Ac­counts furore grows

Coun­cil can­di­date seeks an­swers

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - NEWS - JAMES KITTO

IT is time for the Der­went Val­ley mayor and gen­eral man­ager to con­firm or put to rest ru­mours about an in­de­pen­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tion into coun­cil ac­counts, says coun­cil can­di­date Wayne Shoo­bridge.

At a coun­cil meet­ing last month, Deputy Mayor Ben Shaw asked gen­eral man­ager Greg Win­ton if he could con­firm if the coun­cil had en­gaged an ex­ter­nal in­de­pen­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tor to look into coun­cil ac­count­ing prac­tices. Mr Win­ton took the ques­tion on no­tice.

Mr Shoo­bridge, a for­mer coun­cil­lor seek­ing a re­turn to coun­cil at the Oc­to­ber lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions, said ru­mours about the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, which have cir­cu­lated on so­cial me­dia in re­cent weeks, needed ad­dress­ing.

“I would like to know if there is any truth in these ac­cu­sa­tions or whether or not they have been cir­cu­lated for po­lit­i­cal gain,” he said.

Mr Shoo­bridge also sus­pected the coun­cil had used the ru­mours as a smoke screen to di­vert com­mu­nity at­ten­tion from the re­cent rate in­crease of 5.85 per cent.

“Is this just a smoke screen to cloud the is­sue of the un­just and un­war­ranted rates and charges in­crease?” he asked.

Der­went Val­ley Mayor Mar­tyn Evans said it wasn’t ap­pro­pri­ate to com­ment on Mr Shoo­bridge’s concern as the mat­ter was op­er­a­tional.

“This is an op­er­a­tional concern, and as such, it is the role and func­tion of the gen­eral man­ager to ad­dress the mat­ter,” Cr Evans said.

“Ob­vi­ously Mr Shoo­bridge, like we all do, wants to know the an­swer.

“We’ll ask the ques­tions and look for an­swers. Hope­fully an an­swer comes be­fore the Oc­to­ber elec­tions.”

Mr Shoo­bridge said he would move two mo­tions if elected at the up­com­ing postal vote.

“I will be mov­ing for a com­plete re­view of coun­cils bud­get process so the ratepay­ers will be more in­cluded and in­formed,” he said.

“I will also move to have a com­plete re­view of the 2018 bud­get.”

Mr Win­ton was con­tacted for com­ment.


TAK­ING AC­COUNT: Wayne Shoo­bridge out­side the Der­went Val­ley Coun­cil Cham­bers.

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