Missed the bus

Earlier this week, I made my annual visit to Thornton to inspect the county council’s accounts.

I must admit that, ever since Cllr Brian Hall kicked his unorthodox expense-claiming habits, this event has rather lost its lustre.

Looking back, it is hard to believe that he got away with it for so long.

Anyone who needs reminding of the former Cabinet member’s ingenuity, some would say genius, in this field can visit Mystery tour, Is your journey really necessary?, Traveller’s tales and The Time Lord where they will find a small sample of my previous scribblings on this subject.

Mind you, when Bryn ruled the roost in the Kremlin on Cleddau, Brian was a protected species and it was no coincidence that, when the former chief executive slipped into county hall one Saturday morning to clear out his office, Hall was at his elbow.

Goldfinger and Oddjob, Arthur Daley and Terry, or Del Boy and Rodney – take your pick.

Anyway, enough of this reminiscing about the good old days.

As well as Cllr Hall’s loss of appetite for taxpayer-funded travel there also seems to be a more rigorous approach to checking members’ travel claims these days as indicated by the treatment meted out to this rather amateurish effort by Cllr Stephen Joseph, who also doubles up as Mayor of Milford:

Joseph

This shows a worrying lack of ambition because, if this had been Cllr Hall in his pomp, it would have included a couple of meals and an overnight stay.

As you can see the officer in the finance department was not having any of this and disallowed the 200 mile claim – which would have totalled 90 quid – for Cllr Joseph’s trip to Cardiff.

And quite right too because, despite the attempt to dress it up as representing his constituents, this is nothing whatsoever to do with his duties as a county councillor.

In any case, one has to wonder why he didn’t go on the bus with the rest of the protesters.