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Council financial transparency


megilleland
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October expenses up on Counil's website.

 

From £10,811,299.47 spent this month the following stand out again.
 
£851,967.86 Redacted (not allowed to know to whom this money is being paid)
£587,902.68 Hoople
£338,771.14 Fcc Environment Services (uk) Ltd (formerly FOSCA waste)
£36,435.80 Hereford Futures
 
Redacted monthly sums since June 2013:
 
June £694,638.70
July £880,447.46
August £1,053,019.69
September £807,065.76
October £851,967.86
 
Total to date: £4,287,139.47

 

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This is how bad things have now become. I could stand in High Town and defame any one of these people. I could write an open letter to a national newspaper and make the most libellous comments. I could stand in front of a TV camera and accuse some of these people of offences against the statutes and I'd never get brought to heel, never ever be held to account and I'd never see one minute in a Court to face a Judge because of using defamatory language.

Why? Because they'd be to frightened to sanction me or any one of us. They couldn't do a thing. They wouldn't be able to because they appear to be up to no good, and when you are up to no good, you invariably choose to keep your head down and remain in the shadows.

Why am I saying this? Because when you redact over £850 000 quid, I've got every right to mutter, 'hi up, something ain't right here'. Given that this our money, what right have 'they' to secrete this transaction from us. Who told them that they could do this to us.

My conclusion is, this is a direct result of the secret democracy that began under the stewardship of Mr Jarvis and now, because of time, complicated backstairs agreements, Partnerships and cozy relationships with private and limited companies, its become the culture of things. This is how it is. It's the way of the world. We don't have to know because we don't need to know. We no longer matter. Democracy has been prostituted by business and asset stripping suits and we no longer are seen as an important part of the democratic system. We are doomed.

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Are they allowed to redact individual names, if they are not companies? Herefordshire Council make payments to private individuals, for example, private taxi owners, out of hours dog wardens, the Kenned where dogs are taken. I could be totally wrong but I think this is done by other Councils as well, where names of individuals are redacted. There are huge sums of money being paid out so if that is the case there should be more information supplied, so the public don't get suspicious. If it's for an individual then it should st least say what it was for. A lot of these payments seem to list the cost centre as children's services so perhaps some of the payments are for foster carers who don't want to he identified? Of course I could be totally wrong but it's a thought. 

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I don't know Flam, but I wonder if the amount of redacted names has anything to do with this drive towards Personal Independance Allowance. Where folk with a disability are given their own budget and have to buy in their own care/sevices. Most parents and carers I have spoken to,despair of this system - they truly feel they have enough on their plates without the worry of this and all the paperwork that goes with it.

If this money was paid out, then it would, I feel, be reasonable not to print names.

That said - I don't know this, its just a thought.

Anyone with a more definate idea, please post and enlighten me.....!!!!

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  • 3 weeks later...

 

From £14,570,547.73 spent this month the following stand out again.

 

£1,137,499.00  West Mercia Police & Crime Commissioner (shown as doube entry)

£1,137,499.00  West Mercia Police & Crime Commissioner

£595,785.79     Hoople Ltd

£572,597.10     Kier Construction - Central Div of Kier Construction Ltd

£468,691.46     Hereford & Worc Fire & Rescue Service (shown as doube entry)

£468,691.46     Hereford & Worc Fire & Rescue Service

£362,057.06     FCC Environment Services (uk) Ltd

£355,725.82     Thomas Vale Construction Plc

£283,617.76     Kier Construction - Central Div of Kier Construction Ltd

£238,864.49     Whitecross@Stepnell Ltd

£235,632.90     Shaw Healthcare (Herefordshire) Ltd

£281,855.67    2Gether NHS Foundation Trust

£173,844.58    Western Power Distribution

£151,117.00    Speller Metcalfe Malvern Ltd

£133,000.00    S C Joseph Ltd

£128,337.50    Worcestershire County Council

£122,664.45    Alliance In Partnership

£112,611.00    Wye Valley NHS Trust

£104,382.20    Livability

 

Redacted monthly sums since June 2013:

 

