Friday, February 4, 2011

CPALC bungs Quality Status to St Neots Town Council

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Association of Local Councils has bunged St Neots Town Council the award of Quality Town Council. Why? The Town Council has certainly come on from the days of it being a "Shambles". In my view not enough to be awarded Quality Status. One example of CPALC overlooking its own tests is Test 3. It says the Town Council should have its Annual Report accessible on its website. Up to the day this "Quality Status" was bunged or "awarded" the Annual Report was not available. Didn't CPALC check the website? If they did they missed this part of the Quality Status test. What else has CPALC over looked?

Diane Bayliss, Projects Officer informed the Town Council they had been bunged given this award at a meeting of the Town Council on 3rd February 2011. Great news for the Liberal Democrats who were silent on the Town Council losing the status in the first place.

In the event I've emailed Ian Dewar, County Officer of CPALC and I've also emailed the National Association of Local Councils over the Town Council not fulfilling the requirements in obtaining Quality Status.  Not much will happen as this is basically a club for Town and Parish Councils and the awards are self congratulatory. Any replies will be published.

How Steve Wilkinson and the Accreditation Committee of CPALC missed all this is worry. Obviously the evidence presented by the Town Council wasn't looked into in any depth or even checked.

As CPALC is seemingly able to overlook its own tests, at will, there will now be an issue of integrity of the Quality Status for Town and Parish Councils. The Quality Status brand is only as good as its councils. The tests are there for good reason and that is to ensure the brand is kept to a high standard. Time and money is expended by other Town and Parish Councils to get themselves to a high standard. What must they think when the tests are not applied properly and St Neots Town Council is bunged the status.

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