12 months ago the damning ‘Bundred Report’ revealed financial chaos, collective failure of leadership and poor management at the Council. A year on, Green Councillors have written an open letter to the Mayor saying more still needs to be done if the Council is not to repeat the mistakes of the past.
Green Councillor Stephen Clarke said:
“The number of vacancies or temporary appointments among the senior staff at the Council is just staggering – it’s no surprise that Bristol residents are beginning to wonder who is running Bristol City Council?”
“We are one year on from the Bundred report that forensically analysed failings and learning points. Some of the clearest learning points within the report were directed at senior staff and the CEO. How can these learning points be adopted when our Council is without a CEO, and when many other senior positions are either empty or filled with interims?”
“Marvin strongly criticised the previous administration for not being transparent and open but nearly 2 years into his 4 year term and scrutiny meetings are now held in private and the cross party members of the Cabinet have been sacked.”
“As Greens we take seriously our role in holding the Labour administration to account. While it is encouraging to see improvements in the financial oversight at the Council, we need to also heed Bundred’s advice on accountability and scrutiny. Handing over increased power to the Mayor without proper oversight or challenge risks repeating the mistakes of the past.”
Steve Bundred’s ‘Review of the 2016/17 Forecast Budget Deficit’ analysed the failings within the Council that led to a budget black hole of £29.1m. These included financial weakness, lack of transparency and reduced accountability. A year on, Greens have fed back their views, saying that although some of the financial improvements within the council are encouraging, more needs to be done to improve scrutiny and accountability of the Mayor and executive and fill the vacant positions within the Council.