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.

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