Council chief slams Best Value reports as a waste of money

29 Nov 01
The chief executive of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council has accused the Audit Commission of costing the taxpayer 'hundreds of thousands of pounds by producing 'unusable' inspection reports.

30 November 2001

Colin Moore launched his caustic attack on the body following publication of two reports, on November 26, into the council's advice services and street-cleaning operation.

He accused it of publishing findings that were 'hopelessly out-of-date', and of being 'secretive' in failing to notify the authority properly of its conclusions before releasing them. According to Moore, the reviews took place in September 2000 and the inspections in March 2001.

'These reports are a waste of public money. Our calculations show £157,000 in audit fees alone for two unusable reports,' Moore said. 'The inspectors' recommendations are exactly what the council told them it was doing in any case, regardless of the Best Value inspection.'

Pat Thynne, Best Value lead inspector for the Northern region, said the commission rejected Redcar's complaints. 'Inspection is more interested in hard evidence of change,' he said. 'Rather than argue about what is past, we would prefer to use our resources to work with the council to improve the future.'


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