More Westminster Hypocrisy… This time its figures

Melvyn Caplan, Cabinet Member for Finance,  at Westminster Council has got himself involved in criticising on government office figures in a document called Migration Statistics: The Way Ahead (1Mb PDF File).

In the Local Government Chronicle, Caplan is quoted:

“Westminster’s cabinet member for finance, Melvyn Caplan (Con), said: “The government’s handling of migrant figures has been shambolic and at huge cost to local authorities, such as Westminster, who have borne the brunt of a significant and unaccounted influx of immigration.””

Caplan has that opinion because of an underestimation of people by some 15,000 (which is also an estimate) and he’s concerned Westminster Council are getting less money from central government to deal with these estimated 15,000 immigrants.

Nutsville has reported before on Westminster Councils less than industry standard accounting procedures and the fact that money going to Westminster employees doesn’t seem scrutinised half as readily. Like council leader Colin Barrow and his £47k ‘bonus‘ he got paid while telling everyone in the West End Extra “Every Penny Counts”.

Back to the plot, Caplan says the Statistics Authority handling of figures has been shambolic, well it seems Westminster City Council aren’t so hot either. Maybe Caplan shouldn’t throw stones in his glass tower on Victoria Street?

Going back to last year When Westminster decided to charge motorcycles to park, Westminster Council settled on a cost of £1.50 a day. Now with Caplan so confident to criticise technical numerical detail of the Office of National Statistics you’d think they’d have been spot on wouldn’t you?  Well they weren’t even close, Caplan’s calculator must have had a sticky button because the supposed ‘legally required revenue neutral’ scheme had in fact, brought in £2M while they spent less than £500k. That’s not even close let alone ‘neutral’.

A citizen requested via a Freedom Of Information, the results of a survey conducted by Steer Davies Gleave on the motorcycle parking charges scheme. They released a version of the results that did not square up, even on Nutsville’s tatty abacus, Westminster Council are still trying to find batteries for their calculator on that one. What is clear from that survey is that just 16.7% of the sample actually agreed with the charge, even Westminster Spin Cycle couldn’t spin that one so they’ve left it alone, ignored it completely,  £12k wasted.

Well actually it’s not wasted, because that means a whopping 83.3% opposed, didn’t care or had no opinion on the charge (over 77% specifically opposed the scheme). So Westminster paid to find out what we already knew, it’s unpopular and not wanted, but have they listened? No. It’s full steam ahead for motorcycle charging, dictatorship is de rigueur in Westminster City Council, not democracy or even public opinion. While the country tries to make MP’s more accountable, local tinpot dictators are doing what they like.

What’s the point in crowing about getting more money from central government when all Westminster City Council seem to do is get their sums wrong or spend the money on stuff they don’t need (or officers huge bonuses!). Come on Caplan, get your own house in order before you pontificate to others.

Icelandic Bank anyone?

£19 £55 million written off in unpaid fines anyone?

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3 Comments

GerryJuly 20th, 2009 at 5:38 pm

Its worse than what we might think!

Westminster now has shown themselves to deliberately ignore both residents, their representatives and their views. Recent documents sent to both the leader of the Council and the leader of the opposition spell out just how disdainful the Councillors are of the very residents they apparently say they represent.

Remember that not one of the Residents Associations asked about the Bike Tax agreed to it. Its is pitiful that a council can walk so casually over its own residents.

John in CamdenJuly 22nd, 2009 at 8:55 am

Wastemonster seem to talk with forked tongue Kimosabe.

Every Penny Counts – CCTV balls up, Icelandic banks, unpaid fines, Brucie Barrow Bonus, cuddly toy?

Then to get money back we have motorcycle charges for parking, scams raking in motorists money using illegal signs, funding of Westminster staff by private business, higher business rates, higher parking charges for cars, opening residents parking bays for paying customers during the day, more parking tickets than ever…

We need to get these people responsible for their actions, they are out of control. When the locals come up next year, vote anyone but please not these bunch of Tory liars, egotists and scam artists.

Ashley MartinJuly 29th, 2009 at 3:42 pm

The missing info from the Survey
All Car & Motorcycle Total
Support 135 21.50%
Neutral 66 10.51%
Oppose 391 62.26%
Don’t Know 36 5.73%

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