Friday, 17 June 2011

I'm back! - with bad news for the tories

Hello everyone. The Potter Blogger is now officially back. I've been very busy lately with my second year exams which ended yesterday. Now all I have to worry about is: setting up Surrey Liberal Youth, writing enough blogposts this month to stop the blog from falling in the rankings, find a job for my placement year, rewrite my CV, get a motion submitted for autumn conference, celebrate the summer solstice, catch up on my emails, pack my stuff up ready to move house by the end of June, go to a job interview, tidy my room, finish reading a Song of Fire and Ice, organise e-campaigning for the local party, work on a secret project to be revealed at a later date and take up a position as a volunteer writer for a new online political magazine. (Full disclosure: the first paragraph of this post has now turned into my to do list)

But enough about all that. Right now I have the first of a series of pieces on the (mis)fortunes of the tories on Guildford borough council. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin.

You see, one of the current scandals afflicting local councils is the amount of money spent by council staff and councillors using the councils credit cards - a system which allows people given the credit cards to charge things to the council instead of paying for them themselves. Now, there's nothing wrong with this when it's used for reasonable expenses - but unfortunately it's massively open to abuse. And abuse of these credit cards at councils up and down the country has been well documented.

The funny thing is though, that details of how much has been spent is available to the public through freedom of information requests. And I happen to know that a Lib Dem councillor is planning to ask Guildford borough council exactly how much has been spent using these credit cards.

Given that the tories have been in power for over eight years, and have a record of being fiscally irresponsible, I imagine that there's going to be a lot of unpleasant revelations for them - and given that they've been in charge, the buck stops with them - especially when it comes to councillor spending using the credit cards. So, I'd suggest that the tories start considering how they're going to spin this - because it's almost certain that there will be at least one or two abuses which become headline grabbing for the local press. They might also want to think how they'll justify this expenditure when they've been busy cutting services for the most vulnerable people in Guildford - especially the elderly.

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