Nottingham City Council leader still blames conservatives as commissioners are ‘sent in’

Written by Javed Iqbal

Council leader David Mellen has accused the Conservative Party of acting in their own interests when it emerged that commissioners could be brought in by the government to intervene in the administration of the authority. The council leader has apologized to the people in Nottingham for “mistakes made in the past,” but said in an astonishing statement that he does not feel the need to appoint commissioners.

Speaking after millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money had been ‘misused’ or pumped into the doomed Robin Hood Energy company, Cllr Mellen still maintained that city council accidents were due to conservative cuts and that the decision to send commissioners in was really seen. a distraction technique.

The authority is already monitored by one Government-appointed board of directors, chaired by Sir Tony Redmondafter the collapse of Robin Hood Energy in January 2020. In May this year, it was revealed that up to £ 40 million from the municipality’s housing income account had been spent incorrectly on the wrong services.

The town hall tenants’ rent – which should have been pumped into the municipality’s homes and repairs – was put into general council service. The Penn report, commissioned by the council, says the money was spent incorrectly, and in some cases was used to support other council services and to avoid job losses.

The government is set to send commissioners into Nottingham City Council – read more here.

Nottingham’s Broadmarsh center almost completely demolished – read more here.

In a letter published Thursday, June 23, to Sir Tony Redmond, Kemi Badenoch MP said the foreign minister for the Department of Leveling Up, Housing and Communities “is set to intervene” in the city council’s case. Sir Tony Redmond is currently chairing a government-appointed board overseeing the council.

Cllr Mellen said, “It [Robin Hood Energy] it did not work and we had to finish it. You can not just take a quarter of our budget and expect things to continue as normal – the context in which we have worked is important.

“We do not agree that this is a necessary step – we have shown significant improvements, but it is a step that the government has taken. It has much more to do with the fortunes of the Conservative Party than it is Nottingham – it is not coincidentally, this has come out the same day as the midterm elections in Wakefield and Tiveton and Honiton.

“I’ve apologized many times before for mistakes made in the past, I did so many times since the first reservations to Robin Hood Energy, and I’m not afraid to apologize to the people of Nottingham again. It’s not something I want to do, but it’s not something I’m afraid to do. “

He added: “This is a council that is committed to bringing our finances under control. We will work with these commissioners if they come, even if we do not feel it is a necessary step.”

Sir Tony Redmond could take over as Chief Commissioner of Nottingham City Council
Sir Tony Redmond could take over as Chief Commissioner of Nottingham City Council

Sir. Mellen told Nottinghamshire Live that he does not believe commissioners will affect ordinary services run by Nottingham City Council, such as rubbish bins, although he can not be sure of the exact consequences before that happens. It is also unclear how large projects such as the redevelopment of the Broad Marsh area will be affected.

He believes mistakes made in the past were borne out by the fact that advice was encouraged by former Conservative governments to be commercial, which ultimately led to failed ventures like Robin Hood Energy.

If a local authority is unable to demonstrate its ability to effectively improve its own governance and finances, the most valuable commissioners will be sent in. They act as advisers who typically have extensive experience and knowledge in public roles such as police and local authorities.

Councilor Andrew Rule, leader of the Conservative Party in Nottingham, said: “I am very disappointed to read the Labor group’s statement on events today which are quite out of touch with reality. The reality is that this is the culmination of Robin Hood Energy for recent illegal consumption, so trying to dress it up and blame the Conservatives is not right.

“They have absolutely failed Nottingham. The Council has had several opportunities to reform itself, which it has not done – we have now come to a situation where we have run out of time.”

The current CEO of Nottingham City Council is Mel Barrett, who was appointed in May 2020 to replace Ian Curryer. He admitted in an interview with Nottinghamshire Live in January 2021 that the city council faced a ‘significant challenge’, but added: “I am ready for the challenge and I think the political leadership is ready for the challenge and what we need it to develop that recovery plan and then implement it. “

In a statement issued following the latest news, Mr Barrett said: “We have made good progress with our recovery and improvement plan over the last 18 months, working closely with the Independent Government Improvement and Insurance Council to to oversee the implementation.

“We have had a positive relationship with the Board and its chairman, Sir Tony Redmond. Sir Tony’s appointment as Chief Commissioner therefore provides security and continuity. This, and the fact that Commissioners have been appointed for two years instead of the normal three, is a recognition of the progress we have already made over the last 18 months. “

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Javed Iqbal

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