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Do our 18 elected members look after our council tax money - you will be surprised with the finding!
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TOPIC: Do our 18 elected members look after our council tax money - you will be surprised with the finding!

Do our 18 elected members look after our council tax money - you will be surprised with the finding! 2 months ago #1

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It has long been a belief that our East Renfrewshire Councillors were incapable of protecting the residents cash payments to the council. In that cash was being wasted or mispent.

The following may actually provide something for everyone to contemplate.

To Follow....

Re: Do our 18 elected members look after our council tax money - you will be surprised with the finding! 2 months ago #2

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When the Director of the Environment is presenting a paper to the Cabinet concerning an overspend of £1.71 million, it is surelly of concern when one of his first opening lines is:-

"Whilst my staff may not have followed the rules exactly, they did so for the best reasons".


2020-12-242.jpg

Andy Cahill, Director of the Environment.

Re: Do our 18 elected members look after our council tax money - you will be surprised with the finding! 2 months ago #3

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Followed by

"So I am asking the cabinet for a little indulgence in that respect"

In this instance he is refering to the price to pay for staff not following rules exactly, additional cost of £526k.

A little indulgence in respect of over half a million pounds of tax payers money.

Re: Do our 18 elected members look after our council tax money - you will be surprised with the finding! 2 months ago #4

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After a lot of spin and mirrors and phrases like "this is a really complicated paper so I will take you through it" "This has been an extremely challenging task".

In our view the paper is not complicated, what was challenging was keeping up with his 'spin'.

The paper before the cabinet said:-

c) Recommend to the Council that additional capital expenditure of £910,000 be
approved to cover the additional committed works; and


Only one problem, Andy Cahill had already approved and committed £526k without any council approval, permission or consent.

Another point that seems to have been ignored by elected members is that no Director can authorise any excess of £10k without the authority of the full council.

Re: Do our 18 elected members look after our council tax money - you will be surprised with the finding! 2 months ago #5

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The reason it cost taxpayers an additional £523k was that staff and the council consultant 'thought' that Scottish Water would not enforce their rules. Permit joining the five new build nurseries to main sewarage.

Scottish Water did not relax the rules and ERC have required to take other steps which cost you £526k.

The Director Andy Cahill said at Cabinet that as there was an urgency to complete the new builds he authorised the work and payments.

One of the urgent matters he said was that parents were being inconvenienced by not having the additional child places.

Re: Do our 18 elected members look after our council tax money - you will be surprised with the finding! 2 months ago #6

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The matter then went to the Full Council.

Early Learning and Childcare Expansion 2020 - Report by Director of
Environment (copy attached, pages 55 - 62)(Cabinet – 3 December 2020).

Cabinet Recommendation

(a) That additional capital expenditure of £910,000 be approved to
cover the additional committed works; and

That includes the £526k and note that they are asked to approve the spend, however it has already been spent.

Not one Elected Member questioned why it had been spent without their approval.

Even the Chair of Audit & Scrutiny (Cllr Stewart Miller) did not address these matters.

It was passed by every Cllr present.

A few Cllrs expressed concern and we will highlight that later, all opposition, not one from the Administration.
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