Friday, 16 September 2011

Wirral Council Leader, what care scandal? what recession? I'm off to China

WIRRAL Council is hoping a pair of “sister city” agreements with two of China’s wealthiest cities could boost jobs and prosperity across the borough and the rest of Merseyside.

Council leader Steve Foulkes is due to fly out to Jiangsu Province in the next couple of weeks, with senior council officers, to sign the twinning agreements.

My comment: Right in the middle of a care scandal of epic proportions and whilst most other councils are cutting back on twinning agreements to save money during the recession we have Wirral Council leader and a few officers jetting off to China. Sounds like a complete Foulkes up to me!

Read the full story from the source Liverpool Daily Post

UPDATED 17th September 2011: The move comes just a week before the council is due to consider a planning application by Peel – the company behind the £4.5on Wirral Waters project – for an International Trade Centre (ITC).

Cllr Davies also paid tribute to Peel, who he said “have been instrumental in opening doors for us” in developing the links.

A report by interim director of corporate services, Kevin Adderley, also said a request had been made for a “sister city” relationship from nearby Jiang Yin.

The report from Mr Adderley, which was approved by the council leader under delegated powers, called for Wirral “to begin discussions relating to the development of sister city relationships with Jiang Yin”.

Read the full story from the source Liverpool Vision

My comment: I have submitted a Freedom of Information request in an atempt to identify the cost of the trip and who is picking up the bill. 

UPDATED 14th October 2011: Response to my Freedom of Information Request.

1) How much is the trip costing in total?

Total cost of trip was £6428.20

2) how many members and how many officers are going?

Deputy Leader and 2 Officers

3) are any other bodies contributing to the cost and if so who
 and how much?

No other UK bodies. Accommodation and food when visiting Suzhou, Taicang were paid for by local Chinese government.

4) how long is the trip for?

12 days

5) when did the scrutiny committee scrutinise the planned visit.

Not required as a report is going to Cabinet outlining visit. A Cabinet
resolution in 2010 permitted visits abroad as long as report taken to
subsequent Cabinet on return.


My comment:  "A Cabinet resolution in 2010 permitted visits abroad as long as report taken to subsequent Cabinet on return." How convenient, no scrutiny before spending taxpayers money and all the recipients of the taxpayer funded flights have to do is report to the Cabinet on their return.

Read all articles about Wirral Council on this blog

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