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PUBLISHED: 17:23 20 April 2009 | UPDATED: 09:04 06 July 2010

AT last week's meeting of Waveney District Council the Tory administration tried to lay the blame for their gross mismanagement of the council's finances on the previous Labour administration some six years ago.

AT last week's meeting of Waveney District Council the Tory administration tried to lay the blame for their gross mismanagement of the council's finances on the previous Labour administration some six years ago.

They stated that the Labour administration had presided over a 16-week delay in the payment of benefits, this was entirely true in 2001 but the then executive put in a remedial action and by 2002 it was down to four weeks. Indeed the executive, which included Mark Bee (then deputy leader of the Tory group); Peter Austin (leader of the Tory group) and David Young (leader of the Lib Dem group) moved a motion of congratulation to the benefits team for their hard work.

Mr Bee stated last week that as he was the only Tory on the executive he did not know what was going on, but because of the policy of the Labour administration to be inclusive, all groups were kept entirely in the picture. They did not at any time offer an alternative strategy. The makeup of the executive at that time was five Labour, two Tory and one Lib Dem. Additionally because we were still operating on the committee system, all members of the finance committee were fully appraised of the situation.

The whole of the financial debacle, as indicated by Mr MacFarlane, the chief finance officer, stems from the accounting periods 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07 and 2007/08.

All periods in which the Audit Commission declared the administration “weak”, in respect of its financial management.

I raised the point at last week's meeting that three years ago I asked a question why the payment for leases of the Southwold beach huts had not been collected for the previous three years. I was assured that the matter was in hand but the period of non collection is now six years; another measure of financial incompetence!

If these funds had been collected the council would have a possible six figure sum to cushion the latest effects.

I only hope that the beach hut owners are not faced with a massive bill to pay and that some accommodation can be reached.

The Tories have been in control now for six years; longer than a Parliamentary term.

Many of the cabinet members will be standing for county council seats in May and Waveney tax payers have a lot to look forward to if they succeed.

TERRY KELLY

Walmer Road

Pakefield

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