.

FOI Request
I would like to know the total member's pension contributions paid by the council during the last complete financial year. 2010/2011.
I would also like to know the number of councillors who receive such a contribution to their pension scheme.
CWaC Response
The total members' pension contributions paid by the council for 2010/2011was £124,080.40
The number of councillors who received such a contribution was 39.
My Comment: Average pension contribution per CWaC councillor in the scheme £3181.55. Which is rather bizarre when you consider that councillors don't work for the council. Any money they receive is by way of allowances not salary. Member's allowances can be viewed here. Why no mention of these additional pension contributions?

In addition the national average of councillors who claim a pension contribution is 20%. In CWaC Council it's 54%.

Read the full story from the source Daily Mail

Thursday, 23 February 2012

FOI requests to #QuackCWaC Council

I was asked today to submit a Freedom of Information request on behalf of a Cheshire resident. I agreed because the individual needs to remain anonymous because of their position.

I advise anyone who wants to submit an FOI request to use the excellent What Do They Know website. Whilst you can use any name it is advisable to use your own name so you can complain to the ICO should the Council not supply the information requested. Something I have done many times,

CWaC Council Website Advertising Revenue and Costs
If you need to submit an FOI request but prefer to remain anonymous then please contact me.

In addition if you have any information about CWaC Council you can be assured that I will never reveal a source.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

#QuackCWaC consultations: Do as we say not as we do

Mike Jones, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council: "..unless they engage with their communities, that is all developers, in a way in that's more positive than what they have done in the past, in the future they will not get much developments." Inside Out North West 20th February 2012, watch the full program here but the statement in question follows a short interview with a director of Peel (This starts approx nine minutes in)

However whilst Mike Jones argues that developers should 'engage with their communities' it's something his own council doesn't always do, as many examples appear to prove.

Engage: Cause someone to become involved in a conversation or discussion.
Consultation: The action or process of formally consulting or discussing.

A few example below, there are many more.

Example 1: An external body, The Audit Commission, was very critical of Quack CWaC consultation regarding the sale of County Hall. Read in full here.

Example 2: 'If residents and parish councils are not being  consulted, who is? We strongly expect that developers, and other financially interested parties, will be invited to have their say. As before, the proposed Council "consultation" is no more than a paper exercise and difficult to describe as anything other than a sham!' Read in full here.

Example 3: Proposing to erect an 18 metre phone mast in the dip of Sandy Lane where the nature park brook flows towards the River Dee. This was higher than allowed under delegated powers and should have been the subject of a full planning and consultation exercise. However, CWaC Council tried to sneak it through without consultation under permitted development rights. Until of course the community they failed to engage with kicked up a stink. Read more here.

Example 4: Concerns have been expressed by members of the public in all parts of the Borough about the site selection process, which led to unsuitable sites being proposed in Neston and Saughall, before being withdrawn by the Executive on the 2nd November. Read in full here.

Example 5: I am watching this online. Breathtakingly arrogant behaviour by Mike Jones showing blatant utter contempt for the public. He “missed” (accidentally or otherwise) a public speaker who was on the agenda to speak on the travellers site who was due to speak following Cllr Brian Crowe. Read in full here.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

#QuackCWaC CCTV parking fine for emergency contractor

A CITY centre businessman was left frustrated after emergency contractors were prevented from carrying out essential repairs by CCTV traffic wardens.

Callum Reckless, of digital specialist firm Reckless New Media, was angered as Cheshire West and Chester Council staff told ScottishPower contractors they could not park on double yellow lines while performing underground repairs to restore power to the business.

The result meant the Bridge Street Row company was without power, having already sent staff home.

Mr Reckless said: “You would have thought common sense would prevail.

My comment: Common sense prevail,  #QuackCWaC Council? Never, don't forget we are talking about the number one council for cock ups and Charlie Foxtrots, not a normal well run council.

Read the full story from the source Chester Chronicle