BBC Proms - for your eyes only

The BBC's latest Freedom of Information disclosure, which itemises the expenses of senior staff, makes interesting reading. BBC Proms director and Radio 3 controller Roger Wright, whose salary is over £190,000, spent £1308.83 last September on 'internal hospitality' for 'staff entertainment/annual event'. That must have been quite a party, but not enough it seems. Soon afterwards another £1032.85 went on 'Internal hospitality, Staff Entertainment, Annual Event - Radio 3, Perf Groups, Proms Awayday'.

It is not all bad news though, and I do draw some consolation from the £38 spent in February this year on '4 CDs featuring Arnold, Stanford, Villa Lobos'. But does this mean the the BBC record library has been closed? - presumably to save costs.

But all these are small change compared with the £6083.24 which Roger Wright claimed for 'Hotels - Room' on his personal expenses across twelve separate claims, the majority of which fall within the 2008 Proms season. The reason for these expenses is not given, with Section 38 of the Freedom of Information Act being invoked to justify non-disclosure. The BBC's website explains:
Section 38 - Health and safety
This exemption is about protecting the health or safety of any person (not just BBC staff).
Perhaps the Proms director read my post on Léon Theremin?
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Pliable said…
"Another big spender was Roger Wright, the controller of Radio 3, who spent £35,000 in the period, including £7,000 on taxis compared with only £4 on London Underground fares.

Andy Parfitt, the head of Radio 1, spent £25,000, including nearly £6,000 on monthly 'pizza meetings' for his staff, and a £632 taxi to a radio event in Coventry ...

This has nothing to do with Daily Mail middle England fury, this is not about small, petit mindedness or grumpy-guts misery. This is about basic common sense and vague notions of decency and respect.

The BBC are funded by the tax payer, by the force of the law. If you don't pay the tax, you will be questioned under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (1984), you will be taken to court, you will get a criminal record. You have to pay it.

You have no say in how much the license fee is - the BBC and their Labour government pals work all that out and you get the bill. If you don't watch BBC, but have a TV, you still have to pay the tax.

It is therefore blatant common sense and clear logic that the BBC have a duty to spend the license fee in a fair, moral and proportionate manner. Otherwise, the system is nothing but a corrupt farce and a way of feeding a select elite with the perks and bonuses that are common place in oligarchies and dictatorships.

Our money is being appropriated and used by people in a disgusting, corrupt and immoral manner and there is nothing we can do about it.

How, how, how can anyone at the BBC justify these expense claims? They are wholly inappropriate and decadent; they are obviously over the top and unnecessary. This sort of money does zero for the purposes of public broadcasting, and the salaries of BBC staff are such (particularly higher up the trough) that spending this money on luxuries and charging it to us mugs at home is unjustified"

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