Published: 1 June, 2012
• MICHAEL McElligott says Brian Potter tries to hold Islington Council to account (In praise of fighter, May 11).
I’m sure he does. But the voting public should be accountable too, the Islington public voted for this council.
According to the council website: “Councillors make decisions on council policy and spending.” Does that include salaries? If so, perhaps readers would be interested in www.taxpayersalliance.com/town-hall-rich-list-2012.
Unfortunately, that list does not state how much Louise Round, director of corporate resources, earns, as she is ultimately in charge of the legal team – the one which made the recent blunder where the names and addresses of witnesses were released to troublemakers.
The Tribune reported that six families are to be rehoused. Great, but undoubtedly due to the council’s blunder, our money will have to pay for the costs. The witnesses have said they will sue. Quite right. When, and not if, they win, who’ll pay for damages? The council, using our money? If the council defends the case, who pays for its legal expenses? Us again?
Recently, we read about the victory of the Tremlett Seven at the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal. Who negotiated the contracts between the council and the contractors? Someone from the legal department?
Leaseholders dispute this at the LVT. The council uses our public money, including that of the applicant leaseholders, to defend the case at the LVT. The council lost. It sought leave to appeal. Whose money did it use to seek leave? Public money? Then, I read that it is going to appeal to the Lands Tribunal (Council to appeal leaseholder charges, May 25). Whose money?
These are examples of large-scale wastages of our money. There are plenty of smaller-scale examples, for example the council’s special projects team sent a letter dated April 26 to residents on one estate telling them that work would commence on April 8 and would be completed on April 11. On April 30, another letter was sent out giving the correct dates in May. How much money did this member of staff waste because he was careless?
In these days of cutbacks and austerity measures, members of the public should get involved. If you have experienced bad service and see examples of wastage from the council, tell your councillor. If redundancies are looming, I’d rather someone who had provided me with shoddy service go than someone who is good.
If the council finds its bad workmanship is being noticed maybe staff will start doing their jobs properly. It’s about time.
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