Archive for the 'Accountancy' Category

25
Jun
09

south tyneside council guilty of discrimination

Many of council’s male employees are set to get an early Christmas present after South Tyneside Council was found guilty of discriminating against male employees in low paid jobs .

As a result of yesterday’s landmark ruling more than 12,000 men across the UK won the right to bring equal pay claims against their employers and the bill for these discriminatory practices will run into hundreds of millions of pounds.

In a test case, 300 men working as care assistants, caretakers, drivers and leisure attendants lodged discrimination claims against South Tyneside, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough Borough Councils.

Their claim was based on what they say are discriminatory bonuses paid to male workers in better paid jobs, such as gardeners and refuse collectors.

The men lodged their claims at the same time as those by women in low-paid jobs who were also claiming that the bonuses were discriminatory. The women succeeded in their claims and were offered financial settlements but the men had not and continued to be paid less both than the better paid men, and also the women.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal ruled that the men should have been offered the same back pay as the women.

Mr Justice Underhill, president of the tribunal, said: “The case where men and women do the same job but receive different rates of pay is the paradigm of the kind of situation which the Act was intended to prevent: how would it seem if – unusually, but not impossibly – the roles were reversed and the ‘piggyback’ claimants were not men but women?”

After the ruling, Yvette Genn, a barrister who specialises in equal pay law said: “This is an important decision as it demonstrates that equal pay laws can be applied not only by women who compare themselves with men, but also by men who are comparing themselves with better paid men. Even though women historically have received lower pay than their male counterparts, it is too often forgotten that the law applies equally to men as it does to women.”

Mr Monkey reckons local solicitors will be inundated with claims for equal pay by men who have worked for or are still working for South Tyneside Council – they’ve got nothing to lose especially as any legal fees they incur will have to be picked by the council.

IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A CLAIM IT’S WORTH TALKING TO A SOLICITOR AS WELL AS THE UNION – REMEMBER UNION OFFICIALS ARE VERY FRIENDLY WITH COUNCILLORS AND COUNCIL OFFICERS AND MAY NOT PUT YOUR INTERESTS FIRST.

It seems that the council’s chief executive, Irene Lucas knew the writing was on the wall and is jumping ship before the chickens come home to roost .

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22
May
09

Labour councillors paid almost half a million pounds

Its Labour’s turn to face Mr Monkey’s how much do they cost the taxpayer test.

When bloggers look at the figures it’s easy to see why so many Labour stalwarts have been around for so long. No wonder they squeal like pigs on the way to the slaughter house when they face the prospect of being dragged away from the trough.

Mr Monkey also reckons that this is why their lives are decimated when the electorate kick them out and why so many of them try and grab someone else’s seat on the council. This is the only way they can get their snouts back in the trough – there’s never been any honour amongst thieves especially when it comes to money.

Here are some of the highlights from The Labour Greed List,

• Coun Iain Malcolm made the highest claim at £32,435 (£623.75 a week)

• Coun Alan Kerr claimed at £23,319 (£448.44 a week)

• Coun Ernest Gibson claimed a record £4,932.27 for travel and subsistence

• Coun Rob Dix treated himself to a new BMW when he was elected. This delivery driver receives an annual boost to his salary from the taxpayer of around £14,000.

• After replacing Paul Waggott as leader of the council, Coun Malcolm promptly put the boot in by not giving Coun Linda Waggott a place at his trough. She was the only Labour councillor not to receive a special responsibility allowance.

Mr Monkey was staggered to learn that almost half a million pounds of taxpayers money was paid to just 31 Labour councillors and for what? Most of them can’t string a sentence together and couldn’t care less about the people they represent, that is until it’s time for their re-election.

The cost of each Labour councillor to the taxpayer in 2008 – 09 was a staggering £15,029.83.

