.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

More controversy on allowances

The real shock in this morning's Western Mail article about Welsh Tory Leader, Nick Bourne's expenses was not the fact that he allegedly claimed more than £1,800 from public funds to run a website, but that he used his expenses to pay Preseli Pembrokeshire Conservative Association a total of £3,450 in respect of room hire for his surgeries – at £150 a time.

If these figures are right then they raise questions about value for money. Like the Welsh Conservative AM for my region, Alun Cairns, I use a room in Killay to hold surgeries for which we each pay £6 a time. The vast majority of my other surgeries are held in public libraries for which there is no charge.

I can only hope that the venues I use do not read this article and use it as an excuse to levy a similar fee.
Peter, This must be the end of the road for Prof Bourne. Initially this seemed like a Western Mail witch hunt and that his own party was imploding and using him as a scape-goat. Now it seems that there really was substance to the mutterings (though I'm bored with the endless ipod reference). Surgeries held at £150 a throw are shocking at a party facility to boot?! How did the civil servants allow this is another question! Surely that can't be justified?!?
£150 for room hire is very excessive, Church Halls only cost around £15 - £25 per half day, some can be much cheaper.

In my previous job, I had to book rooms for meetings, the meeting room in the Library at Park Street, Bridgend cost less than £20 for the afternoon (with Tea & Biscuits). Similar expense for the meeting room in Hope Church, again with tea and biscuits.
I know that it one thing on top of the other with Bourne, but I cannot believe that people can report his surgery fees without also alluding to the huge sums Plaid AMs are giving to their party from public coffers through "rent" and "bills"; does anyone from the Assembly actually ever check up to see whether these properties are worth the money they are paying for them?
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?