It's a fiasco!

PUBLISHED: 15:45 07 February 2008 | UPDATED: 21:22 31 May 2010

ENJOY the pantomime? No! Not Puss in Boots in the town hall but the fiasco called Uttlesford District Council. I made a presentation to the council a year ago, highlighting the arrogance of the executive, and whilst many councillors muttered sympathetic n

ENJOY the pantomime? No! Not Puss in Boots in the town hall but the fiasco called Uttlesford District Council.

I made a presentation to the council a year ago, highlighting the arrogance of the executive, and whilst many councillors muttered sympathetic noises not one of them got off their big fat allowances and did anything about it.

UDC is in such a mess that even at a "£1.8 million declared deficit" it cannot get the Audit Commission to agree that this is the final total and consequently the council is already six months late in getting last year's accounts signed off!

It seems likely that the "progress" of the deficit - £800,000, then £1.4 million, then £1.8 million - will reach over £2 million when the next finance meeting takes place on February 7. Not bad when the total budget is £9 million.

Figures of £100,000 for conferences, seminar and hotels, none of which has been shown to have had any demonstrable value, and £200,000 for a call centre which doesn't work, tens of thousands on consultants' fees, and a 27 per cent increase in the executive's remuneration does suggest that all councillors in the last administration, of whatever political persuasion, are guilty of "letting the tail wag the dog".

I don't want to see

another letter from one political party or the other, suggesting the blame lies elsewhere... you have all let us down!

The staff are totally demoralised (yes! And in spite of "gagging" e-mails

not to discuss the matter, even under the bed covers,

by the chief executive and leader of the council, it is all

too common knowledge in

the town!).

The departure of the chief executive (who declared to his staff that he saw no reason to resign! Huh!?) leaves a weak administration, and I ask those responsible for a new appointment to carefully select an inspiring

candidate whose strong leadership and expertise will motivate staff and give this pantomime a happy ending. We can ill afford a replay next year!

Stephen Williams

Gold Street

Saffron Walden

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