Name

Allowance

Travel

Subsistence

Total

Weekly Cost

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anglin, J

11,760

11,760

226.15

Bell, J

16,464

16,464

316.61

Boyack, P

13,833

691.25

152.33

14,676

282.23

Brady, W  E

16,464

16,464

316.61

Clare, M H

16,464

16,464

316.61

Dix, R

14,112

14,112

271.38

Dixon, T

15,352

1,566.80

315.62

17,234

331.43

Donaldson, A

8,168

129.63

8,297

159.55

Foreman, J

16,464

800.15

214.01

17,478

336.11

Gibson, E

16,186

3,431.90

1,500.37

21,118

406.12

Hanson, T

16,464

16,464

316.61

Kerr, A

22,408

733.47

177.63

23,319

448.44

Leask, E

14,112

14,112

271.38

Lewell, E L

11,760

11,760

226.15

Malcolm, E

16,464

1,253.10

605.91

18,323

352.36

Malcolm, I

31,817

239.00

379.82

32,435

623.75

Maxwell, N E

16,464

228.50

72.94

16,765

322.40

McAtominey, E

12,962

638.40

53.12

13,653

262.56

McCabe, J G

14,112

14,112

271.38

McMillan, A

11,481

11,481

220.78

Meeks, J

14,112

334.60

160.61

14,607

280.90

Perry, J

16,464

16,464

316.61

Piggot, T

11,760

11,760

226.15

Punchion, O

11,760

102.40

11,862

228.11

Scorer, B

14,112

211.20

111.75

14,434

277.57

Sewell, J

16,464

658.75

734.78

17,857

343.40

Spraggon, S

11,203

151.20

11,354

218.34

Stewart, A M

13,833

114.90

88.47

14,036

269.92

Strike, A

11,760

56.00

11,816

227.23

Waggott, L I

7,056

7,056

135.69

Walsh, A

8,486

372.00

15.42

8,873

170.63

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOTALS:

450,321*

10,892.37

4,712.41

465,925*

8,973.16

*These figures do not include pence

20
May
09

how much does a progressive councillor cost the taxpayer?

It’s the Progressives turn to face Mr Monkey’s how much do they cost the taxpayer test. 

Like the Real Independents, these closet Conservatives have effectively been bought by Miss Piggy as he tries desperately to cling on to power. Sadly this once major force in South Tyneside politics has been reduced to a handful of has beens that are well past their sell by date, but they do all have one thing in common – they’re useless, and in some case clueless. 

Take councillor Hetherington, one of the Ugly Sisters from West Park, she accepted the position of vice chair of the Riverside Community Area Forum thinking it was a paid position and when she found out it wasn’t she spent the rest of the year sulking. 

Name

  Allowances   

  Travel   

  Subsistence   

Total

  Weekly Cost   

J. Capstick

£11,760

 

 

£11,760

£226.15

K. Hickman

£11,203

 

 

£11,203

£215.44

E. Hetherington

£7,056

 

 

£7,056

£135.69

M. Robinson

£7,056

 

 

£7,056

£135.69

L. Nolan

£7,056

 

 

£7,056

£135.69

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOTALS

£44,131

£44,131

£848.66

 The cost of each Progressive councillor to the taxpayer in 2008 – 09 was £8,826.20

15
May
09

how do you claim £17,393 in expenses and allowances for attending just 12 meeting?

Mr Monkey has been reviewing some of his older posts and came across this one CLICK HERE about the Conservative group leader’s money grabbing antics.

No one can argue that councillor David Potts has an abysmal record when it comes to attending meetings and in the last 12 months he’s attended just 12 meetings out of a possible 71 and has been paid more than £14,000 in allowances and claimed £3393 in expenses.

That’s a massive £17,393 for the year which is equivalent to £1,449 a month, £334 a week or nearly £1,500 a meeting.

Mr Monkey hasn’t been able to work out how this greedy bastard has the nerve to claim £282 in expenses for every meeting he’s attended, unless of course he travelled back from Edinburgh – where he was standing as a Tory candidate – at the taxpayers expense.

15
May
09

councillor gibson is top of the class when it comes to expenses

'Caught! Who's paying for that Ernest?'

'Caught! Who's paying for that Ernest?'

Over the last 2 days Mr Monkey has revealed how Conservative group leader David Potts, and his colleague Jeff Milburn have milked the expenses system by pocketing nearly £7,000 in just 12 months. CLICK HERE and HERE.

Today Mr Monkey can reveal that screwing the expenses system is not exclusively a Tory thing. It seems that the local Labour party were keen to get in on the act; they have the greediest bastard of them all.

According to figures released earlier this week, Labour councillor Ernest Gibson, who represents Whiteleas, tops the list when it comes to expense claims. In 2008 – 09 he claimed nearly £5, 000 for travel, hotels and subsistence – that’s almost £100 a week. 

