Wednesday, 27 October 2010
Cllr Moylan in the spotlight, again over £71 breakfast bill
Not content with having council tax payers foot the £4000 bill to have DHL send stuff out to him while he is on holiday in Thailand (despite the best efforts of the RBKC website to put up a smoke screen otherwise), Hornet can reveal (thanks to an unknown source) the extent of Moylans expense claims on lunch, £385.53.
Four trips to the exotically entitled "Min Jiang" restaurant at the Royal Garden Hotel where one can enjoy Braised Whole Abalone with Shittake Mushrooms and Oyster Sauce (£65) or Pan Fried Shanghai Chicken with Prawn Dumplings. But it would seem the most consistent item on the invoices submitted by the former Birmingham boy is the cheesecake, tut tut tut.
Here is a copy of the receipt for the five star Milestone Hotel submitted by Moylan entertaining three guests at your expense. A rather expensive breakfast of Eggs Benedict with ham (a posh name for egg mayo) and two continental breakfasts. Probably comes with OJ, and unlimited tea and coffee.
£71.68 for breakfast for three is a little steep, but, of course dear reader, only what the tax payers of K&C should gratefully bestow upon Cllr Moylan.
However, there is a reason why Hornet has singled out this receipt. She could have shown you the one that wasn't lunch, breakfast, or just G&T's with I&L at the hotel bar, she chose this one...
Can you spot the reason why? Look closely at the receipt....
Got it yet?
Let me give you a hint, Cllr Moylan is the Cabinet Member for Planning... there, a massive pointer for you....
Well, for those still floundering around, look at the handwritten note at the top of the invoice written either by the man himself or the council officers processing the expense claim. It says who was at the rather expensive breakfast, and one of them is JCDecaux...
This is not an emissary from the French Embassy (perish the thought that our lowly elected councillors would be entertaining foreign dignitaries.... more on that later), its a company, one of the worlds leading outside advertising companies. They own or rent, and operate thousands of bill boards, hoarding sites, electronic ad sites, and place ads on bus stops, park benches and anywhere really they find and think is profitable.
You see where Hornet is going with this?
For those still who cant smell the breakfast blend, JCDecaux will in many cases have to apply for planning permission from the planning authorities (ie Councils) to erect advertising hoardings or to place static or electronic ads on "street furniture" (council-speak for benches, lamp-posts, bus stops, litter bins, fag putter-outters, etc).
Thats it, Hornet has heard the penny drop....
The question that needs to be answered by Cllr Moylan is why the cabinet member for Planning was entertaining a major company that was, is, or will be a major planning applicant in the borough. He has submitted an expense for the meeting, so it was a "council related" meeting, where are the minutes? Who approved the meeting? Why wasnt a council officer present?
So the onus is on Moylan to explain the nature of this meeting, and all the others he has dutifully claimed for and published by the council. Who are the attendees, and what was the purpose of the meetings?
Perhaps he will revert to the "Cockell Conumdrum" response and it will be a case of "I cant remember", only time will tell.
It is important our elected representatives are trustworthy and above board, everything Hornet believes Cllr Moylan follows - but it is equally important they are seen to be beyond reproach nor placing themselves into positions that can be questioned. Behaviour of this nature clearly sends the wrong signals and alarm bells should be ringing.
In the meantime, Hornet has a little competition for you, write in with an explanation on who these people are and why you think Cllr Moylan was meeting them. The prize for the best answer will be a St Charles In-Touch; Marc Vlessing, Patricia Brown, Pierre-Jean Jean, Dame Sally Powell, Sir Simon Orr-Ewing, Colin Barrow (yes, she knows he is leader of Westminster, so you will need to come up with something better than that to win).