Information about my work as a Labour Councillor for East Finchley in the London Borough of Barnet

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Inspecting Council Accounts

Lancashire County Council helpfully set out citizens statutory rights to inspect thier local authorities accounts here. From what I understand, three of Barnets bloggers have tried to inspect the accounts and they found that, along with an uncomfortable visit, that they couldn't properly do the job, as the accounts were redacted. The link clearly states that "As a local government constituent by law you have the right to inspect, question or challenge your council's accounts." I think it would be helpful if they were allowed to do it properly.

They were also unhappy about a visit to see the Auditor. I am not the biggest Eric Pickles fan, but he thinks there should be proper transparency of councils, and that armchair auditors should be welcomed. I agree. I can't see how it's unhelpful if people show you where you are not spending money wisely. It's about your attitude to it- do you welcome them as advisors with your best interest at heart, or as adversaries, who are out to embarras you? Well; sometimes the former turns into the latter, but if you start with the assumption of the latter, you can never have a helpful relationship.

I am limited in what I can say, so I will simply urge the council to work more effectively at engaging critics.