Muddled and murky: when is a repayment not a repayment? Herefordshire Council doesn’t seem too sure.
In August 2017 the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership asked Herefordshire Council to pay the LEP back almost £1.7 million from funding allocated to the council’s South Wye Transport Package for work on the business case for the Hereford Southern Link Road. This now appears in the latest financial report on the council’s Corporate Performance to Cabinet this week as a ‘”re-profiling”: corrected, during the meeting, from a “repayment” as it was worded in the agenda papers.
Government rules require that unspent monies from grants to LEPs are returned centrally at the end of the financial year or the grant fund period. The request from the Marches LEP for their partners – in this case Herefordshire – to submit advance invoices for work not done, and the subsequent request for repayment, show that the LEP has tried to hide from government the actual rate of spend or progress on Growth Deal funding programmes.
“Herefordshire Council leader Tony Johnson’s play with words in the Cabinet meeting yesterday – was this £1.7m a loan, a re-profiled payment, or perhaps a premature invoice for work not yet done? – goes to show the muddled and murky manner in which the Council’s capital programmes are presented. Let’s not dignify that with the term ‘managed’”, said Cllr Liz Harvey.
“We had been led to understand that this £1.7m was a loan to the council. But officers stated there was no loan, so there was no repayment due. It looks like yet another matter for the council’s auditors to investigate”, added Cllr Anthony Powers who raised the issue at Cabinet.
Contacts: Cllr Liz Harvey 07909 753259 Cllr Anthony Powers 07710 943313
It’s Our County supports Ellie Chowns in council by-election.
It’s Our County supports Ellie Chowns in council by-election
It’s Our County, Herefordshire’s own independent party, is not standing a candidate in the Bishops Frome and Cradley by-election.
“IOC believes that Ellie Chowns is an impressive and very capable candidate, and we do not want to risk splitting the vote for Ellie by standing one of our own prospective candidates in the ward. For the same reason, IOC also didn’t stand a candidate against Peter Jinman in the recent by-election in Golden Valley South, which Peter won with a large majority,” said group leader Cllr Anthony Powers.
“It makes sense for the opposition parties on Herefordshire Council to work together in this way and we will continue to demonstrate our commitment to consensus politics to deliver the best outcomes for Herefordshire”, he added.
Cllr Felicity Norman, chairwoman of North Herefordshire Green party, said: “We warmly welcome IOC support for Ellie Chowns. This is in line with our view that like-minded campaigners need to work together whenever possible.”
Contacts: Anthony Powers (It’s Our County) 07710 943313
Felicity Norman (Green Party) 01568 780886
Note for Editors
Polling day for the Bishops Frome and Cradley election – called following the resignation of Conservative cabinet member and deputy council leader Cllr Patricia Morgan – is Thursday 23 November.
Matthew Bushkes for Kings Acre Ward.
Its Our County Councillor Matthew Bushkes after a successful couple of years as City Councillor is also standing for County Council in the Kings Acre Ward.
Matt has a proven track record in his ward and community helping the constituents that he represents and getting the job done.
Matt looks forward to your support on the 26th October 2017.