You’ll remember that last summer it was revealed that the Chief Executive – currently on Extended Leave – had been granted a significant, and controversial, pay increase.
The damning evidence was the Draft Financial Statement covering the council’s previous financial year. The accounts had been signed off by Kelvin Menon, the Executive Head of Finance, who wrote: “I certify that the Statement of Accounts presents a true and fair view of the financial position of the Authority at 31st March 2019 and of its income and expenditure for the year then ended.” (The Chairman of the Audit and Standards Committee, Cllr Alan McClafferty – now the council Leader – also confirmed: “In accordance with the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015, I certify that the Statement of Accounts was approved by the Committee on 22nd July 2019.”)
In Auigust, we wrote to the Executive Head of Finance, who, as he had signed off the accounts, presumably was familiar with the numbers underpinning them, and asked: “Are you able to let me know the rationale behind the increase?” We later reminded him of this enquiry, but, as we reported here in January, we could never find an answer.
Fast forward to tomorrow. A confidential meeting of the council will consider: “Appointment of Executive Head of Finance” It seems that Kelvin Menon is no longer secure in the post. More than that we do not know. But are you thinking what we are thinking??
Oh, and a subsequent confidential meeting tomorrow will consider an “Update on HR Matter”. Whatever that signifies.
The really frustrating thing is that WE have to suffer the consequences of ‘inefficiencies’ in the council, and WE have to pay the bill. Yet we’re kept totally in the dark.