Thursday, 14 June 2012

Lib Dems condemn Cornwall Council payment incompetence

Cornish Liberal Democrats have condemned the Tory-led authority for the incompetent way it has adopted a new payment system which has led to many local suppliers being owed thousands of pounds. And it has been revealed that foster carers in Cornwall are also owed hundreds of pounds by the authority.

Cornwall Council has moved to an ERP - Enterprise Resource Planning - system for managing its relationships with suppliers. However, insufficient preparation for the switch has resulted in many payments being delayed and local firms being left out of pocket.

Among the problems reported to local Liberal Democrats:
  • contractors working on the Caradon Hill Area Heritage Project (CHAHP) were paid up to five weeks late;
  • rent payments to a local trust were delayed;
    council departments have to get 60 page supplier application forms filled out and approved even for some of the most common and simplest purchases from local firms;
  • foster carers are waiting many weeks for their payments for looking after some of the most vulnerable and difficult children in Cornwall.
My colleague Jeremy Rowe has condemned the payment failures:

"This is yet another example of incompetent planning by the Conservative-led council. After the waste fiasco, you would have thought that the council had learned its lesson, but it appears not."

"Local businesses are going through a tough time with the state of the economy. The last thing they need is Cornwall Council being late with their payments. And the delays to payments to foster carers are particularly inexcusable. We should be valuing people who care for vulnerable children, not leaving them out of pocket."

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