Archive for the 'Finance' Category

02
Jul
09

local conservatives party at your expense

'councillor Milburn consoles his leader after news broke that councillor Gibson got away with more expenses than he did'

'councillor Milburn consoles his leader after news broke that councillor Gibson got away with more expenses than he did'

Over the last couple of days Mr Monkey has been having another look at the expenses claims of Laurel and Hardy, the comedy duo who represent the Cleadon and East Boldon Ward, councillors Potts and Milburn.

Armed only with a diary, a calculator and a list of council committee meetings, Mr Monkey has come to the conclusion that Laurel and Hardy have been having a very fine time at the behest of the public purse. Readers will remember that Mr Monkey revealed Dumb and Dumber’s excessive expense claims in a previous post CLICK HERE

The King of Sleaze David Potts accumulated £3116.81 whilst attending the Local Government Association’s “Environment Board”, travelling up and down to London (with the odd overnight stop) via first class rail travel. Over £800 was pocketed claimed largely without the production of any receipts.

Likewise, councillor Milburn the Cleadon Plonky managed to rack up £3129.85, this time via the Local Government Associations “Strategy and Finance Board”. Not to miss out on any free money, £300 was paid out with no proof that it had actually been spent.

Those of you who frequent this site on a regular basis will not be surprised by these figures – councillor Potts has always been top of the class when it comes to sponging a publicly funded jaunt to London, a free bed for the night and a slap up meal to boot. Clearly, he has also created Milburn in his own image, indeed they both love nothing more than a good feed at the pig’s trough at the public’s expense of course. 

Whilst their greed may be galling, it’s surpassed by their total disregard for the people who elected them. Over a period of 6 consecutive LGA Environment Board meetings, cpunillor Potts never missed one of them. When it comes to 6 Community Area Forum meetings (the life blood of the councillor/electorate structure) all held within a couple of days of Potts’ trips to London, he managed to attend a grand total of ……0, zero, nil, zilch, none.

Councillor Milburn’s record is equally contemptible. 4 of his LGA Strategy and Finance Board meetings fell on the same day as his local CAF’s – Milburn chose to go to London on all four occasions, spending £1381 instead of representing those who elected him. Over the Council committee period 2008/2009, the 3 stooges – Conservative councillors for Cleadon and East Boldon (lets not forget the Donald Wood) – never managed to attend a CAF meeting as a trio. Pudgy Face Potts didn’t even manage to get his rather ample backside to one meeting, such is his laziness and contempt for the electorate.

So there you have it. When it comes to representing their communities, councillors David Potts and Jeffrey Milburn could not care less and would rather have a free couple of days in London, all paid for from the public purse.

Mr Monkey has this message for all you doubters out there … when you’re sitting in The Cottage or The Red Lion listening to the whines emanating from the mouths of Potts and Milburn as to how their reputations have been besmirched by The Monkey, remind them that all this information has been gleaned from the Councils own internet site. It’s free to use and free to see – the devil is in the detail, however, the devil is never in The Gazette!

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29
Jun
09

silence of the chimps – part 2

Last week Mr Monkey revealed that a handful of senior councillors and council officers have become so obsessed with Mr Monkey’s Blog that they’ll stop at nothing to close it down – as long as they can pass the costs on to the taxpayer.

This chimp also told bloggers that the council has spent more than £30,000 on legal advice in an effort to silence the chimp. CLICK HERE. 

Mr Monkey can now reveal the council was told by the lawyers they consulted that if they wanted to pursue the chimp in the American courts the cost would be around £400,000 and that there was no guarantee of success.

They also told the council that if they managed to force WordPress – via the US courts – to reveal the IPaddress used by Mr Monkey to register his blog, this was only the beginning of a long and expensive legal process.

WordPress would only reveal the IP address, service provider i.e BT and the details used at the time of registration. The council would then need to go to court again – this time in the UK to get a court order to force BT to reveal the location of the IP address. Again this would not necessarily reveal the identity of Mr Monkey and they could end up being told that the IP address was registered to a wifi location in Middlesborough, Sunderland, Newcastle or Durham and that the person who registered with WordPress was could have used a false name.

Imagine what the public would say about a council who spends hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers money chasing a monkey and all because the Chuckle Brothers can’t face the prospect of being labelled as a couple of scheming, lying, cheating and corrupt wankers.

This chimp can now confirm that the executive of the council refused to pursue this action on cost grounds and that their decision left the Chuckle Brothers feeling angry and frustrated.

Mr Monkey can now reveal that 10 weeks ago the same group of Labour councillors approached the executive and police again and this time they gave them the name of a person they belive is Mr Monkey, but unfortunately for them, the legal and police advice remains the same.

