Day out in London

The Press have taken up the case of local Councillor Sonja Crisp who – as was reported on this web site last month – is prone to making trips to London at taxpayer’s expense.

The trips were not in themselves particularly expensive or exceptional, but her attempts to justify the £800 plus bill lacked conviction.

Portraying York on the national stage could mean anything.

Trip Advisor launches new guide

Trip Advisor launches new guide

At a time when the Council says that it can’t afford to spend £50 topping up salt bins, every expense should be challenged.

The Local Government Association (LGA) is little more than a talking shop and such business as it transacts (basically lobbying central government) is in the hands of a few leading councillors (none of whom are from York).

The minutes of the “Culture, Leisure and sports Board” meetings are publicly available and can be found here.

Neither suggests that the Council’s representative even uttered a word.

It would probably have gone unnoticed if the Councillor had not got “form”


She also has the most fluid Register of Interests ever seen on the York Council web site. It includes a visit to Blackpool in August to participate in the “Baltic States Knowledge Exchange Visit 2013” (!!!)

Still it’s not as bad as the Labour MP, who claimed back – from taxpayers – 40p for the cost of buying a bottle of milk!

Cllr Crisp has to justify her activities to the next York Council meeting which takes place on 12th December.

She might anticipate some probing questions on her well travelled approach to Council work.

Concern over Illuminating York 20% price hike

Liberal Democrats have raised concerns that ticket prices for this year’s Illuminating York Festival have significantly increased despite the 2012 event being branded a “disappointment”.

Illuminating York 2013

Illuminating York 2013

The Labour run City of York Council introduced charging for the – previously free – event last year. There were complaints about the £5 admission charge while Vic Reeves’ ‘Wonderland’ production received a backlash of negative comments and poor reviews.

However, the admission charges and £26,000 contribution from council funds meant the event made a £16,000 ‘profit’ which Labour promised would be “invested in next year’s event”.

Many hoped that this promise would see a return to the previous free admissions policy.

However, this year’s event, which will runs from October 30th – November 2nd, sees admission charges for the overall festival for adults increase from £5 to £6 and for under 16s from £1 to £5, with under 5’s still going free.

This means that a family of four, with two school-age children, would see their ticket costs rise by a whopping 83%.

The increase has been described as contrary to the Labour Leaders statements about the need to control the cost of living