Monday, 7 February 2011

Brian Coleman slammed for "completely excessive" meal

The man charged with making up to 25% cuts to the London Fire Brigade splashed thousands of pounds from the budget on a "completely excessive" meal for his colleagues.

Chairman of the Fire Authority Brian Coleman used £2338 from the Brigade’s communications budget to pay for flowers and a three-course lunch for a retiring colleague.

Authority members, the Deputy Mayor, and senior officials were served a 'Trio of Orkney Salmon' for starters, 'Corn-fed breast of Norfolk chicken served with date and apple stuffing' for mains, and an 'individual chocolate truffle with vanilla cream sauce,' for dessert.

The austerity-busting meal, served in the authority’s boardroom, was washed down with four bottles of Saint Clair Sauvignon Blanc and another four bottles of Peaks Pinot Noir.

Even the cost of taking the Chairman to the lunch was covered by the taxpayer after he successfully claimed for car mileage and the congestion charge.

Other guests on the day included the wife of a former fire authority member and Brian Coleman’s own mother Gladys. Of the 44 guests invited, only 30 accepted amid concerns at the cost.

Green Party London Assembly Member Darren Johnson chose not to attend, saying that 

"It is reasonable that long serving members of staff should have their contribution formally recognised on retirement but the the amount spent does seem completely excessive at a time of harsh public sector cuts."

Details of the meal were released following a Freedom of Information request made by this blog.

This is not the first time that these events have been held by the Fire Authority.

Two years ago Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon revealed that a similar lunch was held to welcome City Hall’s new Chief Executive Leo Boland. Boland was a former colleague of Coleman at Barnet Council.

A spokesperson for the Fire Authority said: "An event was purposely held at Brigade headquarters to minimise costs, in honour of a retiring officer who has given more than 30 years of public service."


Rachella said...

How Oliver Twist.

Tom said...

I'm impressed by the chutzpah of saying it was held at brigade HQ to 'minimize costs' when it came in at over £70 a head. You could go to a very decent restaurant for less than that, especially with a fixed menu.

[Also: how do feed corn to a breast? Pompous descriptions of food are irritating at the best of times, but they could at least get the grammar right.]

AdamB said...

Now you mention it Rachella there is something of Mr. Bumble about him:

Tom - yes that's right. It works out at about £77 a head. Other meals held by the authority have worked out as even more.

Brian Coleman aka Mr Toad has GOT to go said...

Incredible. Great work again Adam. Thank you.

It inspired me to note that there were No lollipops at Brian Coleman's banquet'

Anonymous said...

30+ years service as a London Firefighter and what do we get...oh, thats right, NOTHING!!! The likes of this amphibious twit is trying to take away everything we work and stand for!!!!

Anonymous said...

Publish the attendance list!

At least some of the board had the common sense not to attend.

Anonymous said...

well when he has removed the 27 fire engines permanently. not that they have returned them yet!!! then he can splash out more money on meals and cab fares.
i also wonder if the top Asset co guy was invited?

Anonymous said...

David Cameron and George Osborne's claims that " We Are All in This Together " is sounding like some sort of Sick Joke now.

Anonymous said...

I see the Standard have picked this up though they've failed to mention this blog as the source of the story:

Anonymous said...

Slightly off topic. How much are we being charged for the storage and maintenance of the 27 fire engines being looked after for us by I believe Asset Co.

Anonymous said...

and I ask; why is there no way to stop this odious toad and his parasites from being wher they are?? Do thousands of employees not have a say about their 'leaders', and can they not hold a veto of no confidence to boot them out. They seem strikingly similar to this Mubarak fella that does not want to let go of power and privilege...Funny old democratic Fire Authority eh?

Anonymous said...


Brian Coleman is a Loyal Dedicated Tory that is respected throughout the Tory Ranks. One day he will be highly rewarded for his tough approach by his superiors that have nothing but Radicalization on their minds without a thought for the Lower Classes. Brian Coleman is untouchable and has Boris Johnson's complete and total support. The Untouchable, Invincible, Hard Man Brian Coleman is here to stay and no person is going to topple him.