Are Fat Council Cats Taking The Cream?

WLBC Senior Staff Salaries

The WLBC Constitution tells us that “At Issue Date 1 April 2019 the salary ratio details shown in this statement are based on the actual earnings in effect at 31st January 2019” and that “Total remuneration has been calculated including salary, car expense allowance, over time, extra duties allowance, shift allowance, living wage supplement, standby duty, telephone allowance, election fees, and employer’s pension contributions”.

It also tells us “Returning Officer fees are based upon a fee calculated periodically by the Cabinet Office, with the fee being based on a sum of money multiplied per every 10,000 of electorate. The Council [Council tax payeres] pays the fees for the local election while the fees for other elections, such as Parliamentary and County Council, are paid for externally.

There are 10 WLBC management posts that carry the “Election fees” addendum to salary.
https://www.westlancs.gov.uk/media/545195/salary-and-function-data.pdf

For the Chief Executive

Remuneration-The post is paid at WLa on the attached Appendix. This is a spot salary and carries no additional annual increments. Wla 71 £104,866. But the “Senior Officer Remuneration Details of the top 3 Tiers of Management Period 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019 in accordance with section 48 and 49 of the Transparency Code 2015 (enhanced information based on Statement of Accounts 2018/19) (* Annual salary = actual earnings in line with Statement of Accounts calculations. Based on Officers who have a basic contracted Salary of £50,000 and over)” refers to *Annual Salary (including Election Fees). The Chief Executive salary including Election Fees is *£108,657. A  +difference of £3,791.

Directors – Remuneration. There are three posts of Director reporting to the Chief Executive: Director of Leisure and Environment – WLb Director of Housing and Inclusion – WLb Director of Development and Regeneration – WLb. There are two further posts of Head of Service. Borough Solicitor (Monitoring Officer) Borough Treasurer (Section 151 Officer). The Grade for these posts is at WLd. All these posts are described as “Annual Salary (including Election Fees)”.

Grades “WLd £60,870”. “WLc 79 £72,803, WLc 61 £74,259” “WLb 88 £80,085 WLb 62 £81,687” “Wla £102,810”.

What do they all do that requires “Election Fees”?

Election Coming?

Hullo, it’s me again

wally-writes

“I haven’t been as active as usual, but here at Tory Towers we are all excited by the prospect of a General Election. We don’t do very well in West Lancashire but we have to try! So don’t be surprised if we knock at your door soon…no abuse please!”.

The local Tory candidate writes “Yesterday I had my first campaigning session as the Conservative Parliamentary candidate for West Lancashire! My thanks to all the @WestLancsCF members who came to campaign!” Looks like Wally has something personal against Corbyn?

wltorymob

The Police Eyes In The Sky

Lancashire Police have a dedicated Drone Team under Police Tactical Operations.

Lancashire Police reported yesterday”Good evening from the Drone Team. These are our two latest Pilots in training and we are completing night time tasking later tonight”.

The drones are believed to be supplied by Aeryon, who build high-performance, small unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) and software for military, public safety, and commercial customers around the world. The Lancashire Police model is the Skyranger.

Perhaps the Aughton Parish Council should become a customer and position one over crime infested Winifred Lane and other local crime hotspots!

Serco=Service Corporation=Outsourcing=Friends In High Places?

You all remember Serco Leisure Operating Ltd

contracted to West Lancashire Borough Council to provide leisure services, and what happened to the Beacon Park Golf Course as Serco breached planning consent for the amount of landfill dumped on the driving range and another large part of the course?

The Serious Fraud Office has belatedly fined Serco £22.9million over its electronic tagging scandal. It follows the £70million settlement over allegations it charged for monitoring phantom crimes. But remarkably the fine reflects a discount of 50% as a result of Serco’s self-reporting, as well as its significant and substantial cooperation with the investigation!

Under the “deferred prosecution agreement”, the firm’s UK subsidiary Serco Geografix Ltd (SGL) has taken responsibility for three offences of fraud and two of false accounting related to its contract with the Ministry of Justice between 2010 and 2013. Yes, it’s taken six years for Serco to be dragged kicking and screaming to pay up for its criminal action, robbing taxpayers!

