While I’ve been memorising the location of every pothole between DA17 and E6
some people have been finding all the holes in
Bexley Council’s draft 2019/20 accounts.
The Pension Fund accounts are missing from the Table of Contents. I thought pension contributions were one of the largest drains on the Council’s budget but there is a complete absence of information.
Bexley Council overspent by more than £3 million on infrastructure, more than half of it on buying up houses. There is no information on whether or not it is occupied.
Note 8 is a funny one. Income and expenditure are wildly different between 2018/19 and 2019/20. Getting on for 50% different. How did service income manage to rise by £17 million? It can’t all be increased parking charges and yellow box junctions can it? Government grants supposedly went up by £108 million (£247m to £355m) but the ‘Surplus or Deficit on the Provision of Service’ increased from £27 million to £109m. Is it a deficit or is it a surplus? It looks like a deficit to me. There is no good news is there?
The reserves excluding the Covid grant are £31 million. That’s £12 million less than last year and half what they were the year before. For a year when the Council was supposed to more or less break even that’s one hell of a big loss.
Bexley’s Finance Director failed to notice money disappearing in Barnet and more ‘disappears’ from this year’s ‘Financing and Investment Income and Expenditure’. A column that is totalled to £16·9 million should only add up to £5·6 million. That’s eleven million missing straight away.
Senior officer’s pay remains just as generous as ever with 90 Council staff on more than £50,000 a year, some on much more. The total is up by nearly 30% over the previous year. (£436k.) Paul Moore the retiring Deputy Director received a remarkably small pay off by Council standards. Less than £50k.
The value of the three Leisure Centres is said to have increased from £51million to over £72 million. I suppose it looks good and helps balance out the bad news but can it really be true? Doesn’t look very likely. Did they ask a proper valuer?
The year saw a massive increase in borrowing, Up to £237 million from £205m.