Wednesday, 31 August 2011

I predict a screetching U Turn from the one party state that is Merseytravel

Arif Ansari the man from the BBC who has valiantly been covering the shenanigans at Merseytravel has penned posting in his blo which is well worth a look. (Mind you he has not done much better than we have in getting answers out of Mark Dowd.)

Part of his piece which compared how Greater Manchester and Merseyside Labour have dealt with a similar problem reads:

As I've reported before, Merseytravel has institutional problems.

It's the only local authority where councillors set their own allowances, and very generous they are too.

Thirteen Labour councillors share out 31 paid posts between them.

Merseytravel has announced an independent review of its allowances system Merseytravel has finally announced an independent review of the system. But one wonders why its chairman, Mark Dowd, has not sorted this out years ago.

Meanwhile questions have been raised about his own expenses. Why has he been regularly attending the annual Labour party conference on expenses?

He's consistently refused to discuss any of this, but Merseytravel has defended the arrangement saying he was lobbying on behalf of the organisation.

Maybe he was, but surely as a Labour politician he would want to financially support his own party?

Also, this will be the first year he attends the Conservative party conference and he has never attended the Lib Dem conference, even though it was held in Liverpool last year.

This hardly smacks of competent lobbying.

Concerted action

So those are the issues. Now consider Labour's response.

There are six councils in the Merseytravel area, all are Labour-led.

There is very little public, or even private, criticism of Mr Dowd.

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