Why can't council produce signed contracts?

Why can't council produce signed contracts?

Why can't council produce signed contracts?

First published in Your Views
Last updated

Further to your coverage of the E11 Business Improvement District (BID) Company’s collapse (‘Row erupts over debts of improvement firm’ Guardian, November 7, 2013), newly available information makes the situation appear even more troubling.

For the council has now admitted under the Freedom of Information Act that though it gave the E11 BID Co several hundred thousand pounds of public money over the years, it cannot now produce any contract documents for these sums, any due diligence material, or any information about outputs.  And as for the Waltham Forest Business Board, which was supposed to supervise the E11 BID Co, the insouciance is exactly the same: large sums of public money were handed over, but the council again cannot produce anything about the legals or what was achieved.

In the past decade I have chaired several local charities which received Council grants. In every case, I have been required to sign a contract (sometimes many pages in length, with a host of potentially punitive clauses), submit copious due diligence material, and then report on outputs (providing full supporting evidence). Like many other people in the third sector, I accepted that, though onerous on all parties (including of course council officers) such conditions were necessary to prevent fraud and ensure that public money was spent as intended.

Is there one rule for the council’s business friends and confidants, and another for the rest of us?

Nick Tiratsoo, Odessa Road, Leytonstone.

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:46pm Sun 12 Jan 14

mdj says...

It's interesting to see that the E11BID saga has a large overlap of quangos and personalities with the Leyton Olympia Market fiasco of the Olympic year.
In that case, it emerged that the Chjef Executive of the part council-funded quango that commissioned the market was directing investors' funds towards the winning company (and only bidder) in which he himself had a financial interest. The company rapidly went into liquidation with a value of over £350k, which must have largely been made up of moneys invested by people who now face bankruptcy. The council now denies all responsibility for an initiative it was proudly claiming to have devised when it seemed to have a fair wind.

The extra twist in regard to the E11BID is that local councillors have served on its board.
They are in a position to tell us what measures they took in that role to protect public funds when it became clear that things were amiss - but will they, until the police come knocking?

Once again Nick Tiratsoo's patient forensic inquiries have told us more about the antics of our lords and masters than two opposition parties in their entirety. What do these people do to earn their money?

Why should any honest company want to do business with any entity connected with our Council, until we have full clarity on what has been happening here?
It's interesting to see that the E11BID saga has a large overlap of quangos and personalities with the Leyton Olympia Market fiasco of the Olympic year. In that case, it emerged that the Chjef Executive of the part council-funded quango that commissioned the market was directing investors' funds towards the winning company (and only bidder) in which he himself had a financial interest. The company rapidly went into liquidation with a value of over £350k, which must have largely been made up of moneys invested by people who now face bankruptcy. The council now denies all responsibility for an initiative it was proudly claiming to have devised when it seemed to have a fair wind. The extra twist in regard to the E11BID is that local councillors have served on its board. They are in a position to tell us what measures they took in that role to protect public funds when it became clear that things were amiss - but will they, until the police come knocking? Once again Nick Tiratsoo's patient forensic inquiries have told us more about the antics of our lords and masters than two opposition parties in their entirety. What do these people do to earn their money? Why should any honest company want to do business with any entity connected with our Council, until we have full clarity on what has been happening here? mdj
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree