The second full council meeting of the day reflected on the Grant Thornton auditor’s report, which was released to the public last week. The report, with a sobering 12 statutory recommendations was initially explained by auditors. Cllr Cotton complained that he disputed several of the recommendations, particularly those that related to the conduct of his party.
Cllr Roger Harmer described the serious lack of project management capability relating to Oracle. “We are a ship on the ocean, and until the fog clears, we really don’t know where we are.
Cllr Harmer also made the point that the base budget is a financial crisis in itself “Take out Equal pay and Oracle and we can’t make the savings…. this alone is an extremely serious matter.”
Cllr Jan used her speech to explain how the commonwealth games had been the council’s “biggest success and its biggest failure”. The focus on the games had taken councillors and officers away from the essential services provided. Whilst Labour members were enjoying the “glitz and glamour of the games”, Cllrs Hunt and Jan dealt with a significant increase in casework due to the disruption, alongside serious “flooding, crumbling council housing and problematic HMO’s”.
Channelling Mystic Meg, she predicted “difficulties ahead for Labour who will need to take responsibility, look hard at their priorities and reflect on how they treat others…. and a significant change in voting patterns at the next set of elections, when Birmingham residents will use their Liberal Democratic right to vote and choose a different group to run this city.”