Liberals failed to raise consultants issue

PUBLISHED: 11:15 23 March 2006 | UPDATED: 13:20 04 May 2010

CLLR Bell claims in the Ely Standard that he has still not received a correct reply to the questions he asked regarding consultants at the county council meeting of December 13, 2005, may I take this opportunity to clarify the situation. My answer was p

CLLR Bell claims in the Ely Standard that he has still not received "a correct reply" to the questions he asked regarding consultants at the county council meeting of December 13, 2005, may I take this opportunity to clarify the situation. My answer was published on December 13 and distributed to every member of the council at that meeting. He received a total figure, what was contained within that figure, a list of the names of the five consultancy firms who received the highest amounts in total payments and a short explanation of the services they provided.

It is a public document and available to anyone interested. He is quite welcome to ask a question at council anytime he chooses. If Cllr Bell had not been satisfied with the answer I gave, under the council's procedures, he could have asked a verbal supplementary question at the same meeting. He chose not to do so. Nor did he raise the issue at the next council meeting on February 21. He chose not to do so.

Cllr Bell and the Liberal Democrats have made a lot of this issue in the press but despite having about 10 opportunities to raise the issue at official county meetings they have failed to do so. They could have proposed alternative means of delivering the services provided by the consultants on numerous occasions but they have chosen not to do so, preferring instead to conduct a dialogue in the press. Well, I do not mind one little bit, but it does show the sham that the Liberal Democrats are when it comes to actually doing anything.

JOHN POWLEY

(Cabinet member for corporate services at Cambridgeshire County Council and Cllr for Soham and Fordham Villages)

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