Banbury & Bicester Labour Party has refused to back the budget set by Cherwell District Council this week (22/2/16) and called for the resignation of Cherwell’s Lead Member for Financial Management, Conservative Councillor Ken Atack, following an overpayment of £1.5m in business rates to the government in 2011/12 which was only discovered in September last year.
The Labour group on Cherwell Council has labelled the Tory administration “financially incompetent” and Councillor Sean Woodcock, Labour group leader said, “The potential financial loss to the council is substantial, as much as 40% of the money overpaid, and it is uncertain if this money can be clawed back from government.
The council has also had additional costs in engaging independent investigators to find out how this happened and to make recommendations on changes to procedures along with legal costs associated with trying to recover the £1.5 million. At a time when councils are being told to tighten their belts by making cuts to vital services, this sort of incompetence is inexcusable. Councillor Atack’s position is untenable and he should resign.”