LABOUR SAVAGES TORY PLAN WHICH WOULD HAVE MEANT MORE TAXPAYERS CASH WASTED
Extraordinary meeting vote comes close to landing taxpayer with EXTRA £80,000 bill
A Conservative motion which demanded Northumberland County Council overturn a decision, described by non-political officers of the authority as ‘lawful’, came within a whisker of landing the county’s taxpayers with a bill of £80,000 at an extraordinary meeting of the council on 11 July.
The figure which has been verified by officers has been disputed by leading Conservatives and Labour can reveal the figure would have been much higher if Tory councillors had won the vote in the extraordinary meeting. The cost of the original policy decision cost over £60,000 and if the Conservative motion had been successful then that cost would have been wasted and would have meant new consultations mirroring the cost of the first lawful policy decision.
The vote was 34 to 30 in favour of the original policy decision which had already been implemented saving the council over £2.4m a year and local Conservatives have suffered a double blow when it emerged that a letter from the Prime Minister David Cameron’s office backed the council’s approach to the post 16 decision.
Labour are also pointing to the decision by the Conservative group to vote for the motion which would have overturned the policy as evidence that they ‘continued to live in denial’ over the damage which could have been caused if the motion had gone through and they’re calling for answers why the Conservatives didn’t call the original policy board decision in under rules in the constitution.
A Labour group spokesperson said
"The figure of £80,000 released by the authority comprised of actions which would have happened had the Conservative motion for the extraordinary meeting been passed.
If the Tories had got their way then the taxpayer would have been saddled with the £80,000 bill. The vote at the meeting meant the motion was defeated 34 votes to 30 and there was no requirement to revisit a lawful policy.
We're happy to clear up any misunderstanding about the figure and while the £80,000 figure was not required, local Tories voted for the additional spending through their motion only to be defeated in the vote.
They may be trying to wriggle out of that now but they voted for a motion which cost the taxpayer over £15,000. Conservatives may want to ‘run away from that fact but they can’t hide’ and they still haven’t answered why Conservative group leader failed to call the original decision in three months ago? If he’d done that then there would have been no ‘extraordinary meeting”.