Accountability – seems a bit thin on the ground once again… for example when ‘Mayor’ James Palmer was canvassing in Whittlesey, I met him on the market place for all of 5 minutes, he assured me that there was no duplicity in what he was going to do, there was no overlapping of strategy, and he would be running an organisation on minimal budget – well not going on what’s hit the pan this week….Money on his running costs. Let us see if the Scrutiny committee has any teeth and may I be bold enough to suggest that ‘Mayor’ Palmer buy himself a decent Razor – talk about looking scruffy…
Five councillors forced the issued on the agenda of the scrutiny committee to ensure a review of the £1.8 million wage bill – nearly 25 per cent higher than the original budget- to staff the new authority.
From an earlier projected cost of £1.3 million a year authority members felt enough was enough when they looked at the latest budget figure of £1.8 million.
Chief executive Martin Whiteley thought the final staffing level of 15 would be smaller than other devolved authorities.
He said: “I don’t envisage us creating a big shiny office. We’ll be looking to work flexibly across council offices.”
This week we revealed how Mayor James Palmer has bagged himself his own parking space at his new HQ – inside East Cambs offices The Grange in Ely – but only two of his team will also be able to park there. Details of arrangements for accommodating the newly elected £75,000 mayor have been revealed in a Freedom of Information put to the district council by a local resident.
The council has rented out three spaces in total to the combined authority.
On the national news which I do not normally comment on, there is of course more negativity on the scrapping of the London Garden Bridge….accountability – where has £37 million gone so far – a vast amount of money in anyone’s terms.
How much has the project cost to date?
The Garden Bridge Trust needed to raise an estimated £200m to complete the project – but there is a shortfall of £70m.
So far £37.4m of public money was spent on planning for the bridge and this money will effectively have been lost.
A further £9m is at risk.
So all quiet in Whittlesey – I think not…. More windows broken, Station Road, Broad Street and Victory Ave and another car vandalised.
More information on their dedicated website.
Website taking a break for a few days…