Tuesday, October 07, 2008

T'Other Dave's Decline: Rochdale Lib Dem Members



UPDATE 14:29: Above are some of seventeen resigning Lib Dem members pictured in March 2008 when their favoured candidate who had won a selection race, tipping out one of Mr Rowen's friends In Mr Rowen's old ward as I recall, but been ruled out by partisan returning officers who checked the membership status of only the "opposition voters" and wrongly - it is alleged - ruled some ineligible though they were paid up.

In the accompanying news story Rowen's muscular yet cry baby agent Dave Hennigan, who is thought to have assisted the returning officer with advice if not physical assistance, disingenuously claimed a net growth in membership numbers. So 146 on 31 December 2005, who knows what losses between 1 Jan 2006 and March 2008 during which 17 more members were lost.

All coinciding with Dave Hennigan's nightmare reign of terror at Drake Street. <<< UPDATE ends.

Lib Dems in Rochdale will be keeping their members to themselves. Even worse declines than Dave Cameron's Conservatives. A real toxic droop in fact in the months after Dave Hennigan (right, remember tax payers pay his wages) arrived on the scene, and got his feet under the table.

Membership on 31 December 2004: 307

Membership on 31 December 2005: 146

Dave Hennigan arrived on the scene in October 2004, paid for his political activity by some mysterious collusion of Liberal Democrats and their mysterious backers via Saint Squirrel's Emma Street Nest or otherwise.

On Paul Rowen MP's election by 442 votes after what the Rochdale Libdemologists themselves describe as "a particularly fractitious tussle" Mr Hennigan's employment was taken over by the MP:

As they say themselves in the accounts to 31 December 2005, lodged with the Electoral Commission on 08 May 2006:

8. Salaries

There were no salaries to be included because the local MP through his Parliamentary allowances now covers all such overheads.

Even though January, February, March and part of April were before the election period began and before the new MP took to the Parliamentary Allowances gravy no salaries whatsoever are shown. Perhaps they were all included in the candidates' declaration of campaign expenses?

In the accounts to 31 December 2004, lodged with the EC on 07 March 2006 they had attempted an explanation of the workforce:

4. Salaries

We have 2 paid staff. One is employed by the (Liberal Democrat) group but it is estimated that 50% of her time if spent on Party activities. Towards the end of the year another member of staff was employed who works 100% on party matters. Both are reflected in the Salaries.

That's £5,635.45 between a 50% party admin worker (12 months) and a 100% party political worker (3 months). In 2003 the admin worker is recorded as getting £657.03. Of course Rochdale Constituency is not the only one in the Council area, and I think these accounts are supposed to be for the Town constituency only.

Various other contrivances and shenanigans are exposed, directly or in conjunction with declarations of donations, in some of the most inept accounts probably ever lodged with the Electoral Commission. No accounts have been lodged to 31.12.06 or 31.12.07. Indicating either lateness or that this Lib Dem accounting unit did not reach £25,000 turnover in 2006 or 2007. They also declared no donations for those periods.

UPDATE 13:29: Minor edit for clarity/information to add question about 2005 salaries and campaign period.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Shit! Those accounts are hilarious. Rowen and Hennigan must be toast surely. Cheat upon contrivance upon fib.

Anonymous said...

So what does Dave actually get paid?

is it all from the MP?

Has any of it come from other sources in the past?

Is there a full account of every penny of political donations handled by Emma Street for Rochdale and beyond?

This is how Al Capone got into trouble.

Chris Paul said...

The story they give out is that Hennigan is exclusively paid by Rowen and that since March 2003 (£1,642.80) there has been no notifiable donation from the Friends of Rochdale Liberal Democrats, an unincorporated assocation c/o Smith Mansions.

There was one from the same title as an "individal" with no address in March 2004 (£1,487.00) and another from the Smith-oid hisself in October 2004 (£2,160).

The one and only declared donation from the Lib Dem Group was made or at least "accepted" on 31 December 2004 and was for a mighty £24,266.00. Although this is declared to the EC as a donation it does not appear as income in either the 2004 or 2005 accounts submitted in the first half of 2006.

The only subsequent donation registered is from Rochdale Reform Buildings Limited, a company registered 00160199, based at the same address as Mr Rowen's office and the Lib Dem Party HQ.

That is for £1,793.00, an amount not unadjacent to a possible netting off of £2,000 less say admin charge. £2,000 being the rent recorded as being paid by the party in the year to 31.12.08. A year in which no business rates at all were recorded. In 2004 these had been £1,518.20 BR plus £61.69 for water. And in 2003 £1,804.80.

Perhaps Paul Rowen requested waived rates as MP or paid them from his allowances and passed this benefit on to his political chums illegally?

There is an amount of £660 per annum included as notional rent in both 2004 and 2003. Presumably
the Rochdale Reform Buildings Limited were waiving the rent at that point? And presumably there was a 200% uplift and a switch from notional to real for the whole of 2005, although the election was in May not January.

The MP meanwhile PAID THE PARTY £3,472.30 in rent from his parliamentary allowances and they also trousered a rates rebate of 846.18 which is about 50% of the 03 figure or perhaps transitional relief of some sort over the reduced figure for 04.

