16 November 2017
The Council has failed to sign off the accounts for 2016/17 and they can't now be audited until possibly as late as the end of the next financial year.
In the Audit meeting on the issue, the external auditor noted that the Labour-run Council couldn't even pin down most of its balance sheet, and that there were significant control weaknesses across the whole Council. They noted, "There are very, very few organisations that would get to this position.”
Green party councillor, Rob White, said: “This sort of slack approach to public finances is simply not good enough. It will have a negative impact on the council’s finances and future borrowing, and we'll see yet more cuts to the services that keep Reading running. The fact that no Councillor has taken responsibility for this is astonishing.”
The council’s failure has been decried by the Conservative MP for Reading West, Alok Sharma, as “incompetent”. On this Cllr White continued: “The Conservative government is typically willing to pass the buck regarding their part in the decline of local government finances. Conservative cuts have put huge pressure on Councils, and unfortunately, Labour Councillors have catastrophically failed to cope.”
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