Wednesday, July 25, 2007

More pension news - pension fund adviser wanted. Pay up to £144,371

We reported earlier about the proposal from GDfB create a new £500/hour job for a lucky Councillor to Chair the Pension Committee.

One of the readers of that posting pointed us to a DPR that states:
8.3) .... Consultation with other local authorities has established that the market fees for this type of advice are estimated to be at a level that does not require an EU tender process. Please note that the current threshold for services is £144, 371.
Maybe the Chief Executive will apply....

Shock announcement. Council to tell Councillors when their Committee papers are available. Council enters the 1990s.

Waldorf has spotted something interesting. The Council's Director of Corporate Governance (note an Officer has decided this, not the Councillors themselves) has authorised the expenditure of £1200 on an IT project.

The ambitious aim of this is to tell Councillors by email when the papers for their Committee's have been published and made available. How forward looking and radical. Should this not have been demanded by the 'hard working' Councillors from the beginning of this new computer system?

Maybe they were too busy to ask?

We're off to watch Big Brother.

Will Councillors raid the staff pension fund to pay for ANOTHER job for Councillors?

An informant telephoned Statler this evening to tip him off of a report going to the Council's Committee on the Constitution. The papers for the meeting contain proposals to restructure the way the Council deals with managing pension arrangements. Then, out of nowhere, peeks:
9.3.4 It is further proposed that the Chairman be allocated a Special Responsibility Allowance at Scale 4, which is currently, £7125. Although it is expected that the Committee will generally meet 4 times a year, it has a significant responsibility. There is also an expectation that the Chairman will keep him/herself briefed on key issues throughout the year.
Statler worked out on his abacus that probably will be £500 an hour for the meetings attended (if they last 4 hours - unlikely).

Not content with that, the real sting in the tail is that the money for this is to be taken out of the Pension Fund itself. Did Council staff expect that their pension deductions would be going to pay a £500 / hour Chair?

There is plenty of time for the Constitution committee to amend this proposal and reduce the amount considerably to reflect the low level of commitment. Will they? Will the Labour or Liberal Democrats even have read the papers yet? Will they put down an amendment? Do they know how?

It's not like the old days, hey, Statler?

Another startling Labour blog post

Hot foot from urging the residents of Barnet to 'Shower with a Polar Bear' the Labour Party of Barnet have taken up the campaign of finches. Read before you want to go to bed, will help you sleep.

See the Labour Group leadership is still sleeping.

Theresa Villiers in the running should 'Dave' fall under a bus.....

The Spectator Blog reports here.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Theresa Villiers in Glastonburygate scandal?

A fellow blog entitled BBC Biased has posted a story criticising the BBC for blowing £68,000 of licence payers money to lay on a hospitality marquee at the youngsters pop concert held at Glastonbury.

Of the five MPs it alleges attended was invited, was Chipping Barnet MP, Theresa Villiers. The BBC point out, in the alleged letter, that it did not pay for travel or accommodation.

Read all about it here.

Statler and Waldorf cannot accept liability for the contents of external websites. As always do your own research.

Monday, July 23, 2007

New Blogs

Our friends from the 'dead tree' press seem to be pulling out all the stops to help Michael Whitney Freer and Matthew Rupert Offord to get to Parliament. Three cheers say us! It's good that the local papers are supporting great Conservative candidates.

They have even arranged for a blog for Michael Freer.

Unfortunately though they have given one to 'the other lot' too. If the Labour Party's first post is anything to go by Cllr Freer needn't worry too much. Their sole posting urges people to 'Shower with a Polar Bear'. Hard hitting stuff Alison, that should stave off the back stabbers in your group after your job - not!

Hmm. Time for some cheese and port.

We're back

Waldorf and I are refreshed and revived and back from our long cruise holiday. Internet was very poor and we'd rather not have posted silly stuff. Photo's from our vacation soon.

UPDATE: Barnet Councillors to "Save London's Water"

Update 23 July: No reply received yet.

Update: It has been two days since emails were sent to the T's and Three Valley's Water asking for details of the campaign the T's are 'leading in London'. No acknowledgment or reply received yet.

We'll show you naysayers that these aren't people saying anything for free publicity. Off for a sip of port.

Original posting: Waldorf and I have received a telegram with an audacious claim from two of Barnet's lesser known Councillors, Count A. Tambourides and his wife Countess J. Tambourides. They have both pushed out a press release to London Greek News,
Councillors Andreas and Joanna Tambourides are leading a campaign in London to preserve the capitals water reserves in association with Three Valleys Water who recently launched a magazine 'Summer Fun' in association with 15 other water companies aiming to educate the public on water preservation. Andreas Tambourides a leading member of the Conservative group in Barnet Council and former Mayor Barnet has aligned himself with one of the most important issues facing the capital, ie water supply and by doing this emphasising Barnet's commitment to the preservation of the environment."
We felt that this was a very fraternal endeavour. We wanted find out more about the campaign. Waldorf went and checked with Three Valleys Water. It seems the silly water company don't yet know about the Count and Countess running this initiative. How frightfully rude of them to ignore their London wide campaign?

The only mention that the Count and Countess get is a press release from 2005 where there are pictured with smiley, cheesy grins accepting a £350 donation. Read here.

Waldorf and I have deleted comments and cast aside suggestions that the Count and Countess are publicity hungry, expense grabbing scoundrels and have claimed success for a campaign that doesn't exist. Such comments are naughty and scandalous. How could any GDfB Councillor claim credit for something they weren't actually doing just to get free newspaper coverage?

We will prove these naysayers wrong so will be checking up on a weekly basis on the Count and Countess and reporting to you the hard work they have been to doing to "Save London's Water".

Waldorf is off shortly to the Count and Countess' home to take a picture of their water meter (he thinks they surely would have one if they are such environmentalists).