June £694,638.70

July £880,447.46

August £1,053,019.69

September £807,065.76

October £851,967.86

November £724,875.33

 

Total to date: £5,012,014.80

 

In contracts 2013:

Integral UK 

from 01/09/2013 to 31/08/2016       Â£10,497,513

 

Balfour Beatty Living Places

from 01/09/2013 to 31/08/2023      Â£200,000,000

 

Mercia Waste Management

from 23/12/1998 to 01/12/2023       £227,500,000

 

Focsa (UK) Ltd

from 01/11/2009 to 01/11/2016      Â£28,000,000

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From £14,570,547.73 spent this month the following stand out again.

 

£1,137,499.00  West Mercia Police & Crime Commissioner (shown as doube entry)

£1,137,499.00  West Mercia Police & Crime Commissioner

£595,785.79     Hoople Ltd

£572,597.10     Kier Construction - Central Div of Kier Construction Ltd

£468,691.46     Hereford & Worc Fire & Rescue Service (shown as doube entry)

£468,691.46     Hereford & Worc Fire & Rescue Service

£362,057.06     FCC Environment Services (uk) Ltd

£355,725.82     Thomas Vale Construction Plc

£283,617.76     Kier Construction - Central Div of Kier Construction Ltd

£238,864.49     Whitecross@Stepnell Ltd

£235,632.90     Shaw Healthcare (Herefordshire) Ltd

£281,855.67    2Gether NHS Foundation Trust

£173,844.58    Western Power Distribution

£151,117.00    Speller Metcalfe Malvern Ltd

£133,000.00    S C Joseph Ltd

£128,337.50    Worcestershire County Council

£122,664.45    Alliance In Partnership

£112,611.00    Wye Valley NHS Trust

£104,382.20    Livability

 

Redacted monthly sums since June 2013:

 

June £694,638.70

July £880,447.46

August £1,053,019.69

September £807,065.76

October £851,967.86

November £724,875.33

 

Total to date: £5,012,014.80

 

In contracts 2013:

Integral UK 

from 01/09/2013 to 31/08/2016       Â£10,497,513

 

Balfour Beatty Living Places

from 01/09/2013 to 31/08/2023      Â£200,000,000

 

Mercia Waste Management

from 23/12/1998 to 01/12/2023       £227,500,000

 

Focsa (UK) Ltd

from 01/11/2009 to 01/11/2016      Â£28,000,000

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I know i'm a bit late to the party to reply to this but..

 

 

 

Wendy, no they cannot make a compulsary purchase order on the Royal Mail, because it belongs to the crown, and if they took it to court it would cost them thousands, and they probably would not win! The only way they would get ithe site is if the royal mail agreed and I hate to think how much they would want!

 

Royal mail no longer belongs to the crown, they flogged it. Turf em out!

 

 

EDIT: Royal mail still has "code powers" might be a sticking point. Still, surely they knew about this when they were planning this project.

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  • 5 months later...

 

(14 items over £100,000) totaling £5,685,770.86 taking 51% of the monthly expenditure.

 

April 2014 £

   

   817,914.83 Worcestershire County Council

   667,420.04 Kier Construction - Central Div of Kier Construction Ltd

   663,520.47 Worcestershire County Council

   583,497.00 Halo Leisure Services Ltd

   562,512.00 Integral UK Ltd

   417,917.66 Thomas Vale Construction Plc

   407,941.34 Kier Construction - Central Div of Kier Construction Ltd

   397,583.34 Hoople Ltd

   240,214.00 University of Cambridge (UCLES)

   238,864.49 Whitecross@Stepnell Ltd

   236,560.80 Worcestershire County Council

   220,323.95 2Gether NHS Foundation Trust

   125,872.00 2Gether NHS Foundation Trust

   105,628.94 Hereford Futures Ltd

£5,685,770.86

 


 

Contracts over £1,000,000

 


