July 11th, 2012 |
Essex Conservatives Reject Inquiry into £5.1 Million Spending
Essex County Council have this week rejected having an inquiry into the spending of £5.1 million on Council charge cards.
This followed revelations in the Brentwood Gazette regarding spending £87,000 in hotels and resorts, £3,000 spent in bars, night clubs and discos, and various other items.
The inquiry was called for by the Council’s Liberal Democrat Opposition. They demanded transparency and openness on what has happened with taxpayers’ money, to provide the information that residents deserve.
The Conservative majority rejected the proposed Inquiry and failed to come up with any concrete proposals of their own to allay residents’ concerns.
Proposing the Motion, Cllr David Kendall said :
“County Council staff work extremely hard to deliver services to local residents, particularly vulnerable children in the care of the authority. However, this is public money and the Liberal Democrat Group proposed this motion in order to ensure that it is being properly spent.
“74% of the Council Tax our residents pay goes to Essex County Council and they have a right to know that their money is spent properly. If the Conservative Leader and Deputy Leader had agreed to speak to the local press when the story first broke, they could have addressed council taxpayers’ concerns.”
The Daily Telegraph is very unimpressed with the County Council’s spending:
Staff at Essex County Council have spent more than £5million pounds of taxpayers’ money on corporate credit cards in the last two years, including fast food, trips to theme parks and hotels in India…..
…..Figures published by the Brentwood Gazette as part of an investigation into council waste found officers spent £5,136,145 in 27 months. Eric Pickles, local government secretary and Brentwood and Ongar MP told the newspaper the amount “strikes him as excessive”. He said: “People at Essex County Council need to realise that it isn’t Essex’s money, it isn’t the Government’s money, it is the public’s money and the public have a right to know how it is being spent.”