Tuesday 11 October 2011

Just the Ticket

Well I finally had a response to my request for 'officers' interests' which can be viewed here;
(you will have to open the link to the PDF document.)

The response was nearly a month late, I am not sure what they've been doing to come up with such a poor response, I have requested a review as they do not appear to have read my request correctly, I asked for business interests as well,  not just a list of 'gifts and hospitality'.
As for the information which was supplied I am not sure whether the Director of Regeneration, Dave Gilbert, should really have accepted an invitation from Mott Macdonald (consultants to the Council) to attend 'with hospitality', the FA Cup final in Wembley in 2008 even if he was 'representing the Chief Executive'. Neither am I sure he should be accepting hospitality from a firm of property developers to attend an Ospreys v Scarlets rugby match in 2007.
You will notice there is quite a sporting theme running through the document, with particular connections to the Scarlets and the WRU, it was nice of the Chief Executive to give the Head of Finance two tickets to see the Scarlets play Connaught in 2008. The Director of Resources, whilst a Scarlets season ticket holder (another common theme) must also like a game of footie, he enjoyed the hospitality (VIP no less) of the Football Association Wales at the Wales v Estonia match at the Parc Y Scarlets in 2009. Mind you, earlier that year the Head of Corporate Property gratefully accepted  two tickets for the Wales v Ireland rugby international from David Pickering (WRU). The Head of Housing and the Head of Social Services both enjoyed tickets ('plus lunch') to a Wales v Australia International courtesy of the CEO of another consultancy, must have been a jolly day out.

I suppose these are perks of the job, and I have a feeling they may have left a few out but I'll never know, and as long as they are 'declared' it's all ok then. But one should, for just one example, remember the protracted, controversial and continuing planning issue over the new Scarlets stadium/Stradey development as well as the continued taxpayers bailout of the new stadium itself.

Update; After I complained to the Information Commissioner the Council 'discovered' some more declarations; http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/senior_council_officers_register#incoming-254045


nospin said...

Councillors and execs should not accept hospitality in any shape or form from anyone, then it would look clean.

If they need to attend a conference as part of their council duties, then the council should pay for everything, ie travel meals etc.

If as is often the case they only get to go to some conferences providing they are hosted, they clearly don't really need to attend.

Events ie rugby a no no, they look innocent but who else is in the box as a guest, oh fancy meeting you here. They most certainly should not accept any offer from someone /company that has dealing with the council.

End of.

Photon said...

I agree that there should be no acceptance of any hospitality at all; companies don't offer gifts and rugby tickets for nothing.

Some rugby matches offered by a waste collection company was partly to blame for the downfall of Anglesey's one-time Chief Exec, Leon Gibson. He appeared on an investigative programme that saw him literally sweat to pieces on camera under the questioning. You can read about it from page 22 (point 80) onwards here:


Anonymous said...

CCC also prop up the Stadium by having their jollies (presentations/training sessions/meetings - all that sort of stuff that staff, the more senior at any rate, seem to spend so much time doing, rather than their actual JOB) their. And the Scarlets give the impression of good attendance at matches by getting bums on seats from freebie tickets to CCC staff. That so much council taxpaeyers money could have been pumped into a company that had deliberately witheld publishing its accounts as their auditors had concluded the Scarlets were not a going concern, is scandalous.