What do Neil Diamond, Bryan Adams and English cricket have in common? They were all free tickets provided to this Eastleigh politician.

person taking cash from an ATM

Our researcher has uncovered a range of free tickets and hospitality provided to an Eastleigh politician. It dates back a number of years and these gifts had not been declared on the council website.

It’s hardly the shock of the century: elected politician gets a free stuff. Of course, we’re seeing lots of this sleaze at the moment – clearly we also have it close to home in Eastleigh. There are two things that stand out in this Freedom of Information request; one, the scale of free gifts received and, two, the free gifts received from Southampton Airport who then voted for the airport expansion. Let’s look at the FOI response:

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST HOSPITALITY EASTLEIGH BOROUGH COUNCIL
Declarations
Keith House
Ageas Bowl. 17/06/2008.
Event Neil Diamond Concert VIP enclosure no doubt, plus hospitality.
Notified and Declared 20/06/2008

Ageas Bowl. 27/08/2008.
Event REM Concert and buffet.
Notified and Declared 02/09/2008.

Val Williams Property Consultants
Wine Voucher
For speaking at event on 17/03/2016
Notified 18/04/2016.

Keith House and Cllr. Antonia Maria Craig.
Ageas Bowl Event and tickets, events listed at the time, Billy Joel, The WHO, plus hospitality for two 10/06/2016.
Notified 13/06/2016.

Keith House and Cllr. Antonia Maria Craig.
Event Bryan Adams concert 07/072017
Notified 12/07/2017

Keith House and Cllr. Antonia Maria Craig.
Event Tickets and Hospitality for two Ageas Bowl 12/05/2019
Notified 15/05/2012 see email?

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST HOSPITALITY EASTLEIGH BOROUGH COUNCIL

Cllr. D Airey 1st class train ticket south West trains London Netley return 03/09/2014.
Cllr. D Airey Hotel Accommodation plus airfare (conference at Southampton Airport} £224 reimbursement of expenses 07/06/2017
Notified 12/10/2017 see email.

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST HOSPITALITY.
HAMPSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL.

Cllr. K House – Date 14/08/2010
20:20 Cricket Finals and Hospitality Ageas Rose Bowl, no estimated cost declared.

Cllr. K House.- Date 09/09/2009
England versus Australia ODI Ageas Rose Bowl

Why wasn’t this information public?

The most worrying aspect about this information as this has not been published on the Eastleigh Borough Council website. It took a Freedom of Information request for this to be exposed and this is why the council are so precious about what they share, often using complex excuses as to why they can’t produce information.

Eastleigh Borough Council funds the Ageas Bowl (£30 million of tax payers money). Therefore, the tax payer met the cost for Keith and Co to attend these events. Is that fair? Should an elected official be able to use their reach to get freebies from the tax payer? As someone who earns more than an MP, should he be getting these handouts?

A big thanks to our researcher, Ted, for exposing this information and enabling us to share it. If you have any feedback or would like to let Keith and Co know how you feel, you can email him here: keith.house@eastleigh.gov.uk