Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Jim Wintour's Cleaned Up!

Unfortunately I don't mean the streets, instead of sorting out the problems with the "new" rubbish scheme he's been off on a nice trip to Hong Kong, presumably paid for by us.

He was sent by the Council to observe the equestrian events in Hong Kong during the Olympics.

Quite what horses have to do with the man who's meant to be in charge of keeping our streets clean is a bit beyond me. Maybe horses are his hobby, he's got to have some interests in life after all and clean streets clearly aren't among them.

Considering that he's also failed in his main responsibility you'd have thought that giving him a trip to Hong Kong is the last thing the Council should be doing. Giving him the sack might be somewhat more appropriate.

Perhaps the Council has done this to make up to him. After all Waste Services have said that they want to enforce the new bin scheme but can't as it's getting "political". Perhaps Jim's been frustrated at having his hands tied by the Council and the trip to Hong Kong was given to him to make up for it, or to shut him up.

How do I know this?

Well Councillor Andy Jennings the Conservative representative for Kidbrooke and Hornfair emailed me. This is what he had to say...

I was the councillor who obtained the details about the costs of the Greenwich China trip. For your information the six were

Councillor Roberts, Leader
Councillor Fahy, Cabinet Member
Mary Ney, Chief Executive
Frances Dolan, Director of Culture & Community Services
Ray Gerlach, Head of 2012
Katrina Delaney, Head of Communications & Community Engagement

Regarding the costs, the £14,000 was on flights alone. The Newham costs included accommodation and subsistence as well.

You may also be interested to know the answer to one the questions I asked, given the response…

8. Which members of the group will be visiting Hong Kong during the trip?

None. There is a separate Official Observer programme for Hong Kong for the equestrian events. LOCOG allocated one place for this to Greenwich Council and Jim Wintour, Director of Neighbourhood Services is undertaking this task.

I am currently formulating a response to the chief executive’s responses and will publish on www.greenwichconservatives.com in the next few days.

So the Council spent far more than £14,000 on getting the six Councillors to Greenwich. And how much more on top of that did Mr Wintour's vacation cost us?

I wonder what would happen if I were as efficient at paying my Council tax as Mr Wintour is at keeping Greenwich clean. Would I get a free holiday seemingly completely unsuited to my skill set too?

Edited to add: Someone called Steve commented on this story and of particular interest he said "Greenwich Council didn't pay anything for accommodation etc, for as reported in all local media the costs of this were picked up by the local authorities in Chongwen."

So the total cost to Greenwich was £14,000, I wonder why Newham didn't get the same deal.


J J said...

Nothing surprises me in the people's republic of Greenwich any more.

Put up the rates, lower the services but just make sure there is enough in the kitty for the councillors to have a jolly to China.

How many other jollies have they had that we don't know about.

Come back Greenwich Watch. Please!!

steve said...

You can never trust a Tory as Andy Jennings goes to show.

His weasel words used to disguise teh facts show he will do anything to score a cheap point...

"Regarding the costs, the £14,000 was on flights alone. The Newham costs included accommodation and subsistence as well." says Jennings

What he fails to mention is that Greenwich Council didnt pay anything for accomodation etc, for as reported in all local media the costs of this were picked up by the local authorities in Chongwen.

He also fails to mention that a Tory colleague of his flew out to Germany at taxpayers expense not so long ago either.

Should this be put down to selective memory loss?

Janine SE7 said...

"So the total cost to Greenwich was £14,000, I wonder why Newham didn't get the same deal."

Who cares? At least it shows that Greenwich Council went for value for money - and shame on this CONservative for telling porkies!

Inspector Sands said...

CA - please don't act as the voicepiece for the Tories. Andy Jennings is a big lad who can do his own campaigning on his own blog, which.. ah, has vanished.


Until he can, he's as bad as the Labour people he criticises.

Charlton Average said...

Inspector Sands, I can see your concern but I felt that Councillor Jennings was giving some interesting information and so decided to post it up.

It then came to light that while Councillor Jennings was right in that the £14,000 was on flights alone there were in fact no costs for the accommodation. That makes it look like either the Councillor is ill informed or was trying to match the Council itself in it's desire to spin the truth.

Inspector Sands said...

Well, that's why the Conservatives are such a stellar success in stopping the excesses of the Labour gr... oh.

Two cheeks of the same arse, as some mad Scots bloke from across the water once said.

Got your black-topped bins, yet?

joe said...

steve and janine must work for the council communications department if she thinks that it is value for money in the first place and he puts on the spin about what they didnt spend rather than what they did.

steve said...

Oh the desperation of Joe (Andy Jennings?).

I highlight the misleading information the Tories provide and so guess what, I'm accused of being a council spin doctor. Yes - that old chestnut...

If only once again the time of my post had been checked ie 11.04pm

There was me thinking the Town Hall would be shut with 56 minutes to go to midnight...

Pathetic attempt to cover up the Tories' own blushes.