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Wokingham Lib Dems call for Scrutiny of Tories' Budget Overspend

April 17, 2003 12:00 AM

Following the shock announcement of the Conservative Administration's budget overspend for 2002/03 at the Council Tax-setting meeting at Wokingham District Council in February, Wokingham Liberal Democrats have called for an investigation into how this happened.

At last night's Overview & Scrutiny Committee, Councillor Coling Lawley (Deputy Leader of the Lib Dem Group) said, "We conducted a thorough investigation into the budget overspend last September, and we were assured by the Conservatives that they had put everything in order and that an overspend couldn't happen again. Since then, the Tories have increased the Council Tax by a massive 9.7% and admitted that they've overspent the budget by millions of pounds. We cannot allow this to continue. We must make sure that proper monitoring and control is put in place throughout the Council as the Tories have clearly not done enough to safeguard Council Tax payers' money."

Councillor Tina Marinos (Chairman of Overview & Scrutiny Committee and Lib Dem Councillor for Evendons ward) said, "I support Coling's proposal wholeheartedly and believe that holding the Tory administration to account is a vital role for the Overview & Scrutiny Committee. We need to be confident that the Tories can handle the budget properly."

The Committee agreed that the Longer Term Financial Planning Select Committee would undertake an investigation into the Conservative administration's budget overspend and report back to the Overview & Scrutiny Committee.