Friday, February 11, 2011

How CPALC missed this I don't know how!

Moving onto Test 5.
St Neots Town Council did publish an Annual Report. As I have mentioned in earlier blogs the Annual Report doesn't do what is expected. It is basically the Annual Accounts with Annual Report stuck on the front. The Annual Report and Annual Accounts are supposed to be on the website. They are not!

Looking at the actual requirements. The 30th June 2010 deadline was made. The accounts are available if you go into the Town council Office during their working hours. With the District Council in the same Offices the principal authorities requirement is met. The local libraries is what hasn't been done. I visited St Neots Library, which is only round the corner from St Neots Town Council Offices. I found the old version of the Forward Plan and some old Priorities. But not the 30th June 2010 Annual Report. The library staff said: "they hadn't seen the Town Council for years". They went further to say: "all the minutes and agendas are online". The Town Council didn't deposit the Annual Report at the Library.

Then there is this section. The annual report should also include:
  • a list of councillors and officers. It doesn't.
  • a summary of the council's accounts. It does. - and the rest of the accounts.
  • an overview by the chairman (read Town Mayor) of the council's achievements. It doesn't.
Is the word "should" giving CPALC the latitude to pass this part? If it is then it shouldn't. St Neots Town Council is one of the largest Town Councils are yet Steve Wilkinson and his Accreditation Committee seem to have ignored this part of the test. 

The Annual Report and Accounts as published is 24 pages long. This is not really in a form "suitable for wider publication". The Annual Report doesn't even appear on the website. How CPALC passed this I can't work out.

I have to wonder whether Steve Wilkinson and his Accreditation Committee saw the same evidence I, as an elector in St Neots, have actually seen. Maybe the portfolio of evidence submitted to CPALC by the Town Council should be published.

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