Friday, 3 February 2012

Scrutiny what scrutiny?

The Administration's Draft Budget was considered by the Economic & Enviromental Scrutiny Committee last night in a discussion that lasted almost one and a half hours. Whilst we made some progress with the Lib Dems (see below) the Independent Party team of Messrs Terry & Woodley failed to cover themselves with glory. They failed to raise any issues, comments or queries on the main revenue budget at all nothwithstanding the suggested savings of £11M. In an overall council budget of approaching £500M they spent most of their effort concentrating on a small item on car parking charges which was agreed during last years budget without comment from them and in respect of which no change is proposed this year. We had the usual claptrap on the level of council borrowing - an argument they have lost many times in the past - and yet whilst complaining about borrowing they continue to refuse to identify any capital schemes which they would not pursue. At least Martin Terry acknowledged that after 9 years on the council he still didn't understand how to read the accounts which may explain why he constantly misinterprets them. My favourite part of the evening was Cllr Woodley's declaration that "I am a Conservative". Interesting but then he also claims to be a financial expert.

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