Tuesday, October 06, 2009

We're not all at it, honest!

According to a report in the Liverpool Echo tonight, 32 councillors claimed expenses last year (out of 90), which means that 58 claimed for nothing (of which I was one).

Apparently, of those who did make claims, almost all claimed for something that was disallowed, this is disappointing and suggests that some further work is required and questions do need to be asked. (And yes Cllr Makinson, you should be embarassed about claiming for a planning meeting on Christmas Day, it is sloppy at best). I think Cllr Anderson is right to say that if there is something wrong on nearly every claim, then we need to pay some attention to this issue.

Perhaps we need to give more training to Councillors about what is eligible and what is not, and those who have claimed need to take their responsibilities a bit more seriously and ensure they are submitting accurate claims and relevant claims.

However, it is good news that our council staff are eagle-eyed and catch any mistakes or poor claims, however trivial they may be.

And it is absolutely refreshing that there is nothing on the scale of cleaning moats, housing ducks or having the garden landscaped. A few sandwiches for lunch, some fishy sardines and some over optimistic travel claims are not of themselves scandalous.

I hope the public will be reassured that politicians in Liverpool do not have their snouts in the trough.


Tannoy said...

Actually Louise, if you read the article (as I have) the explanation for Cllr Makinson's issue looks fairly reasonable. I should imagine it would be fairly easy to verify whether he submitted the claim pre dec 25th and whether there was actually a planning meeting on nov 25th that he did attend but hadn't previously claimed for.

If that is true, (and knowing Andrew as I do I cannot imagine for a second anything otherwise), then the biggest controversy that you have managed to come up with is that he filled the date in wrong!

Not exactly heinous abuse of the system is it? - you know that and yet still try to portray it as something bigger and more worthy of criticism. I had previously thought you were above such gutter politics, and am disappointed to find I'm wrong.

Louise Baldock said...

This is typical of some of the very poor comments I receive on this blog. You deliberately twist what I say and pretend I said something else. But you know, Mr LibDem, that doesn't work on here, because my original text still stands and everyone can see your little game, exposed for what it is. I did not portray Makinson as anything other than sloppy. I particlarly did not try to make this issue something bigger, that was the whole point of my post.

You are a fool and you have made yourself and your party look mean, spiteful and ridiculous. Why don't you go out and do something constructive with your time, something positive in the community perhaps - I see it was only 6pm when you wrote that - instead of writing nonsense on Labour Party blogs.

You are wasting your time on one hand and damaging the LibDems on the other, if I were your campaign manager I would advise you to keep away from my blog because you do your cause more harm than good.

However, while you continue to do that, your comments, however poor, are welcome, because they are all grist to our mill!

Tannoy said...

Sorry to disappoint Louise, but I am not a LibDem, I do not campaign for them, or you, or anyone for that matter. I am simply someone who spends a few minutes a week being interested in how some of my elected representatives in our city conduct themselves and what they truly believe in - an armchair politician at most.

I quote you, "(And yes Cllr Makinson, you should be embarassed about claiming for a planning meeting on Christmas Day, it is sloppy at best)."

My point is that your choise of words, 'sloppy at best', invites your readers to infer that there may be another more sinister explanation, when I suspect the facts do not support that. If that was not your intention, may I suggest the honourable course of action is to state that clearly on your blog, rather than lauch into an undignified attack on a member of the public?

Facts are simply inconvenient at best for politicians of all flavours it seems :p

On a slight tangent, your assumption, (remember what assuming things makes! :p), that I am anything at all in terms of political alignments and your most unwarranted and over the top response is something that others could easily take offence at.

I'm simply confused by your response because your blog contains some interesting and thought provoking writing, (in contrast to other blogs I visit), for which I applaud you. Your earlier post unfortunately doesn't live up to the same standard imho.

Louise Baldock said...

Okay, consider my wrists slapped, you are not a LibDem.

I did not accuse Makinson of wrong-doing. However, if it assists the debate, I will withdraw, through this comments section, the words "at best". I am accusing him of being sloppy, not something I would expect from the Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee who is supposed to lead the way in such things.

You will appreciate that my blog is visited by LibDems who leave comments every day, many I don't publish because they are rude, offensive and personal. Those who choose to enter the debate politely are always allowed.

I assumed you were a LibDem having a go at some Pysc Ops, (they do try, bless them) in the hope that I would hold my head in my heads and say "Oh dear, this person is disappointed in me, I must repent my ways", which is the response they often attempt to generate, but never successfully.

If you like what you read, come back, if you don't, then I am sure you will find some other stuff to read on the internet to interest you.

Cheers, Louise

Paula Keaveney said...

Without wanting to nitpick - Andrew M is not chair of Overview and Scutiny!

Louise Baldock said...

Hi Paula, I really thought he was when I wrote that, because he was the chair of one of two scrutiny committees I sat on last municipal year. It was only when I went to O&S last week and was surprised to find Erica Kemp in the chair that I remembered Andrew is in fact the chairman of Corporate Services Select Committee. Not that it makes a great deal of difference to the central point. But you are right to correct this as it forms a public record, cheers.