Scrutiny team should look at Empty Homes issue
ROSSENDALE Council has an overview and scrutiny committee.
Its job is to scrutinise the decisions made by the council.
It met on October 15, and discussed things like the way the planning system works in the area and homelessness in the borough and suggested a future topic might be child poverty.
It also wants to look at whether the police’s non-emergency 101 service was working, but ironically, the 101 service hadn’t replied to them when the meeting took place.
It seems staggering that such a committee remains deaf to the ongoing Empty Homes Scandal, which has seemingly cost the council £5 million.
Yet again, local Conservative councillors suggest the ongoing scandal should prompt council leader Alyson Barnes to consider her position.
But what would be the point of that, when we still don’t know all the facts?
Despite two external investigations, and a file being handed over to the police a long time ago (and apparently with at least another 18 months of investigations to go) as taxpayers we still have no idea what went on, and why it can’t happen again.
There’s a drip, drip, drip of information from the council, which simply isn’t good enough.
The police investigation is a useful thing to hide behind when not wanting to talk about a project which has seriously dented the finances of an already cash-strapped council, but it shouldn’t stifle debate entirely.
If ever there was an issue meant for an overview and scrutiny committee, it’s this one.
And yet the overview and scrutiny committee seems blind to it.
Getting the Empty Homes Scandal on to the agenda would be a far more productive use of time than just suggesting people should resign.