SBC - getting it right?

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After the decision not to move the town hall Scarborough Borough Council seem to be getting some more things right though councillors may need to examine their conscience.

Senior management restructure. It has been very obvious for a number of years that the management structure at Scarborough Borough Council is top heavy, so it was pleasing (though maybe not for those directly involved) to read of the imminent restructure.

A senior leadership team of five is more than adequate and should save residents at least £300k allowing for oncosts.

Just think of the seven figure sums that could be saved by having one or two unitary authorities and no district councils across North Yorkshire.

Expenses. Thankfully Scarborough Borough Council’s broadband and IT allowance has changed and it is now based on actually incurred expenses rather than an automatic allowance.

All financially aware organisations should do away with allowances in favour of fair salaries and expense guidelines with VAT invoices to back up all necessary outgoings.

North Yorkshire County Council and Scarborough Borough Council are separate entities and therefore their broadband allowances in law at least were unconnected.

However it was is made perfectly clear to all councillors when accepting office what the allowances were for.

This particular allowance in the main was for the connection of a broadband service at their place of residence.

When North Yorkshire County Council absorbed it into the overall allowance it was pointed out that Councillors could opt out of taking that part of the allowance.

Scarborough Borough Council councillors living in the same house were accepting a double payment for the provision of the same service.

At least one Councillor, Cllr H Tindall, did not take his broadband allowance from Scarborough Borough Council as that service was paid for by his North Yorkshire County Council allowance - a well reasoned, principled and sensible personal decision.

If only others could have seen it the same way rather than waiting for the legal arguments.

Yes councillors have now been cleared in law of ‘double dipping’ but what has been allowed to happen is a waste of the public purse, morally indefensible and certainly not in line with Nolan’s Seven Principles of Public Life.

Mike Ward, Whitby