The simplified sums on the premises transactions would be:

Income:

From MP allowances £3,472.30
From Council £846.18
From RRB Limited £1,793.00
From Council £1,600 approx waived BR as compared with 04

TOTAL £7,911.48

Outgoings:

To Rent: £2,000
To etc: £257.72

TOTAL £2,257.72

PROFIT TO POLITICAL PARTY from MP presence: £5,653.76

Plus all the other stuff. Like having political workers paid by the MP for instance.

I have no idea why the accounts were submitted in 2005 as the declared turnover was less than £25,000 and I've no idea why the comparator year carried forward from 2004 is so different with expenditures at £11,579.91 than the total declared in the 2004 accounts which was £32,202.59.

No idea either why there are no further donations shown from RRB Limited in 06 and 07 and 08.

No idea either why no notifiedf income from the Group. Have they stopped contributing to the party's costs?

Who by the way are the Directors of RRB Limited then and now?

And yes, what about the other constituencies in the district?

Isn't that Cllr Elwyn Wotsit a Sheik's Financial Advisor?? Perhaps he can explain this lot?

tory boys never grow up said...

There are fairly strict rules regarding the rental allowances which can be paid to MPs - generally claims have to be supported by an independent valuation of the rental payable where the property is rented from a local party or a related body which does not charge a commercial rental. In addition, the MP would not be able to claim for the part of the property used for Party purposes. Unless the Rowen and the Rochdale Lib Dems are very stupid (always a possibility admittedly) I would doubt that they are overclaiming on the MPs rental allowance (the amount doesn't look out of line with the norm anyway) - my guess is that they undeclaring (to the Electoral Commission) the benefit in kind they receive from the Property Company, which should be the difffernece between the rental paid and the commercial rental. And I wonder if Rowen has declared this benefit in his register of members interest entry.

Everybody Hates Chris said...

HEALTH WARNING

The photograph that leads into this thread has been heavily doctored. Even with a totally untrained eye, I can see that.

Chris Paul said...

You think so? Whose photo do you think that is EHC? And why would they doctor such a picture? And in what way would that be?

You're losing it ...

Anonymous said...

He's right Chris. Rowen isn't putting Rochdale first. Obviously it is his corrupt franchise that comes top. That bit must have been doctored. Don't let EHC deflect from these crappy accounts from the cheating Lib Dems.

Anonymous said...

"Heavily doctored"
Thats a Powerful phrase EHC.

Have those fucking geniuses responsible for Rochdale Fib Dem accounts been using Photoshop or just an old-fashioned double entry (no rude puns please) bookeeping and shredder.

Mugabe has nothing on these corrupt fuckers. But he would't be allowed in to Fib Dem HQ - Norman Smith and Ted Flynn would't want 'his sort' coming in (african dictators that is).

Everybody Hates Chris said...

On purely technical points:

First of all, the placards are far too white, face-on and uniformally legible for an outide shot.

Secondly, look at the bloke with the pithy slogan about the executive, he has one arm growing out of his shoulder and another that finishes near his ankles.

There is a woman in the middle of the picture that has obviously been dropped in there.

And there is one guy grasping a placard whose hands are in exactly the same configuration as somebody that adorns a photo on our works noticeboard and most certainly was doctored.

So, I don't know whose photo it is, Chris. You tell me and how you got hold of it.

And finally - Mugabe is a socialist. Take the pips out of that.

Chris Paul said...

EHC blethered:

On purely technical points:

First of all, the placards are far too white, face-on and uniformally legible for an outide shot.


Interesting stuff.

Secondly, look at the bloke with the pithy slogan about the executive, he has one arm growing out of his shoulder and another that finishes near his ankles.

You fail Anatomy 101 if you cannot join the dots on that one.

There is a woman in the middle of the picture that has obviously been dropped in there.

Obviously!? From Rowen's roof would that be?

And there is one guy grasping a placard whose hands are in exactly the same configuration as somebody that adorns a photo on our works noticeboard and most certainly was doctored.

Please send a copy for comparison purposes Chris.

So, I don't know whose photo it is, Chris. You tell me and how you got hold of it.

Eighteen people in on a photo-fit conspiracy and keeping schtum? In Rochdale. You are kidding right? This has been a bizarre interlude EHC. Lib Dems of course shoot pictures of candidates with party leaders with BLANK placards.

Have you seen any of those?

And finally - Mugabe is a socialist. Take the pips out of that.

Mugabe may say that. I'm not sure the Socialist International would agree. Perhaps you could check for me?

This is a post about Lib Dem electoral carve ups of the Mugabe kind, and Lib Dem financial irregularity ... in the PUBLISHED VERSIONS of their accounts never mind the real deal.

I'll post another view of this protest and you can give us your analysis of that one too.

Rochdale Online said...

Our picture. When you talk of "doctoring" are you in fact thinking of Sir Cyril Smith grasping young men's ball bags and having them cough at Cambridge House?

Anonymous said...

"And finally - Mugabe is a socialist. Take the pips out of that".

Wow EHC, would you Adam and eve it?
What a rebuke. A socialist.
So was Cyril once, and Idi Amin.

Screwing people over and gripping them by the balls until the pips squeek seems to be a recurring theme with these bullies.

Chris Paul said...

For the avoidance of doubt. I cannot confirm that the comment above under the tag Rochdale Online is from that publication. I very much doubt that it is. Please treat it as an anonymous muppet, certainly online, possibly from Rochdale. Pinch of salt.