Admin error blamed for Bedford council's failure to produce financial reports on time

Lib Dems accused Conservative administration of “acting unlawfully”
Borough Hall, Bedford. Image: LDRSBorough Hall, Bedford. Image: LDRS
Borough Hall, Bedford. Image: LDRS

Bedford Borough Council has said the failure to produce financial reports on time was an “administrative oversight” by a senior officer.

Following last week’s Bedford Borough Council’s Full Council meeting (January 10) Liberal Democrat councillors accused the Conservative administration of “acting unlawfully” by failing to report back to the council on two key strategies “as required by the law”.

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This led to the Liberal Democrat Group referring the matter to the council’s external auditor.

In a statement, Liberal Democrat deputy group leader, councillor Michael Headley (Putnoe), said: “This administration is not fit to have the responsibility of running this council if it cannot follow the law on such basic matters.”

However, the council said the reports not being presented on time was an “administrative oversight”.

The council’s chief executive Laura Church said: “As the council’s head of paid service I take full responsibility for this and apologise to councillors and local residents for impacting on the council’s reputation.”

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No council business had been adversely affected, and there had been no impact on residents or the services provided to them, a council spokesperson added.

However, the Lib Dems said the chief executive’s statement did not change their position on the matter.