£227,500,000   Mercia Waste Management 23/12/1998 to 01/12/2023

£200,000,000   Balfour Beatty Living Places 01/09/2013 to 31/08/2023

£28,000,000     Focsa (UK) Ltd 01/11/2009 to 01/11/2016

£6,000,000       NRS Healthcare 01/04/2014 to 31/03/2018

£4,380,812       Shaw Healthcare 01/08/2004 to 31/07/2029

£3,300,000       Vision Links Herefordshire 01/04/2014 to 31/03/2016

£2,264,000       West Mercia Homes Ltd 01/04/2013 to 31/03/2018

£2,099,503       Integral UK 01/09/2013 to 31/08/2016

£1,658,849       Midland Heart 08/08/2008 to 31/08/2015

£1,700,000       Two 2Gether Foundation Trust 31/03/2011 to 31/03/2014

£1,107,014       Festival Housing 01/10/2012 to 01/10/2014

£1,097,730       Kemble Care 29/11/1999 to 31/03/2014

£1,000,000       ategi Limited 01/04/2014 to 31/03/2017

 


 

 

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  • 1 month later...
Council expenditure available now for June 2014.

 

Unusually there is no May expenditure listed, so I assume the May figures have been included in the June spreadsheet. The toal sum of money paid out in June was £20,076,798.47 so this does look as if two months have been combined. Maybe a councillor can confirm.

 

In order to read the information quickly and see where the money is going I adopt the following approach.

 

Select spread sheet here. Choose the CSV format.

 

1. Highlight all spreadsheet (click in square above column 1 and to the left of letter A)

 

2. Change typeface size to 8

 

3. Click on Format and select Column AutoFit selection.

 

4. To select amount spent from greatest to least - click on Data - Sort - Sort by Amount - Descending

 

or

 

5. To see what the total amount of money is paid to each supplier - Data - Sort - Sort by Supplier Name - Ascending. Next, insert blank row after last entry for supplier. Insert Autosum under last payment and select total payments to arrive at total paid.

 

6. For example Hoople Ltd were paid £1,055,059.65 in June 2014.

 

You can also delete unnecessary columns to read across spread sheet easier.

 

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  • 2 months later...

Being waiting a long time for the latest council expenditure to be published. It has been a bit confusing since April, with no May figures. You jump to June and I assumed that May and June would be lumped together which appears to be the case. July figures come out and they list money paid in July, but also list payments made back to January this year. August is now out and when you open the file all the payments are for May?

 

The expense files were available in pdf, excel and csv, but since June were in pdf format only. I e-mailed the Council on August 21st and they said they would correct this, which they have partly done. The file for August is in pdf and csv, but not excel. However in csv you can edit it much easier.

 

However now looking at the August 2014 expenditure file which contains payments for May only, can anyone shed any light on the transfer payment for £3,880,000.00 to Clifford Chance LLP on the 21st May 2014 or have I read it wrong?

 

Another expenditure is to E Smith & Co Client Acct for £509,067.00 on 22nd May 2014, based in Kington?

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Hang on a minute, are we paying £238,864.49  A BLOODY MONTH   Whitecross@Stepnell Ltd for that PFI building? Now this school is an academy and not under local authroity control so why are the local authority paying for their building?

GOD DAM IT PEOPLE, When the council look to save money they fire a couple of valuable hard working people on minimum wage and just ignore things like this.

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  • 2 weeks later...

However now looking at the August 2014 expenditure file which contains payments for May only, can anyone shed any light on the transfer payment for £3,880,000.00 to Clifford Chance LLP on the 21st May 2014 or have I read it wrong?

 

Another expenditure is to E Smith & Co Client Acct for £509,067.00 on 22nd May 2014, based in Kington?

 

No ideas?

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On face value, it appears they have paid £3.8m to 'one of the ten largest law firms in the world' (wikipedia). For legal advice? About what? Even at £1k a day, that’s hell of a lot of lawyer time. Or were they acting as honest broker for third party payments to recipients that the council want to hide the identity of? Whatever, it’s a huge amount and we should know what it is for.

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On face value, it appears they have paid £3.8m to 'one of the ten largest law firms in the world' (wikipedia). For legal advice? About what? Even at £1k a day, that’s hell of a lot of lawyer time. Or were they acting as honest broker for third party payments to recipients that the council want to hide the identity of? Whatever, it’s a huge amount and we should know what it is for.

