Saturday, 8 August 2015

The week that ended......09 Aug '15

It has not been the best week from the local and national news. At the beginning of the week we heard about the little lad in Standish that got attacked by a dog, whilst playing on a trampoline. It seems he is doing better now and is recovering well and I am sure we all wish him a speedy recovery.

Then we heard about Cilla Black passing away, RIP Cilla.

From my point it has been a bit of a busy one. Had an audit scrutiny meeting which wasn't the best. To be fair this committee does get along well and we seem to get things moving but this week I was disappointed. Fraud was talked about on a couple of items and the Council wanted to put out a statement that they have a zero tolerance approach on Fraud. Great I'm with this but when I probed a little it seems they are zero tolerance where it suits. One area that I was dead against is that, it seems - I say seem because I didn't get an answer but an indication - that if a fraud claim is put in and then the person who has put the fraud claim in then withdraws the claim, the council drop looking at the fraud. This is wrong! It should continue and if proven that the application was fraud then it needs to be recorded on the applicable fraud databases so the people cannot try it elsewhere. I have asked for this to be changed and to be fair again to the committee it seems they have taken it on board but until it has changed we cannot say we have been taking a zero tolerance approach on board.

Also it seems we don't know the amount that is lost to fraud each year. For example if we know there has been a fraud committed and then we try and recover the money, let's say from a business that goes bust, we don't record that money as lost and write the money off. Now there is little the Council can do to recover that money, especially in this example where the company has disappeared or gone bust, but we should be recording the data to keep track of how mush we have to write of. this surely is an account process too.

Ashfield Village Green hit a milestone too. This week we got the evidence from the Council, the sole objector. It is interesting what they say and what they don't say, after all what they have put out in the press I wonder how much of that is not discussed at the hearing? I am unsure if the evidence that we have exchanged is public now or if we have to wait for the inquiry but I hope as many of you that can attend do. Given that it is my belief that both the council and myself agree on a number of points I wonder if the length of the inquiry is reduced by a day or too?

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