Senior council officials seem extremely hesitant to carry out investigations even although they get paid incredible amounts of money to be in their positions and ensure that oor leaders are not ripping us off.Â
It seems that Jim Inch is quite happy to take his Â£110k annually but is afraid to do his job and investigate “Taxigate II – The Cooncil” in case he upsets a senior politician.Â With him just coming back from his holidays, one would think he was recharged and ready to get head first into the work – ironically another investigation he was supposed to be carrying out has had to be passed to an outside ‘consultant’ because he was dragging his feet.
Mr Inch, the council’s director of corporate services, said: “There is a robust and well-understood system for checking taxi expenses. There has been no suggestion that there was anything irregular about any of the taxi claims submitted. Therefore there are no investigations.”
Well Mr. Inch, there was a front page story in the Evening News, there are the the following comments:
Councillor Dawe said people in the city are now asking questions – and want answers.
She said: “Given the publicity that has been generated by this story, and all the discussion on the radio stations, it is clear that people feel these councillors should justify their expenses.
“An investigation would not take up a lot of staff time, but would make sure that everything is in order. Some of the figures stand out, particularly Donald Anderson’s expenses because he has frequently pronounced that he always uses the bus, when clearly we now know he doesn’t.”
Of course Mr. Inch will remember that when he first stepped up to his job the Evening News ran a report of Councillor Anderson’s full backing and defence of his administrations magnificent hike in the salaries of council directors of somewhere in the region of Â£10,000 which was about five times the then rate of inflation.Â
Inch, the well known spinmeister, wafflerÂ and excuse-maker it seems is not going to knock anyone because he is hoping to get the top job when Tom Aitchison steps down from his Â£140k job of 12 years.Â Maybe now that is why Directors and Senior Officials have carte blanche to flout regulations and break the law.Â They are scratching the backs of the politicians who scratch theirs – it is a corruption fait accompli.