Uncertainty Over Who’s Paying For Economic Strategy Report

island future economic plan 2014Councillors aren’t sure who’s paying for the new economic strategy, developed by consultants, Ash Futures at a cost of £30,000.

At yesterday’s Policy and Resources Committee meeting, Cllr Adrian Davis asked why the Council’s end-of-year budget report said the authority didn’t know if the funding was in place.

Adrian said there was “considerable cost” involved in this and “now we’re told there’s no formal approval for the funding.”

“That seems like a strange position to find ourselves in,” he added.

Committee Chairman Gaz O’Neill agreed. But Gaz said he was “extremely confident” the money was coming from the Local Enterprise Partnership. It just hadn’t been formalised yet, he said.

Cllr Richard McCarthy, who sits on the LEP board, said £30,000 had been earmarked at one of their meetings last year.

And Interim Finance Controller, Sarah Chodkiewicz, said the Council’s Economic Development Officer was “confident we’d receive the money.”

But she added that they didn’t have that in writing and hadn’t received the cash yet.

There was also confusion over which committee had actually approved the spend.

Sarah’s report said that the Economic Development Department had overspent by £7,000 on the report.

6 Responses to Uncertainty Over Who’s Paying For Economic Strategy Report

  1. Ray Wornes July 25, 2014 at 11:29 am

    Have I got this right? The Council never officially asked for the Ash Report and didn’t sanction the money for it and yet we have already paid for it. Is that right? Well if that’s the case then is someone like LEP trying to ram this unwanted report down the throats of the whole community without consultation or a legal vote? If this is true Councillors should therefore disown this rubbish report and just ask for their money back. The Council should then produce its own strategy that does not target Telegraph or McFarlands Down again and adopts a more environmentally responsible approach to erect a small number of properties for local need only in housing areas that haven’t seen hardly any new development. Get off of our backs Off Island Councillors. Ditch the idea for settling IT immigrants in favour of organic development of an IT industry within the local community. The Council should then support a plan for the promotion of tourism which would include an urgently needed environmental clean up of St.Mary’s to address the scenic spoliation problems by transporting more waste from Moorwell to the mainland and the removal of fly-tipped shredded municipal waste dumped at Pendrathen back to Moorwell. Ask yourselves do you want a tourist industry or do you want to steadily destroy it? Pendrathen Quarry would, almost as it stands, make a brilliant theatre for the performance of Shakespeare’s plays etc which could become world famous also for its brilliant after performance sunsets. St.Mary’s needs this theatre for the tourists. Get a grip Councillors.

  2. LINDY July 24, 2014 at 8:01 am

    Do not spend money that is not in your bank or purse and certaintainly do not spend money that others might have to pick up the tab for.
    How many times over the past few years have we heard that everything is in place and projects will go ahead for them then to be delayed because, the funding is not in place.
    Lacking good housekeeping I say.
    Get a grip councillors and thank you Adrian for highlighting this recent debacle

  3. Jenny. July 23, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    What happened to terms of reference for any consultant’s report, which, would have included the funding stream, whether Ash Futures offered best value, the process of consultation and evaluation and so on.

  4. yet another islander July 23, 2014 at 10:22 am

    Just been thinking, is it legal for officers to spend money that don’t actually have? I thought that there were rules that needed to be followed and what happens if for some reason the money doesn’t arrive, who pays then? Any comments Chairman?

  5. yet another islander July 23, 2014 at 10:12 am

    Come on councillors get a grip, not so long ago all we heard was that the tail was wagging the dog and now that tail also has the dog’s purse. Are you going to get this tail docked, it must be nearly time for another change? It’s been a few months!