Saturday, 26 April 2008

"Gutter Politics", says Bob

Appropriately enough, since the topic of the day is a road (a road to nowhere, say some) Bob the Builder, otherwise known as Cllr Nick Wallis, in the Echo today accuses the Lib Dems of "gutter politics" for suggesting that he might bear some of the reponsibility for the £1.9m overspend on the Eastern Transport Corridor.

So, let's take a look at the facts:

1. Within a year of presiding over a multi-million pound overspend on the Pedestrian Heart, the Labour Council presided over a £1.9m overspend on the ETC.
2. The causes of these overspends was substantially the same: weak, ineffective leadership and management, a failure to hold contractors to account, a failure to implement appropriate contractual arrangements, a failure to allow sufficient contingency money and a failure to allow for basic requirements like moving services.
3. Cllr Wallis proudly states in his blog that responsibility for managing this budget rested with him.

My colleague, Cllr Martin Swainston, raises a legitimate question, "Why was Nick moved from his long-held role in charge of transport within three months of the scheme getting underway?"

Nick, instead of doing the decent thing and apologising to the Council Tax payers of Darlington for the repeated mistakes made by the Council, simply brushes the whole thing aside by accusing us of descending into gutter politics.
It just won't wash, Nick. Somebody, sometime, will have to admit responsibility. Somebody, sometime, will have to say sorry. Somebody's head must roll for this. Right up to the highest levels within the Council it seems as though this whole affair is being casually dismissed as someone else's mistake. A recently departed and affable senior officer is being whispered against by Labour people. Now that's gutter politics.
It's a quality job, Bob.

1 comment:

Aeres said...

Does the council not have a role of 'Accountable Executive' for projects of this nature? There would certainly be one for a project of a similar size in the private sector.