More problems with Copeland's finances
After the problems with Copeland Council's accounting system resulting in delays to publication of accounts for both 2006/7 and 2008/9, and considerable extrenal costs to straighten the books out, it has now been reported to the Executive that two large bills amounting to £192,000 have somehow been “missed" from of Copeland Council’s budget.
Alhough the council had previously agreed to a 2008/09 contribution of £130,000 to North Country Leisure, the organisation which now runs its leisure facilities under a trust arrangement, there had been no provision made for this amount in the council’s plans for capital expenditure.
Similarly, a sum of £62,000, due to West Cumbria Development Fund, as the council’s regular annual contribution to this body which gives donations to the local community, had not been budgeted for.
The money has been paid out to the two organisations and figures have had to be juggled in the wake of this realisation.
The council's chief executive of the council, Liam Murphy, was reported in the Whitehaven News as having said at this week's Executive meeting, “These are not small amounts. It is like saying we didn’t give some of our houses to Copeland Homes or something. It is basic stuff."
To cover the sums, the Executive meeting agreed to apply an £130,000 underspend on another scheme to the NCL bill and to take the WCDF’s £62,000 from capital receipts.
Labour council leader Elaine Woodburn was quoted as saying "It doesn’t help."
That's putting it very mildly.