Councillor Gibson who is renowned for his love of freebies and can more often than not be found downing large quantities of alcohol and stuffing his ample frame at the buffet table – all funded by the taxpayer – claimed £3,431 in travel expenses and £1,500 for hotels and meals.  

It seems councillor Gibson’s appetite for all things free and his desire to screw the system knows no bounds, but then Mr Monkey reckons he’ll tell the public that it’s all within the rules – so isn’t it time the rules were changed Ernest?

09
Mar
09

the audit commission gives council top marks for losing £10 million

'Rewarding failure'

'Rewarding failure'

Council leader Iain Malcolm Miss Piggy and the borough’s Dominatrix, Irene Lucas might want to put their celebrations on hold following last week’s announcement by the Audit Commission that South Tyneside Council is rated a 4 star authority.

Mr Monkey has learned that the Audit Commission and it’s inspectors have become a laughing stock after they announced that Cambridge City Council won top marks for sound financial management and value for money – despite investing £9 million in Icelandic banks and a potential loss of £618,000 on Cambridge Folk Festival ticket sales.

The top score of four marks was awarded by the Audit Commission for the council’s use of resources and it was one of the 13 top performers in the country.

The award focused on strategic financial management, sound governance, effective financial reporting and giving taxpayers value for money.

Council leader Cllr Ian Nimmo-Smith said: “The Audit Commission is aware of the financial issues in relation to the Icelandic deposits, which affect many councils, and the Folk Festival tickets. I can’t say to what extent they have been taken into account.”

He added: “I’m very pleased the successful way which we run things in Cambridge has been recognised by the Audit Commission. This endorses the recent survey results that showed that residents in Cambridge rated the city council as providing value for- money services at a higher level than other districts in the county.”

At the recent budget setting meeting, Cllr Lewis Herbert, Labour group leader, likened the Liberal Democrats’ management of council finances to a “road crash” with Cllr Nimmo- Smith at the wheel.

He said the Icelandic investment and Folk Festival losses, after an internet ticket sales company went into liquidation, were “self-inflicted”. He said he was surprised the council still received a four-star rating.

He added: “Losing £9 million in Icelandic investments and over £1 million in interest and the Folk Festival tickets represents a shocking failure of the council’s control systems.”

For the second year running, the finance and value for money element of the inspection gave the county council the top score of four.

Cllr John Reynolds, cabinet member for corporate services, said: “I am delighted that our inspection found that the way we manage our budget and spend council taxpayers’ money is of the highest order. We continue to work within an extremely tight financial climate but this score shows we are among the best councils in the country when it comes to financial management.”

These weaknesses are now most evident. For a Council to be declared “excellent” in the same week that it cuts services and raises taxes, and in the same year that it slashes staff pay, is crazy.

The Council have released a special issue of their staff newsletter to congratulate everyone on the achievement.

At the top of the list of high performing services are the Revenues and Benefits service, who deal with Council Tax payments and the administration of benefits to the needy. They too have received a top 4 star rating and yet a mixture of bad laws, bad government and crazy local decision making has seen many of the staff in that department lose a crushingly large proportion of their salary this year.

There’s nothing about this in the congratulatory press releases issued by the Council, the Audit Commission and the government.

Mr Monkey can’t help wondering what South Tyneside is hiding?

09
Feb
09

GAZETTE: The End Is Nigh

Mr Monkey reckons the newspaper industry has moved towards the end of middle-age, growing increasingly aware of its own mortality.

Like someone nearing retirement, it might well expect to have a couple of decades left before it’s ready to start pushing up the daisies.

However, the reality is many groups haven’t led the healthiest of lifestyles. Instead of investing for the future, they became greedier and greedier in the margins they chased.

It wasn’t so long ago Johnston Press, whose titles include the Shields Gazette and the Sunderland Echo, were the toast of the industry. Thirty per cent profits.

Why aren’t we making that, they chorused in boardrooms up and down the land.

Now look at them; they’re shares are not worth a bag of crisps.

It’s easy to be wise with hindsight but like all newspaper groups, they never really “got” the internet until it started getting to them.

In late middle-age it seems Johnston Press may well be prone to a sudden heart attack.

Mr Monkey can’t help wondering how long the banks are going to put up with their debt mountain – which is approaching half a billion pounds – and given they’re falling revenues it won’t be long before they decide it’s time to foreclose.

It must be worrying times for those employed by the Gazette – do yourselves a favour and get out before it’s too late – apparently Papa John Szymanski is already looking.