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Thursday, 10 February 2011

Swansong costs us dear

The Audit Commission, was set up in the 1980s to try to wring more value for money from councils. Our very own Dear Leader, Sir Merrick of Cockell is on the board and in the heady world of councillor and senior officer renumeration the Right Royal Borough is one the Audit Commission should have been raking over the coals.

After all, the commission is there to promote and provide high quality and excellent value-for-money public services - recognising that public money, which is provided involuntarily by taxpayers, is special. Of course you know, dear reader that Sir M landed a not so bad salary for turning up to a few meetings and doing what is expected of a board member of the audit commission.

As Dame Hornet has reported earlier, the AC, that MC collected his cash from was to be wound up the ConLib Government as it, to put it simply, was taking the p*ss. 

The Bruiser Pickles said "Rather than being a watchdog that champions taxpayers' interests, it has become the creature of the Whitehall state." and that rather sums it up well enough.

So when our Dear Leader is banging on about cuts, funding limitations, we dont have the money and what have you, just remind him how the organisation of which he is a member of splashed out £24,000 on a luxury dinner for auditors, that included a string quartet!

Not only that, they paid £53,000 for 224 office chairs just a few days earlier!

The figure, an average of £236 each, includes two £840 Naughtone Hush chairs, which ­purport to ‘offer sanctuary from the everyday hubbub’. Officials also bought four ‘eye-catching’ Omni swivel chairs, each costing £854. The most expensive purchase was a six-seat ‘Track Bench’ at £1,962.

Hornet will give the last word-ish to impish Bob Neil, the local government minister who famously managed to get selected down in Kent, "When the nation's finances are in such a poor state it is simply unacceptable for a public body - indeed a spending watchdog - to be using taxpayers' cash to subsidise a string quartet and extravagant flower displays. This is yet more evidence of how the watchdog set up to protect the public purse has lost its way."

And while you are laughing at this largesse on the taxpayer, by the people who are supposed to be the champion of the taxpayer, one of them is the leader of our council!

And you, you lucky people Hornet has managed to find some exclusive footage of this event, or maybe something like it....!


  1. Doubtless Sir Merrick Cockle will have the support of his sycophantic creature, Cllr Palmer.

    The cllr wrote me this extraordinary email justifying the spending of OUR money on the $360 2 man dinner at New York's finest restaurant, Keens, where Dear Leader Cockell and 'Convict' Clement gorged themselves at the expense of London taxpayers.
    Cllr Palmer told me 'they could have been discussing congestion charging' ! More likely how 'congested' they both felt after the marathon 'blow out' !
    But his 'piece de resistance' was this...

    "If Mrs T can do it for the benefit of GB Plc, then Merrick Cockell can do it for Kensington & Chelsea on a
    proportionally scaled down budget"

    So now we know: Sir M is up there with one of our greatest Prime Ministers. What on earth are they putting in the water at the Town Hall?


  2. As ever Mr Downes is very selective with his quote. Here is the true paragraph.

    The central question to me on this issue is, was the dinner held to the benefit of residents of K & C. If they discussed things like abolishing the extension to the congestion charge, The Mayors bike scheme, The Cross rail scheme, employment opportunities for the unemployed and generally things where the mayors office and the royal borough can agree issues without other meetings / papers / bureaucrats etc etc being involved then it seems to be acceptable.

    Cllr Palmer

  3. Did your email contain this statement-or did it not?

    "If Mrs T can do it for the benefit of GB Plc, then Merrick Cockell can do it for Kensington & Chelsea on a
    proportionally scaled down budget"

    As to selectivity,I remember when questioning your Leader about his use of the Mayoral Bentley he denied it.
    Later, in being forced to admit usage, he claimed that his earlier denial had been 'political'!
    So we don't need lectures from likes of you about selectivity!
    Incidentally are you not impressed by the huge volume of viewings.
    I am putting Dame Hornet up for the Mayor's Award for services to 'open local government.'
    All the best

    Justin Downes

  4. and I really think you are far too clever to even begin to believe that it was necessary for your Leader and the Convict to spend over $130 EACH in order to discuss council issues.
    Don't take us residents for idiots.
    This disgraceful abuse of our money was solely to satisfy two very greedy


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