Sunday, 18 October 2009

Welsh Conference

Just Home from conference in Wrexham. Came back to some sad news that our 18 year old cat "Zag" had to be put to sleep. To me he was a good, loyal, boy!!
A very important motion was passed at conference regarding elected members allowances and transparency. A code of conduct for members of the Assembly and Parliament was passed. Every Welsh candidate or elected AM/MP will adhere to the following pledges:
  • No Welsh Liberal Democrat AM/MP will be able to profit from selling their subsidised second homes. Any AM/MP already owning a second home will return any profits to the relevant Fees Office after ceasing to be an AM/MP.
  • I will not flip my second or first residence (unless for significant family or ministerial reasons)
  • I will not claim for furniture, household goods, non essential capital improvements or stamp duty
  • Any new AM/MP will be allowed a nominal set up cost for any second residence. Any expenditure will represent best value for money and be published in full
  • I will claim for rent, ground rent, hotels, overnight subsistence, with receipts, mortgage interest, council tax, service charges, utility bills, telephone, line rental, insurance, building and contents
  • I will always aim to get the best value for money on trips, property, overnight stays and any other expenses claimed
  • I will always be open with the tax authorities on any rental income received from my second home
  • Any couples married or otherwise will only claim for one second residence to the equivalent of one persons rental, mortgage and utilities allowance
  • I will regularly publish my own expenses in the interest of transparency

Anybody who fails to sign up to these standards or fails to comply with them will, under the Welsh Party Rules, no longer be eligible to stand as a Welsh Liberal Democrat Candidate.

I will sign up to this Code of Conduct and feel it will go some way in instilling confidence in politics.

I feel that the government should own properties and rent them out to politicians on a fixed term period, perhaps after the 2012 Olympics the government could adapt the athletes village and rent the properties out (i.e. stopping individuals capitalising on second homes) and ultimately having an asset at the end of the contract, just a thought!!.


  1. Lord Roger, does he and will you if elected travel first class on the train??

  2. I will ask Lord Roger, as for myself, I am quite happy travelling as I do now, economy, that said if there was a deal to upgrade then I might, but I would pay for that.

    I am sure that you would not like to see me moaning in the local press about First Class service and Egg Buttys!!

  3. Too much old-style Liberal "hair-shirt" about this post.

    We are all awash with largely unenforceable pledges, codes of conduct, standards, rules etc and yet the amounts for travel and allowances grow each year for almost every institution.

    Rather than be so prescriptive, just answer these four questions to yourself about every claim:-

    1. Did I need to go?

    2. Did my performance justify the time and money spent?

    3. Am I sure I'm neither in pocket nor out of pocket?

    4. Would I be happy for Joe Public to see my claim?

    If you're OK with all those, have the confidence to do what you want.

    Being the most effective Councillor knocks spots off being the cheapest Councillor.

    Go for it!