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Scrutiny Unearths One Council Failures

November 19, 2010

from RBK Conservative Group

Conservative Group Leader and Scrutiny Panel Chairman Cllr Howard Jones accused the portfolio holder for One Council [i] of showing a ‘lack of leadership’ and said that the delay in initiating discussions on joint working was ‘unjustifiable’, as the Scrutiny into the cost-cutting and money-saving initiative ‘One Council’ revealed several wasted opportunities.

Firstly, the project aimed at restructuring has taken so long to even identify which steps to take that months of potential savings have been missed, resulting not only in a missed opportunity to reinvigorate a flagging money-saving exercise but also to save a considerable amount of money over the summer months.

It also emerged that the Administration has failed to even investigate the possibility of working jointly with neighbouring councils (for example by sharing services or merging departments) until 30th September this year – some four and half months after their re- election! – failing to inject any new impetus into the project.

These revelations came as a blow to the Conservative Group, who have for a significant time (stretching back before the election) proposed looking into joint working with neighbouring councils in areas such as Legal Services, Trading Standards, Audit, ICT provision, and Environmental Health.

Also, despite repeated offers from the Conservative Group and its leaders to work side by side with the Administration and reduce the volume of polarised, adversarial politics at the Council, the Administration has failed to consult the opposition Conservative Group on key issues such as these One Council Projects which will affect the Councillors and their work so profoundly.

A meeting between One Council Project Managers, the Executive and the Shadow Executive was proposed by Conservative members but as yet had not been agreed to by the relevant Portfolio holder. Cllr Jones concluded by saying that in future all councillors should have a closer relationship with the progress of One Council.’

 


[i] ‘One Council’ is RBK’s internal cost-cutting and efficiency drive: http://inside.kingston.gov.uk/priorities/onecouncil/One%20Council/Home.aspx

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