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Extraordinary full council meeting yesterday.


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Well that was a heck of a meeting yesterday!
Extraordinary meeting of full council to hear the findings of the Max Caller report into governance at NCC and the chief financial officer’s report into the International business NCC has.
Some of us have been asking for quite some time about this International business NCC has and even why the heck we were involved in a healthcare operation in China when there is so much to do much much closer to home!
Anyway here is the meeting.
With only about 30 mins to read through the report we were allowed one question at each presentation; mine were asking if it was a systems failure or a personnel failure or both and secondly if we have hundreds of thousands of pounds sitting in a unused business bank account, that should be put to better use!
It was really disturbing to hear the extent of both but I have to say I think we have seen two female officers who have shown remarkable professionalism and stoicism to get the second item before full council and I would like to thank them for that!
The first shows just what some of us have been faced with when trying to get our jobs done!
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Damming indeed, Malcolm! It beggars belief that an internal auditing system, which they claim to have, couldn’t spot what was going on for five whole years! There seem to have been enough ’warning flags’ over those years to deck out the whole of Bedlington’s Front street for the Jubilee celebrations!

For me, internal auditing, with which which I’m well aquainted through my former profession, serves not only to evaluate internal controls, accountability processes and accurate reporting but also to ensure that regulations, not to mention laws, are complied with. So how the H***l could things go this far for NCC?

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Just adding my own comments about the Max Caller report and noting some of the comments my threads get.
I think the clarion call coming out of the report is that all sections of NCC need to work as a proper local government organisation for the benefit of our residents. In other words, as far as the elected members go, stop the daft petty squabbling, mudslinging and attempts at point scoring.
Have the lessons been learnt? Just yesterday I got two emails about this from other members, one consolatory the other adversarial. Seems we still have a long way to go!
I have to say the NCC officers I deal with (certainly at my level!) just want to get on with their jobs and do them as professionally as possible. Without me and other members bringing issues and concerns to them and them responding there would be almost nothing getting done apart from the very base level services. That would seem a good and healthy relationship to have in any organisation and I do recognise not everything can go my way and there are usually very good reasons why not, but as long as these are explained most people understand.
The report clearly states where the problems have been and points to the way it will be rectified and I expect that to be underway now!
Anyone still wanting more info here is the latest NCC cabinet meeting:
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16 hours ago, Canny lass said:

Damming indeed, Malcolm! It beggars belief that an internal auditing system, which they claim to have, couldn’t spot what was going on for five whole years! There seem to have been enough ’warning flags’ over those years to deck out the whole of Bedlington’s Front street for the Jubilee celebrations!

For me, internal auditing, with which which I’m well aquainted through my former profession, serves not only to evaluate internal controls, accountability processes and accurate reporting but also to ensure that regulations, not to mention laws, are complied with. So how the H***l could things go this far for NCC?

Beats me CL..............quoted as £1M of profit and no paperwork?????????????  We now have to go cap in hand to HMRC and ask them if we owe anything.  

I now see there is 'debate' whether or not NCC made anything at all from this.....and with no paperwork who can tell?  

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An investigative journalist from one of the National newspapers should get their teeth into this situation - who knows where it could lead.  Useless local officers not following the rules to corruption ... we need to know!  Local journalists are likely to be too close to those needing to be investigated.

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Ah! I wish I had watched this one first, a much better understanding of the issues. As Councillor Wearmouth mentions checks and balances I still don't understand what extra checks and balances have been put in place that every large organization always have! and who wasn't following them.

I do like the recycling initiatives that are being put in place. But make it simple or it won't happen.

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