Lib Dem £1 million plan: good value for money?

Peter Topping warns that the Liberal Democrat plan to spend £1 million on changes to the running of the council does not represent good value for money for Cambridgeshire residents.

In an interview with the Cambridge Independent recently, Leader of the Conservative Group at South Cambs District Council, Cllr Peter Topping, raises concerns about the impact of a report commissioned by the new Lib Dem administration, which he said is creating a “climate of blame”.

Text taken from the news article (see image for full article):

“They’ve spent nearly £100,000 and they’ve produced something that’s taken a year. It’s creating a climate of blame.

“One of the questions that I will be asking at the meeting is, do you not think that there is a correlation between the large numbers of staff who are currently leaving and this culture of blame that this report creates?

“My take on it is that it’s fair enough to have a go at the previous administration, that’s politics, but I don’t believe that this is an independent report.

“The author of the report didn’t interview me or anyone else, so it can say what it likes, but it’s not something that anyone has attempted to run by me.”

Cllr Topping cited a previous review by the Local Government Association that consulted with both the administration and the opposition.

He added: “In my professional life, I’ve had a lot of experience of dealing with management consultants (…) they always try to sell you their particular brand and I think this is no different.

“I’m sure that this particular solution may work in some way but if someone put this report in front of me, I’d be saying thank you, we’ll take it from here.

“The idea that you buy into potentially years’ more work… you’re signing away the independence of the council.

“It is absolutely true that district councils of all political flavours are feeling the heat in terms of cuts on their funding in the way that county councils have had it up until now. So for any district council to embark on this sort of rate of spending just as the storm hits, is crazy.”

Excerpt of the article published in the Cambridge Independent May 1 – May 7, 2019