Letter: Charles Joyce February 16,2018
Whilst the Lynn News article (February 9) correctly stated West Norfolk Council leader Cllr Brian Long told me during the recent cabinet meeting on February 6 that I should have raised my questions and concerns regarding his Budget proposals to the appropriate scrutiny panel, the article however failed to point out that Cllr Long was informed during the meeting by his councillor colleagues and officers present that the scrutiny panels had only received a lecture, figures were not provided for any member involved for scrutiny process to take place.
The Government believes it is important that councillors understand the total exposure of their local authority due to borrowing and investment decisions and that this information is presented in such a way that allows them to compare any change in exposure from year to year. Yet despite this Cllr Brian Long still refused to answer simple questions I asked, such as about money that appears to be missing from his budget report, how he could justify expenditure in some departments and why there is no attempt to expand some council services based on commercial reality.
The Conservative chairman of the council’s own audit committee asked late last year for the Budget figures to be brought to the committee and unbelievably this request was denied. Perhaps Cllr Long has learned from his time at Norfolk County Council that it is possible to mislead some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time. The West Norfolk Council leader resents any scrutiny of his budget.