Serco itself writes “The SFO has recognised the significant steps Serco has taken to reform itself, including the thorough implementation under independent supervision of a comprehensive Corporate Renewal Programme approved by the UK Government. This programme included over 80 actions and initiatives, and included rewriting our system of management control, as well as strengthening our bidding, contract management, internal audit and management assurance processes.

Rupert Soames, Serco group chief executive, said the company was “mortified, embarrassed and angry” that it had been caught understated the level of profitability of its Electronic Monitoring contract in its reports to the Ministry of Justice six to nine years ago.

“Serco apologised unreservedly at the time, and we do so again. Nobody who sat on the Board of Serco Group, or who was part of the Executive Management Team at the time these offences were committed, works for the Group today”. So that’s alright then?

In 2013 Serco referred itself to the SFO, and along with outsourcing company G4S faced allegations it had been charging the MoJ for monitoring offenders in the community that were already in jail, had left the country or were, um, dead.

Under the agreement, which is subject to court approval, Serco will not face formal criminal charges. SGL will pay a fine of £19.2m together with £3.7m related to the SFO’s investigation cost.

No damages will be payable to the MoJ because the SFO has agreed that Serco has already fully compensated the department in respect of the offences as part of a £70m settlement paid by the firm to the department in December 2013. Friends in high places? You bet! And especially in West Lancashire Borough Council, where its planning breach at the Beacon Park Golf Course has led to another year of misery for senior golfers but no penalty for Serco.

Politicians’ Lips Are Moving!

And we all know what that means

as Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg said the prospects of a deal looked “more positive than they did last week”.

He continued “What’s happening is the Government made some proposals to the European Union and these are being considered and negotiations seem to be taking a serious turn and that’s encouraging. I think it’s always difficult to put specific odds on things, but it certainly looks a lot more positive this week than it did last week. We’ll have to wait and see what the precise details are, naturally in the middle of a negotiation these matters are extremely sensitive as everyone is compromising to some degree and therefore to give negotiations the best chance of succeeding, it’s best to be discreet about them”.

Pushed on whether the PM’s latest Brexit proposals could be similar to the May plan which he previously called “completely cretinous”, he said “We’ll have to find out in a day or two whether I’ll have to eat my words or not – time will tell. There’s a line from Churchill saying that he often had to eat his words and he found it to be a very nourishing diet, and that is something that happens in politics. But it is ultimately a question of trust about the direction of where we are going. I trust Boris Johnson to ensure the relationship the United Kingdom has with the European Union is one where we are not a vassal state”.

And he emphasised that he does not believe the Prime Minister would do anything to undermine the integrity of the UK “The Prime Minister is Minister of the Union and is deeply and personally committed to ensuring the union is robust and prosperous. And I don’t believe the Prime Minister would do anything that undermined the integrity of the UK.

We’ve got to see how the DUP respond to things when we know them as fact, not just speculation. The Prime Minister has made it clear that the United Kingdom will remain a single customs territory and that Northern Ireland will remain within a UK customs union. He’s been explicit about that”.

Rees-Mogg has claimed the Government could use European law to secure a no-deal Brexit if there is no agreement with Brussels. Signalling a potential way around the Benn Act, he said that “it takes two to tango and any extension has to be agreed by the council”. As Lord Owen

has said “On 19th October, on instructions from the European Union (Withdrawal) (No 2) Act 2019, more commonly referred to as the ‘Benn’ Act passed into law on the 9th September, the Prime Minister will be forced to write to the EU asking for an extension under the terms of Article 50. But issuing that letter cannot preclude the executive taking other legal actions to protect UK national interests. A rather neglected part of the full Supreme Court judgment on prorogation in paragraph 55 says remember “always that the actual task of governing is for the executive and not for parliament or the courts”. Extension is a device to delay again a decision. It probably does stop a so-called ‘no deal’ under Article 50 but it need not stop the UK leaving on 31st October”.