It seems that despite the Chuckle Brothers best efforts to silence Mr Monkey – Iain and Ed Malcolm are going to have to learn to live with this chimp who according to some experts may live up to 60 years!

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 .

20
Jun
09

is the member for jarrow a peckish plonky?

'The memebr for Jarrow thinks the taxpayer should pay for his grocery bill'

'The memebr for Jarrow thinks the taxpayer should pay for his grocery bill'

It seems Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn loves nothing more than a free feed and piss up at the taxpayers expense – maybe it’s a legacy from his days of being a South Tyneside councillor.

According to the Parliamentary expenses published yesterday, Mr Hepburn thinks that the taxpayer should pick up his grocery bill and he sees nothing wrong in claiming around £75 per week for food – last year the greedy bastard managed to fuck the taxpayer to the tune of £3,850 for his food bill alone.

His expenses also show that he claimed £450 for a washing machine and nearly £500 for a digital camera – which by coincidence happened to be bought a couple of weeks before Christmas – Mr Monkey reckons somebody probably got a canny Christmas present.

Mr Monkey also reckons that the taxpayer has been paying for his drinking habit under the guise of petty cash. Examination of Mr Hepburn’s claims reveal that he claimed £250 a month for ‘petty cash’. This is the monthly limit allowed and there’s no requirement to submit receipts.

This chimp can’t help wondering how he managed to claim exactly £250 month after month unless of course he was milking the system to feed his boozing habit – he can often be found on a Sunday afternoon pissed up in the Clock in Hebburn.

Maybe he should take a leaf out of David Miliband’s book and pay some of the money back?

08
Jun
09

is the labour council leader impersonating independent councillor steve harrison?

Last week Mr Monkey revealed that council leader Iain Malcolm led a delegation of South Tyneside councillors on a 5 day jolly to Epinay in France. CLICK HERE. The delegation included a number of Malcolm lackeys including councillors Rob Dix and Steve Harrison.

Mr Monkey’s revelations sentthese freeloaders into panic mode and councillor Iain Malcolm – in an attempt to justify spending thousands of pounds of public money – posted two comments on Mr Monkey’s Blog under the name J Adamson. CLICK HERE and HERE. from this e-mail address; eurocar@hotmail.com  

This comment was then left on Mr Monkey’s Blog under the same name and using the same e-mail address within hours of Mr Monkey’s second post –

You deluded idiot, I AM NOT Iain Malcolm and I AM NOT a councillor just an employee of STC, now you’ve disclosed my email address and risked my job you stupid ignorant fucking twat!
Pull your head out of your arse and start thinking of a way to defend me at the investigatory interview.

I won’t be back leaving comments here, brainless arsehole.

The tone and style of this comment was different to the other two and it was clearly written by a someone else.

This chimp has spent most of the weekend looking at all the comments left on his site and can confirm that two e-mail addresses – eurocar@hotmail.com and eurocar@hotmail.co.uk– have been regularly used to post comments, under different names since November 2008.

According to Jarra Lad, eurocar is part of Elmfiled taxis and is owned by councillor Steve Harrison. If this is true and councillor Harrison is behind these comments Mr Monkey reckons that the council leader will not be best pleased when he learns what councillor Harrison really thinks of him.

The only question is that did councillor Harrison know that Iain Malcolm was posting comments in his name? If not what was the council leader doing impersonating an councillor Harrison – Mr Monkey wonders whether it’s got anything to do with stopping former council leader Paul Waggott from making a swift return to the council?

A list of all comments left using the eurocar e-mail address will follow in the next 48 hours.

23
May
09

miss piggy orders a new set of wheels – paid for by you

'Piggy's wheels'

'Piggy's wheels'

Mr Monkey wonders how many people know that South Tyneside council recently did it’s bit to help the ailing British car industry by buying another Swedish car? A fuckwit Iain Malcolm in the town hall decided that it was time to add another black Volvo to the growing collection of council vehicles.

Apparently Iain Malcolm, aka Miss Piggy didn’t want the new deputy mayor, coun Tom Piggott travelling round the borough on his own, because he couldn’t be sure what he’d say. To avoid any embarrassing Piggott moments, coun Malcolm thought the deputy mayor should always be accompanied?

The council already has one black Volvo which comes complete with a chauffeur and it’s used mainly by the mayor, although Iain Malcolm has been known to use it when he needs a lift to the airport. Mr Monkey has now been told coun Iain Malcolm felt that one wasn’t enough so in these difficult economic times – when people are struggling financially – he  decided the time was right to buy a second one. 

He also thought he’d do his bit to help massage the unemployment figures by recruiting another chauffeur – what good is a car without a driver?

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.