Council accounts late AND to be signed off behind closed doors

September 25, 2013 9:10 AM
Graeme Clark

Cllr Graeme Clark

An unbelievable decision was made by the Conservatives running Brentwood last night that will see the council's accounts agreed - not by elected councillors and in public - but by one council officer (who is preparing the accounts with the auditors) and one Tory councillor from ingatestone.


The council's accounts are due to be filed on Monday but were not ready for the Audit Committee on Tuesday evening for councillors to debate or approve and the Tories decided they would take the decision out of the hands of the councillors and sign them off secretly.


Cllr Graeme Clark, who voted against this course of action said:


"The Audit Committee should not have been set so close to the deadline originally, it could have been moved to Monday to ensure that councillors could properly analyse and debate the accounts or the Tory leadership could have come clean and said that they were going to be late.


"Now, we are in a position where the people you have elected to be guardians of your money are not able to do the duty they were elected to do and the Tories have abdicated their responsibilities with their vote tonight."


Questions were raised over whether this decision could be called in by the Overview & Scrutiny committee given the councillors had no information on which to make this decision.