Not satisfied with the answers – Don asks four more?

Dear admin@migrationyorkshire.org.uk

I am informed by RMBC that the Leader, Cllr Roger Stone, recently undertook a visit on 2012.03.12 to Bulgaria on behalf of Migration Yorkshire.

I have made an FOI enquiry to RMBC in connection with this (see attached e-mail) and they have informed me that certain details are not recorded and held by them as the visit was undertaken on behalf of your statutory organisation, Migration Yorkshire.

Under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act I therefore require you to provide me with the following information –

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.

Please provide the above information in electronic format and within the timescale prescribed in the Freedom of Information Act.

Yours Sincerely,
Donald H. Buxton

Eight interesting answers – finally arrive!

Dear Active and Empowered Rotherham Citizens,

At last I have a reply from Town Hall Towers …

I thought you would all be happy to know that your tax receipts went towards taking Da Deer Leedah and Cllr Olivia Marie Rowley on a jolly to Bulgaria on behalf of Migration Yorkshire at Leeds City Council.

You couldn’t make it up. They wriggled, they squiggled, they jiggled, they tiggled, but eventually they knew that the truth would have to see the light of day.

So poor old Rotherham Borough ratepayers have financed, until we get the dosh back from Migration Yorkshire at Leeds City Council, this totally unnecessary and frivolous civic junket. Yep, clearly there’s bigger problems in Bulgaria to solve than we have in our once great little Borough.

I’m gonna remember this come the May elections, and maybe Da Rovrum Laybah Grooip might get an unpleasant voter response. Who knows? It would serve em jolly well right.

Watch your fronts …

Kind Regards,
Don

On Wed, 18/4/12, FreedomofInformation <Freedomofinformation@rotherham.gov.uk> wrote:

From: FreedomofInformation <Freedomofinformation@rotherham.gov.uk>
Subject: Response to Freedom of Information request
To: Don Buxton
Date: Wednesday, 18 April, 2012, 12:35

Dear Mr. Buxton,

Freedom of Information Act 2000 – Request for Information 881

I refer to your request for information dated 25th March relating to the car mileage log for RMBC statutory vehicle, BMW saloon registration number YM08DZP.  Please find our response below.

Log Entry No 19723 – 12.03.2012

This entry shows the vehicle was deployed from its depot at 0330 hrs to Kilnhurst (where I believe Cllr Stone lives) to pick up the Leader, Cllr Stone, and then onto 160 Agbrigg Road, Wakefield WF1 5BY to collect Cllr Olivia Marie Rowley, of Wakefield MBC, and then onto Manchester Airport, returning back to its depot at 0730 hrs.

Question 1 – Who within RMBC, and in what function, authorised and approved the RMBC vehicle to deploy to another MBC area to collect Cllr Olivia Marie Rowley, of Wakefield MBC?

Ø      Councillor Roger Stone, the Leader of the Council.

Question 2 – Will RMBC be seeking to recover partial fuel costs reimbursement and driver staff costs reimbursement from Wakefield MBC? And if not, please explain why not.

Ø      Reimbursement will be sought from the organiser of the journey, Migration Yorkshire at Leeds City Council.

Question 3 – Is it standard operating practice for an RMBC statutory vehicle, paid for and provided by Rotherham taxpayers for the use of RMBC Elected Members and/or Officers, to be at the disposal of other MBC Elected Members and/or Officers in other Authorities?

Ø      Where considered appropriate such vehicles may be used in this way on official business and expenses reimbursed as appropriate.

Question 4 – Please provide specific details of the flight destination, flight number, reason for air travel, accommodation venue, and specific details of the nature of the visit on which Cllr Roger Stone was engaged.

Ø      Flight ZZ1931 from Manchester to Sofia , Bulgaria .

Ø      Flight FB 973 from Sofia to Varna , Bulgaria .

Ø      Journey taken on behalf of Migration Yorkshire, Leeds City Council.

Question 5 – 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.

Ø      This information is not held, as neither was booked or paid for by Rotherham MBC.

Question 6 – Did RMBC, via its ratepayers, pay for the costs of Cllr Stone’s air travel and accommodation costs?

Ø      No.

Question 7 – Did RMBC, via its ratepayers, pay for the costs of Wakefield MBC Cllr Olivia Marie Rowley’s air travel and accommodation costs?

Ø      No.

Question 8 – Please provide copies of any hospitality declarations by Cllr Roger Stone in relation to this particular visit.

Ø      Councillor Stone undertook this engagement in his capacity as Vice Chair of Local Government Yorkshire and the Humber , on behalf of Migration Yorkshire, and not as Leader of Rotherham MBC.

In accordance with the procedures of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council (RMBC), I am advising you that the cost to the authority in responding to this request has been £23.89 which reflects the staff time and administration costs involved. RMBC however does not currently make any charge to customers for processing Freedom of Information Act requests.

If you are not satisfied with this response you have the right to an internal review by the Council.  Please contact us via the above email address or by post to Sarah Corbett, Information Governance Manager, Legal Services, Riverside House, Main Street , Rotherham , S60 1AE .

If you are not satisfied with the internal review, you can appeal to the Information Commissioner.  Contact details are: Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane , Wilmslow, Cheshire . SK9 5AF. Telephone 01625 545700. Alternatively go to http://www.ico.gov.uk/

Yours sincerely,

Christine Hotson
Access to Information Officer
Information Governance Unit

Legal Services, 5th Floor, Riverside House

Resources Directorate
Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council