For the past couple of weeks I have been going through Barnet council accounts undertaking some sampling of invoices and asking follow up questions. Today was my chance to meet and discuss my concerns with the auditors and I was accompanied by Mrs Angry who also had a number of detailed questions. The meeting was, I believe, rational,constructive and well supported by evidence. At this stage I am not going to discuss the details of the meeting further as I am awaiting the response from Mr Hughes of Grant Thornton.
All I will say at this stage is that I think Mrs Angry and I gave him some serious food for thought.
I have invested a great deal of time freely and with no other objective than to make sure that every ratepayer in Barnet is getting value for money. I do however sometimes wish that councillors (who receive a rather generous allowance) would spend less time playing rather silly political point scoring games and focus a bit more on the day to day way in which the council is run.
Interestingly, back in January when the Pledgebank was launched I did offer my half a day of time time each month, free of charge to review council invoices in order to provide an independent perspective and challenge on spending, an offer which Barnet council chose to ignore even when I followed it up some months later. So much for big society!