List of gifts to employees revealed

AN ORNAMENTAL tiger, 50 bottles of plonk and tickets to a Neil Diamond concert.These are just some of the things that feature on a list of freebie gifts handed to staff at Ipswich Borough Council over the past three years.

Neil Puffett

AN ORNAMENTAL tiger, 50 bottles of plonk and tickets to a Neil Diamond concert.

These are just some of the things that feature on a list of freebie gifts handed to staff at Ipswich Borough Council over the past three years.

The interesting mix of items has come to light because town staff have to register any gifts they receive to ensure things are kept above board.


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A council report featuring the gift register shows that more than 60 gifts worth an estimated £1,800 have been handed to staff between October 2004 and September last year.

Around a third of these freebies, including dinner at the Savoy, a ticket to a footie clash between Ipswich and Portsmouth, a Neil Diamond concert and a golf day, were handed to the chief executive or directors at the authority.

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Gift donors include Ipswich Building Society, Suffolk police, Jackson Group Ltd, Northgate Information Solutions, Ipswich Town Football Club and Zurich Municipal.

Ipswich's twin town in France, Arras, was responsible for a number of gifts with members of the legal and democratic team enjoying a visit to the town that saw them spend two nights at a bed and breakfast and take in a top football match between Lens and Lille.

Meanwhile a handheld satellite navigation system, worth up to £200, was handed to the corporate development department by Intergraph Ltd.

Ipswich Property Lawyers Group bought wine worth between £60 and £70 for the council's environment team and a total of more than 50 bottles of wine were given to various departments during the period.

Claire Barritt, head of legal and democratic services and monitoring officer, said: “Like many public sector employers the council adopted a local code of conduct that requires employees to adopt high ethical standards.

“One of the rules in the code is that all employees must register any gifts that they receive in the course of their duties.

“Employees are not permitted to accept extravagant gifts or other inappropriate gifts, but it would be churlish of the council to insist that gifts of a modest nature that are given to council staff by way of a 'thank you' for the work they have done have to be refused on every occasion.

“The most important factor is that there is a transparent process which is why a gifts register is kept and why the entries are reviewed by the standards committee.”

Should council staff accept gifts? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Department gift value gift giver

Communities Marks and Spencer vouchers £50 Ipswich Building Society (24.09.07)

Housing Bunch of flowers, perfume and ornament £20 West Villa (05.07.07)

Environment Wine £70 Ipswich Property Lawyers Group (08.02.07)

Housing Three £5 gift vouchers, tin of Quality Street, £? Various tenants at Broke Hall (03.01.07)

an ornament of a tiger, three bottles of wine,

box of mint chocolates,

box of chocolate covered fruit and nut,

and a box of biscuits

Chf Exec/directors Ticket to Ipswich v Portsmouth football match £25 Jackson Group Ltd (07.07.06)

European Officer Two nights accommodation in Ibis Hotel £80 Marie d'Arras (21.04.06)

Chf Exec/directors Neil Diamond Concert £60 Jackson Construction Ltd (21.07.05)

Legal and

democratic Two hotel rooms for two nights £? Ville D'Arras (25.11.04)

+ three tickets for the Lens v Lille Football Match

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