A spokesman for the Prime Minister issued the following statement “The Prime Minister updated Cabinet on the current progress being made in ongoing Brexit negotiations, reiterating that a pathway to a deal could be seen but that there is still a significant amount of work to get there and we must remain prepared to leave on October 31st. The Prime Minister said there was a way forward for a deal that could secure all our interests, respect the Good Friday Agreement, get rid of the backstop and get Brexit done by October 31st so we can push on with domestic agenda, investing in our NHS, tackling violent crime, and dealing with the cost of living”.

Perhaps Frau Merkel in Paris to meet Macron knows a thing or two? “With the departure of Great Britain, a potential competitor will of course emerge for us. That is to say, in addition to China and the United States of America, there will be Great Britain as well”…Great Britain? She did not say we are the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland…perhaps she meant “until further notice!”.

Bercow Battered By Barrister

Top Barrister Slams John Bercow In Devastating Letter

It seems that Rebecca Butler

is somewhat of a TV & Social Media sensation with a viral appearance on Question Time as well as videos on social media slamming the betrayal of our veterans, and remainer politicians. She wrote to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards about Bercow.

Kathryn Stone OBE
Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards
House of Commons,
London SW1A 0AA

standardscommissioner@parliament.uk
9th October 2019

Dear Mrs Stone,

New Complaint; John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons

I write to lodge a formal complaint against the Speaker of the House of Commons, Mr John Bercow. The role of speaker attracts a salary of £142,826 plus free residence and expenses. He is a public servant. As such, not only is he required to abide by the standards of the role he has acquired, but he is also bound by the Nolan Standards in Public Life.

My complaint against the speaker is raised upon the following grounds:

• Breach of Speaker’s duty to remain non-partisan:

John Bercow has shown a blatant disregard for this most fundamental aspect of his position. On 10th January 2019, Mr Bercow agreed to allow a vote on an amendment to a government motion tabled by Dominic Grieve. In doing so, he broke with precedent and ignored the advice of his officials when he approved a vote on the PM’s “Plan B” response.

I allege that he deliberately and arbitrarily changed the rules for the amendment. Business of the House motions are only amendable by ministers of the Crown, but this drove a coach and horses through accepted normal practice.

His motivation for this was to undermine the government who was pursuing an orderly exit from the EU. He appears to have no accountability to anyone but himself. His actions are Unreasonable and Breach a Legitimate expectation that he will remain non-partisan.

The courts have set a limit to the lawful exercise of power by holding that the extent to which the measure impedes or frustrates the operation of the relevant principle must have a reasonable justification. That approach can be seen, for example, in R (UNISON) v Lord Chancellor [2017] UKSC 51; [2017] 3 WLR 409, paras 80-82 and 88-89.

Furthermore, Lady Hale, President of the Supreme Court in the case of Miller v PM [2019] UKSC 41 at paras 49-51 clearly explains that prerogative powers and powers conferred by convention and the constitution are amenable to a (legal) test of reasonableness. (The Wednesbury Reasonableness test). So, following the most recent precedent, it is not simply statutory bodies who can be held to account in a court of law and the reasonableness of their decision making tested.

When a judge is challenged on bias, the law is clear. The test for apparent bias is ‘whether the fair-minded and informed observer, having considered the facts, would conclude that there was a real possibility that the tribunal was biased’ (Porter v Magill [2002] 2 AC 357). So, it is not simply a case that bias on its’ own is proven but that the “appearance of bias” is absent. It is averred that a standard applying to the judiciary, working as they do as public servants, with a duty to remain non-partisan also applies to the Speaker.

2. Breach of the Nolan Standard of Integrity.
The Nolan standard states that: “Holders of public office must avoid placing themselves under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence them in their work. They should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends. They must declare and resolve any interests and relationships.”

During the lifecycle of the Withdrawal Bill through the House of Commons Mr Bercow has placed himself under an obligation to the members of the opposition parties and has demonstrated bias in so doing. He has been influenced by his own views on Brexit and proudly drives his wife’s car bearing a sticker “Bollocks to Brexit”. This alone undermines the dignity of the role of speaker. In performance of his role as Speaker, he should be required to publicly state and “declare” in the words of Nolan his own interest in and relationships connected with evading Brexit.

