At Budget Council, the Conservative Leader of the Council, Councillor Kevin Davis, took particular exception to a request from the Liberal Democrats to hold a special public Scrutiny Panel to look at the Conservative's £4 million budget spend for Kingston Futures, responsible for marketing Kingston to property developers.
Councillor John Ayles, Liberal Democrat Finance Spokesperson said
“I am amazed to discover that the Kingston Futures budget spend has soared to £4 Million this year. Even worse, Kingston Conservatives are refusing public scrutiny of how public money is spent.
I question how Kevin Davis' Conservative-led Kingston Council can be spending that sort of money. There needs to be proper public scrutiny, especially of spending that may be associated with property developers ”
Public Scrutiny Axed by Tories
Historically, opposition Council Members held the powers to scrutinise the acting Council Administration. The Scrutiny Panel had an opposition councillor majority. During the last Liberal Democrat Administration, the Scrutiny Panel was chaired by the Conservative Opposition (ex Councillor Dennis Doe.)
Kingston Conservatives undemocratically axed the Scrutiny Panel shortly after taking control in 2014.
Councillor Liz Green, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Group, said
"Councillor Kevin Davis got very hot and bothered at our request to take a deep dive into the budget spends of Kingston Futures. Getting very cross, he told us “we are not having a scrutiny meeting, each of the Spokespersons are paid an allowance to scrutinise with officers you should wake up and not to be so damn lazy!”
Whilst Kevin Davis is packing his bags to attend a notorious property developers' junket in Cannes at council tax payers' expense, Councillor Green will reflect on the next steps. Councillor Green is determined to get to the bottom of the budget spend and to involve residents groups who have also shared concerns.
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