B&NES COUNCIL JOHN EVERITT CLLR HAEBERLING CLLR HANNEY ENJOY TAXPAYERS GENEROSITY
local government |
Sunday April 18, 2010 12:38 by Concerned
CAPITALIST PIGS AT THE TROUGH OF PUBLIC FUNDS
£3000pw B&NES COUNCIL CHIEF EXECUTIVE JOHN EVERITT AND HIS WIFE ACCOMPANIED BY £700pw SENIOR TORY LEADER CLLR HAEBERLING AND DEPUTY LEADER RETIRED INTERNATIONAL BANKER CLLR HANNEY ENJOY TAX FUNDED TRIP TO CHINA WHILE PLANNING MASSIVE JOB CUTS ACROSS THE COUNCIL.
Dear Mr Hitchman,
Ref: Cllr Haeberling and Cllr Hanney’s apparent failure to declare their interests under the Councillors Code of Conduct at points 7 (1) (b) (i) (iii) and 2 with regard to Cllr Haney’s proposed official visit to the City of Jingdezhen as outlined in the Report to Full Council of 10th September 2009.
As you claim to have answered my FOI request for information relating to this trip “in the spirit of openness” (when in fact you must provide the information requested under the FOI Act) why have you failed to answer my FOI requests which asked for the names of the elected and independent members who sat on the Standards Referral Sub-Committee which initially dealt with my complaint and a copy of the minutes of this alleged meeting?
Even though you have refused to provide me with copies of actual receipts, bills and invoices thank you for confirming that:
1) flight and transportation costs for 5 B&NES Council delegates and I University of Bath delegate cost £1228.79p per delegate
2) accommodation costs for two nights stay at the Gingfeng hotel and two nights stay at the Holy Mountain Hotel for 5 council delegates, 1 Bath University delegate and I Bath Chamber of Commerce delegate cost £213.76p per delegate
3) meals over 4 days cost £23.23p per delegation member
4) translation, interpretation, negotiation assistance etc., provided by UK China Cultural Association (UKCCA) for the 5 council delegates, 1 Bath University delegate and 1 Bath Chamber of Commerce delegate cost £6000 or £857.14p per delegate.
“B&NES Council was approached in October 2008 to visit the City of Jingdezhen. The invitation was arranged by an organisation known as the UK China Culture Association (UKCCA) ..Cllr’s Hanney and Brinkhurst and the Director for Regeneration visited Jindezhen in response to the invitation….Group leaders were consulted and were supportive of progressing discussions…As a consequence the City of Jingdezhen wish to pursue a friendship link with B&NES.” (report to Full Council 10/09/09 point 5.1 and 5.2)
5) The Director of Bath Chamber of Commerce and Initiative Mr Ian Bell had his flight costs paid by the Bath Chamber of Commerce
6) the wife of B&NES Council’s Chief Executive Mrs Everitt “paid privately for all arrangements.”
7) “No formal itinerary exists for engagements in Shanghai.”
8) “The delegation was hosted by Jiangxi Province and Jingdezhen City.”
9) the amount of time taken up with official civic functions by the 7 member delegation amounted to approximately 14 hours over its 4 day stay in Jiangxi Province (itinerary confirms) which included two Banquets, a visit to the Jiangxi Normal University, a visit to the opening ceremony of the Jingdezhen International Ceramic Fair and a further visit to an unrecorded place in Jingdezhen City.
Considering your new found spirit of openness under the FOI Act can you please provide the following information:
10) why did B&NES Council pay for the £2322.92p flight/transportation, accommodation, meals, translation costs of Professor Jane Millar, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) University of Bath who is neither an elected member or council employee?
11) why did B&NES Council pay for the £1094.13p accommodation, meals and translation costs of Mr Ian Bell Director of Bath Chamber of Commerce who is neither an elected member or employee of B&NES Council?
12) did Mrs Everitt pay privately for UKCCA assistance or for the double rooms she shared with her husband the Chief Executive of B&NES Council who had his £213.76p (bargain basement for a 4 star hotel) accommodation costs paid by the Council?
13) once the 4 day official visit to Jiangxi province had concluded on October 19 which of the 7 member delegation then went on to Shanghai for several days before travelling back to England on the return flight which was paid for by B&NES Council?
14) Considering no member of the B&NES Council delegation was invited by anyone to visit Shanghai, the £20,000 funding granted by the Council was only for an official Council delegation to visit Jiangxi Province and considering you are attempting to deceive me about this unofficial holiday in Shanghai by, it appears, senior council officers and elected members by pretending they had further official engagements in Shanghai ie: “ no formal itinerary exists for engagements in Shanghai” can you explain what members of the Council delegation were actually doing in Shanghai, who paid delegation members transport, accommodation, meals and translation service costs when in Shanghai ?
15) “Company: UK China Culture Association. Registered: 2nd Floor 74 Shaftesbury Avenue London. Latest Accounts: NO ACCOUNTS FILED. Latest Returns: NO RETURNS FILED. Date Incorporated: Dec 13, 2007…”
Please note UKCCA appears to have no formal address (the above being no more than an accommodation address) website, email , telephone or fax contact. Maybe Cllr Hanney can shed some light on who or what this UK China Culture Association is!
Please provide a copy of all the contract documentation between UKCCA and B&NES Council.
16) please provide a copy of the “AGREEMENT BETWEEN JIANGXI PROVINCE OF THE PEOPLES COMMUNIST REPUBLIC OF CHINA AND BATH AND NORTH EAST SOMERSET ON THE ESTABLISHMENT OF PROVINCE RELATIONSHIP” signed by Vice Governor Mr Sungang and Cllr Joan Francine Haeberling Conservative Leader B&NES Council
17) please confirm when the Standards Referral Sub-Committee will be reconvening as I will be putting further substantive information to it which will show, I believe, that Cllr Haeberling and Hanney had a clear duty to declare their interests at Cabinet and Full Council regarding their proposed 10 day friendship visit to China which was in fact a 4 day official visit followed by, it appears, a five day holiday in Shanghai for some if not all delegation members.