3. Breach of the Nolan Standard for Objectivity.

“Holders of public office must act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias.”

I refer to the Speaker’s conduct in the House of Commons generally and specifically his behaviour during the prorogation of Parliament. I attach for your reference a video clip of the Speaker during that ceremony on Monday 9th September.

He clearly insults and demeans members on the Tory benches. In so doing he undermines the dignity and role of the Speaker. He is and behaves like a bully. Seemingly never held to account.

Furthermore, on 9th October 2019 the Speaker met with his equivalent at the European Parliament to discuss ways in which the Government’s policy could be undermined. He openly admitted his role in facilitating what will be a second referendum on membership of the EU, having secured an extension.

His bias is plain for all to see. It is not his position to undermine or sway government policy with any individual and abuses his post in so doing.

4. Leadership

“Holders of public office should exhibit these principles in their own behaviour. They should actively promote and robustly support the principles and be willing to challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs.”

This Speaker repeatedly displays poor behaviour. He has many allegations of bullying against him, his manner is bullying and vindictive. In a world where all parties declare a desire to encourage women to participate in Parliament how can this man’s behaviour be said to be conducive to that? He is an abomination. How can he legitimately show leadership when his own behaviour is so poor?

Given that holders of public office are accountable to the public for their decisions and actions and must submit themselves to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this (Nolan Principle 4) I remain confident that in your role you will hold the Speaker accountable for his actions.

I write this letter with the silent support of many people and look forward to your earliest response. I am, available to give evidence to your committee at your convenience. I reserve my position to elaborate on these complaints, should the need arise.

Yours sincerely,

Rebecca Butler
Barrister

Heseltine, Clarke, Adonis In EU Group Soros Cash Link

According to Wikipedia, the European Movement UK

is an independent all-party pressure group in the United Kingdom which campaigns in support of greater European integration and for reform of the European Union. It is part of the European Movement International which pushes for a “democratic, federal, enlarged European Union”. It is the most prominent pro-Europe group in Britain.

The President was Lord Paddy Ashdown until his death in December 2018. Former Deputy Prime Minister Michael Heseltine was appointed as President in May 2019, and the current chairman (since December 2016) is Stephen Dorrell. The organisation promotes a “more democratic, effective and accountable” EU. It opposes Brexit.

The European Movement is the UK’s largest pro-European Network, campaigning for a People’s Vote on Brexit. As UNN exposed the other day, Jo Swinson’s husband works for an organisation called Transparency International that is an ‘anti-corruption’ organisation.

See https://westlancashirerecord.com/2019/10/10/google-duncan-hames-former-libdem-mp/

It is in receipt of hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of funding from Open Society. Open Society is the organisation set up by billionaire ‘philanthropist’ George Soros that supports a vast network of liberal and left wing organisations around the world.

The European Movement says about themselves…Who we are “We passionately believe that any form of Brexit will be damaging for Britain. That’s why we are leading the fight for a People’s Vote with the option to remain. We are a truly grassroots organisation, with a community of over 10,000 campaigners and over 150 local groups across every nation and region of the UK.

The European Movement exists to promote European values of peace, prosperity, and international cooperation. Now we can also reveal that Open Society in their most up to date accounts donated $245,572 to The European Movement.

It is important to stress that there is nothing illegal about taking this money from the Open Society Foundation. Some countries have banned Open Society from operating in them as they believe they undermine national sovereignty. What has to be recognised is that George Soros is a significant contributor to a number of these pro-EU organisations that represent the heart of the establishment but try to portray they are grassroots movements. Why also does the mainstream media not expose the amount of international money that is coming in to undermine the democratic process through these astro-turf movements? UNN will continue to out and investigate where we see the MSM being either neglectful or deliberately ignoring important stories.

Do YOU want the future of the UK decided by Open Society and George Soros, or by a majority democratic vote of 17.4million UK voters?