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Monday, April 25, 2016

DEVOLUTION AND THE PETERBOROUGH MAYORS NEW JAGUAR XJ LIMOUSINE MOTOR CAR FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST AND RESPONSE



JAGUAR XL Limousine XJ (Click on pic to enlarge)
"The new XJ is Jaguar's pinnacle saloon car, the perfect combination of
cutting-edge technology, sporting vehicle dynamics, and opulent luxury".

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST – CRN1604100849     

 Dear Sir / Madam,

Your request for information, with reference number CRN1604100849 has now been considered and the information requested is given below.

Information Request
Would you kindly confirm where (and if)  the devolution document aka 'deal' reproduced below (there are supposedly two versions) have been considered in open council and that an open debate has taken place and kindly direct me to the transcript.

Also confirm that it has not been signed off 'in camera'  by the Leader or Deputy Leader if it has, kindly direct me to the legal authority for such a 'deal' so It may be properly considered.

I also understand that an expensive new Jaguar motor car (product of an Indian owned company)  has been leased and is currently gathering dust outside the back of the Town Hall, 'for the Mayor'

Will this be handed over to the directly elected Mayor or will the good citizens of Peterborough continue to pay for this once he/she is in position ? 

You'll understand the council has just published yet another  'austerity' budget and suffering cuts in ESA, and disability PIP payments,  

It is usual for the Mayoral car to bear a gilded crest or coat of arms on the passenger side doors, if only to ensure the vehicle is instantly recognised at all times as being used exclusively for official business, we would hate to think that the limo is being used by individual officials for the weekly Tesco or Lidi shop or even a sly weekend away in Mablethorpe? 

This of course would be in addition to its annual trip to Buckingham Palace for the Garden Party - given as one of the justifications for the new motor.
Will you kindly confirm the official vehicle will be so marked and that the vehicle insurance will be specifically restricted to its use for official council business and with named, qualified drivers?

The PCC has form on this, for many years, repeated public funding allocated by Messrs Harper, Rush, Walsh and Cereste was unlawfully poured into supporting the second hand buses being run by the Stanground Community Centre, driven by an elderly disabled gentleman, would never be in a position to pass any VOSA annual medical, although he carried some 17 passengers at a time ie any (Community bus restricted PSV) VOSA approved insurance would be invalid in the event of an accident.

Messrs Rush and Harper were never really held to account for this,  and they are standing for re-election in Stanground South. Former councillor Mr Cereste is said to be standing in Hampton.

Not that I am seeking to open that matter but a clearly restricted insurance policy would not only be 'value for money' but also ensure no unintentional abuse of the mayors official vehicle is lawfully possible. 

We should also bear in mind with ANPR registration plate  recognition, the movement of the Jaguar would be tracked by police at all times.
 
        

Our Response:
The devolution document was considered by Council on 13th April 2016. No transcript is available for this meeting but minutes will be published in due course.



The Leader did sign the devolution document. The document did not however purport to bind the Council to anything other than a formal debate on the proposals from Government.



That debate and decision by Council, whether to proceed with a devolution deal, is intended to take place in June.



For your reference, please find below a link the East Anglia devolution deal document:


https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/east-anglia-devolution-deal




[Preamble given here]


The agreement below sets out the current devolution proposal which it is agreed that leaders will take to each council for full debate and consultation with relevant local stakeholders. This process is to be completed by no later than the end of June. In preparing the secondary legislation, to which all councils to which it applies must consent, and through which the deal will be implemented, the Government will have regard both to this agreement and to any resolutions the councils concerned may pass when considering this agreement. The consenting councils may include additional councils to those which are party to this agreement if such councils decide no later than the end of June (allowing the statutory process to be launched in early July) that they wish to become a party to the deal.



Cllr John Holdich
Leader, Peterborough City Council











A new civic car has been leased and is in use by the Mayor.

There is an FOI request which deals with the costs of the civic car which you can access by following the link below:



https://pcc.secure.force.com/SitePublishedDetailStyled?id=CRN1602084882  [reproduced below]



Request


Please supply me with a breakdown of the costs to maintain the Mayor's car which were used to calculate the economic viability of maintaining the current car against hiring / leasing a car


The civic car was taken off the road earlier this year due to serious issues with its brakes. After 10 years of use – the mounting costs of repairs mean it is no longer sensible to keep it on the road.

To keep it going for a further 12 months would cost more than £6,500 and future repairs, given the car’s age, are inevitable.

Therefore a decision was taken, in consultation with leaders from all political groups, to lease a newer version of the same car – a Jaguar XJ [Limousine]. The old car will be auctioned to support the costs of the lease.

The Mayor is the city’s First Citizen and the council’s civic protocols state that the car should be of British origin [Jaguar is an Indian owned company] and in keeping with the status of the Mayor’s role. The Mayor attends hundreds of events and over the last three years the First Citizen has raised more than £100,000 for local charities.


Breakdown of costs


In August 2015 a problem was reported with the car’s suspension.  The car was taken to a garage and it was reported that the car needed the following work.  In addition in January 2016 the brakes on the car failed and a new brake booster would have needed to be fitted.  The car also required a set of new tyres.


In total the car required repairs costing £4080 as set out below:




Repairs needed

Cost

Renew front air suspension dampers  

£2235.00

Renew front castor bushes

£385.00

Renew o/s rear lower wishbone arm

£325.00

Renew brake booster

£845.00

Tyres

£290.00

Total

£4080.00


In addition the following would have been needed to be spent to keep the former civic car on the road for an additional 12 months:




Running costs:

Cost

Insurance

£525.59

MOT (due 10 February 2016)

£54.00

Service (based on Feb 2015 service)

£434.00

Tax

£285.00

Fuel (approximation based on previous years)

£1194.00

Breakdown Cover.    £100 for 12 months cover.

£100.00

Total

£2592.59


That would mean the total to keep the car running for 12 months would have been £6,672.59.


New Car Leasing Costs


Jaguar XJ  [Limousine]


The initial payment for the vehicle is £3205.92.  We expect this to be largely offset by selling the previous Jaguar XJ [Limousine] hat has been valued at around £2,750.


Monthly payments for 48 months are £534.32, compared to the monthly cost in 2008 of £678.00. The previous car was initially leased before being purchased by the council at the end of the lease period.


The leasing agreement includes full servicing and MOT testing for the vehicle during the term of the lease. Also included are the following:


  • Car tax
  • Oil replacement
  • Replacement tyres
  • Rescue and recovery service to include Homestart, Recovery and Roadstart.
  • If the vehicle becomes unfit for use then a replacement vehicle will be supplied of a similar make, type, model to that of the original vehicle.
  • The benefits of any warranties given by the dealer/manufacturer.             


Fuel costs will also be cheaper as the new car is more efficient.  Miles per gallon for the old car were 27 mpg, whilst the new car are 49.6 mpg.






Neither the current nor the previous civic car bears a gilded crest or coat of arms on the passenger side doors.


The civic car is used in accordance with the Civic Protocol for the official business of the Mayor or civic purposes.


The car insurance covers official Council business only.
 


PBROTRIBNOTE Councillors may have been misled as the council purchased the original vehicle at the end of the initial lease period (say 4 years?) so the original 2008 monthly £678 lease payments would have gone away. The maintenance costs of the vehicle expressed as one off annual cost to keep the car on the road would normally be spread over the lifetime of the car and in addition a car lease for a council unable to claim VAT back would seem to be an expensive option, there is also the salary of the driver to consider but fair enough the FOI didn't ask about that (just add in £22k per annum)  Clearly a contract hire deal with a local taxi limo firm, would have removed the need to employ a chauffeur full time.   




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