 

In view of the above very interesting links provided by flamboyant, I would hazard a guess that it's legal costs in connection with the 100+ CPO's need for the link road. That’s £6m to Rockfield, £3.8m to lawyers (so far, that we know about), which is almost £10m out of the £27m budget gone already. Plus the build cost of the new 'temporary' car park on the Rockfield site, design (and redesign) fees etc - perhaps the £27m is just for the consultants ...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Being waiting a long time for the latest council expenditure to be published. It has been a bit confusing since April, with no May figures. You jump to June and I assumed that May and June would be lumped together which appears to be the case. July figures come out and they list money paid in July, but also list payments made back to January this year. August is now out and when you open the file all the payments are for May?

 

The expense files were available in pdf, excel and csv, but since June were in pdf format only. I e-mailed the Council on August 21st and they said they would correct this, which they have partly done. The file for August is in pdf and csv, but not excel. However in csv you can edit it much easier.

 

At long last the monthly expenses have been corrected and now appear in the right order and with the right content. Note that Hereford Futures was paid £34,250 on 13th August 2014. I thought they had been wound up?

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  • 2 weeks later...
Wednesday 15 October 2014 in Hereford Times News by Bill Tanner

 
HEREFORDSHIRE Council paid out nearly £2 million on compulsory redundancies and “agreed departures†over the past financial year.
 
Overall, 102 compulsory redundancies cost the council £747,900 and 121 other “agreed departures†£1,183,368 - a total of £1,931,268.
 
By comparison, 60 compulsory redundancies cost the council £801,630 and 20 “agreed departures†£310,291 over 2012-13 -  a total of £1,111,921.
 
The total cost of actuarial strain on the 2013-14 terminations was £345,000.
 
Actuarial strain is the upfront cost payable to the relevant pension fund in addition to the normal contribution rate. This is paid to the pension fund  - administered by Worcestershire County Council (WCC) – over three years.
 
The actual amount of actuarial strain paid  to WCC in 2013-14 was £818,000 relating to retirements in 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14.
 
A redundancy provision of £1.8 million was also set up - including schools and the council’s partner organisations - based on the number of planned redundancies as at the end of March this year.
 
The majority of compulsory redundancies (96) and agreed departures (110)  came within the £0-£20,000 exit package cost band.
 
Five compulsory redundancies came in the £20,001-£40,000 band along with 11 agreed departures.
 
One compulsory redundancy came in the £40,001-£60,000 band.
 
The total number of exit packages by cost band was:
 
* £0-£20,000 - 206
* £20,001-£40,000 - 16
* £40,001-£60,000 - 1
 
The total cost of packages in each band was:
 
* £0-£20,000 - £1,418,649
* £20,001-£40,000 - £457,619
* £40,001-£60,000 - £55,000
 
The figures include exit packages agreed in the year but not yet actioned at the year’s end.
 
Herefordshire’s proportion of the net deficit on the WCC pension fund was £159.4 million at the end of March.
 
That figure is approximately 61 per cent the fair value of the assets - £187.4 million and 80% as at the end of March.
 
This deficit does not have to be met immediately from the council’s reserves, but action must be taken over a period of years to eliminate it.
 
In addition the balance sheet deficit also includes £1 million relating to ex-Hereford and Worcester teachers’ unfunded benefits - £1.1 million as at the end of March.
 
The pension fund position is reviewed every three years and was last re-valued in March 2013.
 
Herefordshire Council has agreed with the Actuary that in order to recover the deficit over 21 years the employer’s deficit contribution increases from £4.2 million in 2013/14 to £7.6m by 2016/17.
 
The Actuary has also requested that the element of the employer’s contribution related to clearing the deficit is paid as an annual cash  sum.
 
In future, the employers service contribution rate, which is paid as a percentage of current employees’ gross pay, is to increase from 11.7 per cent in 2013/14 to 14.6 per cent by 2015/16.
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BBC South West Wales: 16 October 2014

 
Dyfed-Powys Police said no further action would be taken following two investigations
 
A severance deal worth £330,000 has been agreed for Pembrokeshire chief executive Bryn Parry-Jones to quit his job, BBC Wales understands.
 
