Unlawful conduct by the Town Council's Christmas committee
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The code of conduct for all Councillors applies when conducting the business of the Council and/or acting as a representative of the
Council. Council spending must be approved by the council before it is incurred. Town Council SO 4.2 states that "No expenditure may be authorised that will exceed the amount provided in the revenue budget for that class of expenditure other than by resolution of the council, or duly delegated committee."
We the undersigned, being Council Tax Payers in Whitehaven call upon the Monitoring Officer to undertake an investigation into the Members of the Whitehaven Town Council Christmas committee, including ex officio members such as the Mayor, over their
(a) Failure to comply with Standing Orders
(b) Failure to properly monitor expenditure - the expenditure was regularly reported to Council and all it ever took was to add up the costs to readily appreciate that expenditure that had not been authorised was being incurred
(c) unlawfully incurring expenditure well in excess of that authorised by Council in the sum of £30,000. It is understood that at present the overspend amounts to some £43,000 above budget and rising.
(d) wilful misconduct
Each matter being in breach of the Code as follows
(a) Lack of leadership of the Chair of the Committee and the Mayor
(b) Failure to recognise their culpability and in so doing refusing to accept any accountability
(c) Failure to act objectively
(d) Failure to uphold the law. A Parish Council may only spend what has been authorised by Council
(e) Taking action or failing to act in such a manner as to damage the reputation of the Council
(f) Failure to maintain the highest standards
Further that the Council's External Auditors, BDO, now consider, as a matter of urgency, acting under the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014, s 29 and Sch 8 to issue an advisory notice where they consider that the Parish Council has made, or is about to make, a decision that involves, or would involve, the body incurring expenditure that is unlawful, is about to take or has begun to take a course of action that, if pursued to its conclusion, would be unlawful and likely to cause a loss or deficiency, or is about to enter an item of account, the entry of which is unlawful.
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