Coleman irks firemen with £400 taxi fare

Times Series: Mayor of Barnet Brian Coleman, who chairs the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, kept a taxi waiting five hours Mayor of Barnet Brian Coleman, who chairs the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, kept a taxi waiting five hours

THE Mayor of Barnet charged the taxpayer almost £400 for a single taxi fare to a VIP dinner last year.

Councillor Brian Coleman, also London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden, racked up the fee of £396 for his journey to and from a Lord Mayor's banquet in November.

The return fare was £104 plus a service charge of £28, but the staggering cost of £246 was incurred because Mr Coleman left the cab driver waiting outside for five hours.

With VAT it came close to £400.

Mr Coleman is chair of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, which runs the London Fire Brigade, and the cab fare was uncovered by a Freedom of Information request by the Fire Brigade Union.

The revelation has prompted calls for his resignation from the union.

Ben Sprung, Fire Brigades Union regional organiser, said the claim was "excessive and unacceptable" and Mr Coleman had been "reckless with public money".

He added: “I doubt very much if he would have kept a cab waiting for so long if he was paying it himself. It would not be acceptable behaviour for a member of staff to charge to keep a cab waiting for five hours.

“Mr Coleman has been very quick to criticise others about wasting public money. In our view if he does not resign he should be removed, precisely what he would demand of others.”

In 2007 Mr Coleman voted against paying Fire Brigade cleaners the living wage of £7.20 an hour.

He said at the time: "Paying London Fire Station cleaners the London living wage of £7.20, as Labour's Val Shawcross suggested, is just ridiculous."

He provoked controversy the same year when it emerged that he had spent more than £10,000 in a one year period on taxis.

When contacted by the Fire Brigades Union over the latest revelation Mr Coleman replied by email: “I never comment on such matters.”

When contacted by the Times Series for a comment he hung up the phone.

Mr Coleman has refused to speak to the Times Series since we uncovered he had been granted £10,000 to cover legal fees to face the council's standards committee over a claim of misconduct.

Comments (5)

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11:28am Fri 26 Jun 09

Rog T says...

When you say he doesn't talk to the Times anymore, does this mean he doesn't ring up and complain every time you put something nasty about him in. Or does it mean that he just gets Robert "Ramrod" rams to ring up and moan for him?
When you say he doesn't talk to the Times anymore, does this mean he doesn't ring up and complain every time you put something nasty about him in. Or does it mean that he just gets Robert "Ramrod" rams to ring up and moan for him? Rog T

11:45am Fri 26 Jun 09

Don't Call Me Dave says...

If you are a politician, living a public life paid for by the public purse, then you must be prepared to engage with the public and explain your actions when required. Coleman’s refusal to discuss this latest obscene revelation just proves how arrogant and contemptuous of the public he has become. Boris Johnson should sack Coleman as Chairman of LFEPA and voters should remove him from office at the next election.
If you are a politician, living a public life paid for by the public purse, then you must be prepared to engage with the public and explain your actions when required. Coleman’s refusal to discuss this latest obscene revelation just proves how arrogant and contemptuous of the public he has become. Boris Johnson should sack Coleman as Chairman of LFEPA and voters should remove him from office at the next election. Don't Call Me Dave

11:54am Fri 26 Jun 09

Joe Robb says...

So - Coleman has sent you to Coventry?

Its arrogant and petulant as one might expect from Mr Toad. But he's been know to do worse.

One media outlet that criticised him has been bullied in a most underhand way. For details see:
http://torytroll.blo
gspot.com/2009/05/br
ian-coleman-becomes-
mayor-and-blames.htm
l

______________

Brian Coleman (aka Mr Toad) has GOT to go!:

Facebook:
http://www.facebook.
com/group.php?gid=24
061317432

MySpace:
http://www.myspace.c
om/mr_toad_has_got_t
o_go
So - Coleman has sent you to Coventry? Its arrogant and petulant as one might expect from Mr Toad. But he's been know to do worse. One media outlet that criticised him has been bullied in a most underhand way. For details see: http://torytroll.blo gspot.com/2009/05/br ian-coleman-becomes- mayor-and-blames.htm l ______________ Brian Coleman (aka Mr Toad) has GOT to go!: Facebook: http://www.facebook. com/group.php?gid=24 061317432 MySpace: http://www.myspace.c om/mr_toad_has_got_t o_go Joe Robb

5:04pm Fri 26 Jun 09

leytonstoner says...

If he didn't wield so much power it would be hilarious - only it isn't and Brian Coleman will be a disaster for the london fire service - especially with his blatent attempt at forcing a strike ballot
If he didn't wield so much power it would be hilarious - only it isn't and Brian Coleman will be a disaster for the london fire service - especially with his blatent attempt at forcing a strike ballot leytonstoner

6:46pm Tue 30 Jun 09

davidfinchley says...

Open message to Mike Freer;

Mr Freer,in this current political climate, how on earth can this behaviour be tolerated?
Open message to Mike Freer; Mr Freer,in this current political climate, how on earth can this behaviour be tolerated? davidfinchley

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