Council Cash investigation

Also at the O&S Committee on Monday it was agreed that the chief executive of Copeland Council will lead an investigation into the council's management of money invested in or guaranteed to Haven rugby club and in the arrangements to appoint and support two councillors as directors of the club.

The chief will will report back on the results of his investigation to a committee meeting held in public on 22nd November.

In particular the initial investigation will focus on a series of specific questions raised by Councillor Alistair Norwood. These are:-

Were the councillors who were appointed to the WRLC board given any appropriate training and support to perform this function?

What was the reason for removing officers from this role and replacing them with councillors? Is there any reason to believe that their decisions contributed to financial loss suffered by the club or this council?

What reporting mechanisms existed for the councillors to report back any issues that were found during their time on the board?

What reporting back to the council took place? Was the council kept fully informed of all actions of the board? Is the reporting considered to have been adequate. If not, why not? And what improvements can be put in place for the future?

Did the council get all information that was requested from the representatives during this time?

Has any evaluation been done on the performance of the council representatives with a view to improving how the council handles these matters in the future?

What was the total cost to the council of having the councillors on the board of WRLC?


Jane said…
I am pleased that this issue is finally being investigated. Copeland Council's involvement with the WRLC has worried me some time. The first concern was the use of Council Tax payers money to underwrite the club. Was it £50,000? This occurred in 2008 (before the credit crunch) because banks thought it was too risky a venture. I believe this was challenged by the Opposition Group on Copeland Council to no avail. To my mind it was irresponsible of the ruling Executive to promote this motion.

My personal opinion is that when money is short essential services should be given priority and money kept aside for assisting the vulnerable.

As some councillors are also fans and supporters I have been of the opinion that it is impossible for an objective distance to be maintained. Why for example is WRLC more deserving of receiving public funds than Millom RL club? Millom RL fans (and Union fans for that matter) are paying Council Tax! Are the councillor directors capable of producing a business case or do the emotions of being a fan create a rose-tinted spectacles approach? I will reserve judgement until I have read the report and hopefully attended the public meeting.

However, I maintain the opinion that this is not an appropriate means of spending public money. It appears to be another example of the state funding lifestyles! I have no objection to RLCs applying for grants of public money (set aside for community projects by the appropriate bodies) providing that the decision is objective and the club can produce a business case that shows that the project is economically sustainable. Normally this would involve the club showing that it can raise funding for themselves in addition. I know of several clubs that have been in financial crisis that look to their fans to contribute money by setting up charities and fund raising events. Yorkshire club Hunslett Hawks raised money from devoted fans and with good management turned the club around. They were champions in their league table at the end of this season. If they can do it why cannot Whitehaven RLC?

Popular posts from this blog

Nick Herbert on his visit to flood hit areas of Cumbria

Quotes of the day 19th August 2020

Quote of the day 24th July 2020