Four Answers Duly Arrive!

First of all a reminder of the questions posed by Don Buxton:

1. What was the cost of Cllr Roger Stone’s air travel and accommodation costs? Please supply an itemised breakdown, including any drinks, meals, supplementaries etc.
2. Please provide copies of any hospitality declarations made by Cllr Roger Stone in relation to this particular visit.
3. Please provide specific details of the accommodation venue, and specific details of the reason for the visit, and any post-visit reports relating to the visit on which Cllr Roger Stone was engaged.
4. Will Migration Yorkshire at Leeds City Council be reimbursing fuel costs and driver staff costs to Rotherham MBC for the use by RMBC Cllr Roger Stone of RMBC statutory vehicle, BMW saloon registration number YM08DZP used to convey him and Cllr Olivia Marie Rowley, Wakefield MDC to Manchester Airport on Migration Yorkshire business? And if not please explain why not?

View the response in it’s original pfd format click here.

Customer Access and Performance
Leeds City Council
West Gate
6 Grace Street
Leeds
LS1 2RP
By email
Contact name: Victoria Ashwood
Telephone: (0113) 376 0086
Minicom: 0113 222 4410
Fax: (0113) 245 6931
Email: csu.dpfoi@leeds.gov.uk
Reference: 7761
Date:14th May 2012

Dear Mr Buxton,
I am writing regarding your request for information, which I received on the 18th of April.
For background information: Migration Yorkshire is the Yorkshire and Humber regional migration partnership and is hosted by Leeds City Council. Migration Yorkshire works with national, regional and local partners to ensure that the region can deal with, and benefit from, migration. It is funded by a variety of external sources, including UKBA, local authorities in Yorkshire & the Humber region, and various EU funding streams.
Our comments in relation to your request are as follows:
1. What was the cost of Councillor Roger Stone’s air travel and accommodation costs? Please supply an itemised breakdown, including any drinks, meals, supplementary etc
Air travel – £178.66
Easyjet – Manchester airport to Sofia return (12/03/12 and 15/03/12) – £126.56
Bulgaria air – Sofia to Varna return (12/03/12 and 14/03/12) – £52.10
Accommodation – £161.31
Graffiti Hotel, Varna (12/03/12 and 13/03/12), 115.60 euro (£98.02 )
Metropolitan Hotel, Sofia (14/03/12)– £63.29
Subsistence – £30.13
13/03/2012 – drink – £1.43
14/03/2012 – bus to event/school – £12.72
14/03/2012 – meal – £14.25
15/03/2012 – drink – £1.73
Total cost – £370.10
Migration Yorkshire (Leeds City Council) have met the above costs and will also be paying for the costs for the travel to Manchester airport and back when the final invoice is received.
2. Please provide copies of any hospitality declarations made by Councillor Roger Stone in relation to this particular visit.
There were no hospitality declarations made by Councillor Roger Stone to Migration Yorkshire. We would not expect to receive a declaration from another authority.
3. Please provide specific details of the accommodation venue, and specific details of the reason for the visit, and any post-visit reports relating to the visit on which Councillor Roger Stone was engaged.
Accommodation venue
Councillor Roger Stone stayed in the Graffiti hotel, Varna on recommendation from Bulgarian project partners. http://graffithotel.com/en/hotel/index/hotel_identity/
Councillor Roger Stone stayed in Metropolitan hotel, Sofia on the way back. This hotel was recommended by Bulgarian project partners. http://metropolitanhotelsofia.com
Reasons for the visit
The reason for the visit was for Local Authorities in the Yorkshire and Humber region to work in partnership and learn about experiences of working with Roma from regional and local governments in Bulgaria. This is part of Migration Yorkshire’s ‘Roma SOURCE’ project.
Post-visit reports
No specific post-visit reports have been produced
4. Will Migration Yorkshire at Leeds City Council be reimbursing fuel costs and driver staff costs to Rotherham MBC for the use by RMBC Councillor Roger Stone of RMBC statutory vehicle, BMW saloon registration number YM08DZP used to convey him and Councillor Olivia Marie Rowley, Wakefield MDC to Manchester Airport on Migration Yorkshire business? And if not please explain why not.
All costs will be reimbursed by Migration Yorkshire, Leeds City Council.
If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.
If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of our decision, you should write to:
Freepost RLZR-ELTX-RUEH
Leeds City Council
PO Box 657
LS1 9BS
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for a decision. Generally the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints procedure provided by Leeds City Council.
The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.
Yours sincerely,
Victoria Ashwood
Data Protection and Freedom of Information Practitioner,
Customer Access and Performance,
Leeds City Council

Don Buxton acknowledges:

Dear CSU.DPFOI@leeds.gov.uk

Please accept my sincere thanks for your comprehensive and prompt response to my legitimate FOI enquiry.

Your obvious transparency in this matter is to be commended and is an exemplar to my own authority, RMBC, who are sometimes quite disappointingly reluctant to be as transparent and helpful as you have quite clearly been to me.

As a citizen, resident and taxpayer of Rotherham I am particularly heartened to learn that RMBC will be reimbursed for the use of the RMBC civic vehicle used to convey RMBC Cllr Roger Stone and Wakefield Cllr Olivia Rowley to Manchester Airport and back on non-RMBC related business.

Yours Sincerely,

Donald H Buxton

Leeds City Council clearly has a far more open approach than our home town council when it comes to getting the truth out of them!

Rothpol is also reminded of the difference of approach taken when Councillors are caught watching pornography on council computers! Leeds Labour Party expelled the miscreant! Rotherham’s response when three Labour Councillors were caught doing the same thing? Zilch! Zero! Nothing! Except for the inevitable cover-up! (Not much of a cover-up if we found out!)

Thanks, go to Don Buxton, for making this information available to Rotherham Politics readers. An indefatigable seeker of truth, indeed!

8 thoughts on “Four Answers Duly Arrive!

  1. It is a pretty good answer, and the costs were in no sense excessive. However:
    1. No Visit Report? I would have thought that should have been a pre-requisite product of the visit. Was there no ” product” from the visit? That is bad and (IMHO) unacceptable practise.

    2. Why have RMBC not to date invoiced for usage of the RMBC civic vehicle ?
    (Remind me, how long ago did it all happen?).
    The sooner the invoice goes in, the sooner RMBC will get paid and the money banked. RMBC late invoicing costs us RMBC council tax payers money.

    Like

  2. Love the line ” Jolly Roger” . Some of the razor sharp contributers on Roth Pol are wasting they’re talents on here, I swear they should be writing for the top Comedy shows, they would make a mint. Lmao

    Like

  3. The point that is still missing is that our Leader authorised, for himself and another person, not connected with RMBC, the use of an official RMBC car, Our leader did not attend this “jolly” in his capacity as an RMBC representative. It does not matter who pays for it, the Leader abused his position by allowing the car to be used for non RMBC business. The Standards Committee should investigate if this was legitimate use.

    Like

    • S. Thornton –

      the Standards Committee await your complaint …

      be my guest and lock horns with Da Dodger’s muckers on said Committee and see how far your may get or not …

      me, I’d rather sit back and gloat over the fact that an active and empowered citizen has chased these cowering conniving rump-lickers to the point where they will have to submit a request for reimbursement – or face the consequences …

      tee hee 🙂

      Like

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