The public are entitled to know that the expenditure of their money by the council is properly checked in an open and transparent manner, and that this is done in a reasonable timescale and at reasonable cost.
The public is also entitled to know that reports to councillors and the public about the council’s accounts are accurate.
I am very concerned by a number of issues around the council’s accounts, including the delay in closing them despite very large sums of money spent on external help, the impact of these costs on the council’s financial position and potentially on council services, and on issues around the accuracy of at least one report to councillors.
It is important that councillors should have the opportunity for an informed debate about how this situation arose, how we can resolve it, and how to prevent the council getting into this position again. This debate needs to be characterised by an open and honest assessment of the facts.
To push for such a debate I, with Conservative colleagues have tabled a motion for the next meeting of the full council.”