Thursday, October 23, 2008

Did Powys really invest one million pounds in Iceland's' Landbanksi on 5th september 2008?

I spent an hour this morning listening to the Councillors of Powys in discussion. I also listened to the Chief Financial Officer make a statement about the Council's investments with Icelandic Banks - which amount to four million pounds. Two things shocked me. Firstly, I think I heard him say that an investment of one million pounds was made with Landbanksi on 5th September 08. 'Blimey' thought I to myself. The same CFO had just told councillors that Wrexham had decided not to re-invest money in Icelandic Banks last April - and I've been told that Ceredigion decided against such investments in the spring. I was expecting someone to leap to their feet, and ask for an explanation, when I was hit by the second surprise. The whole room burst into a round of applause for the jolly good work of its investment team. And that's before the 'internal inquiry' that is being set up to look at the issue has even met.

Now perhaps, I misheard the dates - but I don't think so. Ever since this issue broke two weeks ago, I've not criticised Councillors, because I realise that investments cannot be withdrawn until the due date is reached. This is the defence that I've heard the Welsh Local Government Association and Powys Council's Finance portfolio holder make on several occasions. Seems to me that this completely misses the point. The only issue of competence relates to the date that the investments were made. I do hope someone asks the question which should be asked.

5 comments:

ROMAN JONES Esq. said...

The fault lies initially with the Finance Officers. They should be fired for incompetence!

ROMAN JONES Esq. said...

This is not directed at any particular councillor or council.
When one councillor announced that he thought that there should be many more cycle paths in the county, a somewhat bewildered elderly councillor interupted, saying that it would be dangerous to have these people roaming the streets, and she never agreed with the Care in the Community policy to start with.......

Stuart Rendel said...

What do you expect from a council that has an average age greater than a nursing home. Instead of going to the local oap centre they go to Llandrindod once a week and get paid for the inconvenience.

Glyn Davies said...

Roman - I'm just not sure about this. But there some questions that need to be asked, and I don't expect anyone within the Council to ask them - if that round of applause was anything to go by.

stuart - Its no use complaining about councillors. They are the people we vote for! In any case, I saw a lot of young faces there on Thursday. The average age of our Conservative group must be in the early 40s.

Anonymous said...

glyn u should no theres no chance of anyone asking hard questions local government is a joke. officers can get away with anything