You missed the point about Fenland finance chief Mat Taylor

LAST week s editorial about Fenland District Council hiring its former full-time finance chief to look for savings in council expenditure made a valid argument, but missed the salient point. Yes, employing the temporary services of Mat Taylor is surely li

LAST week's editorial about Fenland District Council hiring its former full-time finance chief to look for savings in council expenditure made a valid argument, but missed the salient point.

Yes, employing the temporary services of Mat Taylor is surely likely to be better value for money than hiring an external firm of consultants; for one thing Mr Taylor must have a 'head start' in that he is closely acquainted with FDC and its workings.

But no, the Chief Executive is wrong if he is asserting that the employment of staff has nothing to do with councillors.

The council members are supposed to be the decision makers. Consider the expression 'Civil Servants'. It is the councillors' duty to apply 'due diligence' to monitoring FDC's expenditure, and as a matter of fact if a council spends outwith its remit then it is the council members that are surcharged and who have to pay back the overspent money to the council, not the officers.

And judging from your further reports, the new portfolio holder for Finance has a very different perspective on the matter than that held by officers. If even the finance portfolio holder doesn't know what's going on, what hope is there?

A new slogan has recently appeared on district council letters; "100 per cent people driven". Does this proclaim the situation that I've long suspected exists, that FDC is lead by officers, not members?

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Come on Cllr Harper, now is the time to demonstrate your leadership credentials, before the former leader and new finance supremo starts snapping at your heels.

CLLR CHRIS HOWES

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