Some time ago we asked Kirklees Council via the freedom of information act how much the consultant employed to handle the comedy of errors on Huddersfield Byway 231 was costing the taxpayer. Unlike this blog the Council doesn’t intentionally do irony but its answer seemed top heavy with it. “We don’t know the cost as the consultant might have more work to do” they said. So no estimate for the work? No daily rate? No running tally to date? Just don’t know?
It’s no wonder they only have 60p out of every £1 they had 10 years ago carrying on like this! Why not just come clean and tell the public? No they’d rather keep digging and let the matter go to an internal review rather than tell the public how much something is costing …er…the public because…well …the council cocked up in 1985.
These things matter because as long as Kirklees keep cocking up it costs us. A week long public inquiry has just finished into this case with the public footing the bill. Not just for the councils prow consultant but also a barrister, cost of officer time in support,room hire etc etc.
And the irony is that Kirklees will tell you until the cows come home they have no money for public rights of way. What they aren’t prepared to share is the cost to the public of council inspired cock ups. Seemingly there is a magic money tree for this. Ramsden Road, Blackpool Bridge, miles of strimming and hundreds of sign posts could probably be done with the money spent on the holes they dig when they get something wrong.
The Council ought to be completely transparent in how and why it is spending public money. It ought to be following best practice and working within the law to ensure expensive cock ups never happen. PathWatch will keep plugging away at this one.