Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Alec Robertson - in denial about budget fiasco?

As I've blogged before, there are huge holes in Cornwall Council's transportation budget at the moment. Both the parking income and bus fares reimbursement are out of kilter by £2 million or more, meaning that the overall department budget is 32% adrift. But apparently, these are not things that ordinary councillors have the right to ask questions about.

At today's Cabinet meeting, during an agenda item on budget management, I asked the Leader to explain why, given the assurances that were made about us being able to hit the parking budget, we were likely to fall 25% short in the net income by the end of the year. I also asked how the £2.2 million hole in the bus pass reimbursement budget had been allowed to develop unchecked for so long.

Despite the fact that Cllr Robertson often preaches about openness and transparency, I was told that he wouldn't give me answers as he didn't want the meeting to be about political point scoring. I find it incredible that the Council Leader appears to think it unreasonable to ask questions about huge holes in the council's budget during an agenda item about budget management. And, as one person I know said, to be such a patronising tw*t at the same time.

So the question for Cllr Robertson is this - why is refusing to discuss huge holes in the Council's budget? Is he in denial about the scale of the problem? Do elected representatives and the taxpaying public not have the right to know why their Tory run council is failing to control spending? And if he can't control the budget and isn't prepared to explain his failures, is he still the right person to run Cornwall council?

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