Councillors voted 29-23 in favour of the deal at a meeting in Haverfordwest on Thursday.
 
Mr Parry-Jones will leave his post on 31 October.
 
This deal follows a row over cash payments in lieu of pension contributions which the Wales Audit Office said were unlawful.
 
Police inquiries into the cash payments have been dropped after no evidence was found of criminal offences.
 
Dyfed-Powys Police said no further action would be taken following two investigations by officers called in from the Gloucestershire force.
 
Paul Miller, who leads the opposition Labour group on Pembrokeshire council, said: "I am bitterly disappointed at the level of the settlement which is completely out of kilter with the lives of the people we represent.
 
"There was a disciplinary process under way and that process should have been allowed to reach a conclusion. In my view, if it had been allowed, the people of Pembrokeshire would not be so much poorer this afternoon."
 
Resignation calls
Mr Parry-Jones is the highest paid council chief executive in Wales with a salary of almost £195,000 plus benefits in kind.
 
But following the Wales Audit Office report in January into the cash payments, he has been under pressure to resign from the post he has held for nearly 20 years.
 
In July, Pembrokeshire council said it would take no further action to reclaim the money from him or another unnamed senior officer involved in a similar arrangement.
 
The chief executive took a "leave of absence" in August, but it has since emerged it coincided in part with his annual leave.
 
The proposal for a severance deal for Mr Parry-Jones was confirmed to BBC Wales earlier in October by a member of the council's disciplinary investigation committee.
 
Mr Miller said earlier that any discussion over such a package "should be held in public gaze".
 
However, councillors voted to discuss the severance package in private.

 

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  • 6 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Another missed opportunity to enlighten the electorate!

 

Council contracts and also expenditure for February, March and April 2015 now published here.
 
Total monthly expenditure for:
 
February 2015  Â£17,045,880
March 2015  Â£20,339,966 - Hoople taking £1,303,016 - remember them!
April 2015  Â£13,699,763
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  • 3 weeks later...

May expenditure published - complete spreadsheet here.

 

Amount £
21,429,279.19    Total monthly payments
 
Biggest single payments
Amount £            Supplier Name
3,416,096.37      Balfour Beatty Living Places Ltd
2,006,413.70      Browne Jacobson LLP
1,315,000.00     Hoople Ltd
1,275,250.00     NHS Herefordshire CCG
1,241,762.00     West Mercia Police & Crime Commissioner
989,014.98        Worcestershire County Council
476,923.79        Speller Metcalfe Malvern Ltd
370,842.01        Earl Mortimer College & Sixth Form HCC
343,793.23        Fcc Environment Services (uk) Ltd
331,797.06        Kier Construction - Central Div of Kier Construction Ltd
250,506.97        Shaw Healthcare (Herefordshire) Ltd
230,415.18        Speller Metcalfe Malvern Ltd
198,049.00        2Gether NHS Foundation Trust
198,049.00        2Gether NHS Foundation Trust
198,048.67        2Gether NHS Foundation Trust
178,239.94        Riverside Primary School - HCC
130,543.00        The Courtyard Trust
125,000.00        2Gether NHS Foundation Trust
105,178.92        Warwickshire County Council
102,924.66        Speller Metcalfe Malvern Ltd
 
Amount £            Supplier Name
8,625.00             River Thai Restaurant and Bar (generous entertaining)
1,760,959.29      Hoople Ltd (total monthly payment)
7,380.00             Hereford Futures Ltd (I thought they had gone a long time ago)
26,331.19           Ezitracker (Is this to locate the Chief Executive?)
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Good grief.

 

That's four, very chunky payments going out to The 2gether Foundation Trust.

 

I do hope they are earning that money..........

 

 

Who are Browne Jacobson LLP??? That's a new one on me.

 

And STILL Hereford Futures????

 

And a VERY hefty bar bill..... just who has been wined and dined at our expense???

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