Councillor Watkins hits out at lack of accountability

December 11, 2007 12:00 AM

Despite the outcry that followed the news that Syke Community Base was in danger of closure, the Base has now had official confirmation that they are to lose all of the funding that made the Base viable.

The decision, made by the Local Strategic Partnership (LSP), has come in for string criticism by Councillor Elwyn Watkins. Explaining what and who the LSP is he said: "The LSP includes the 'great and the good' of the Borough, Council Officers, Health Service Managers, Officials from the Government of the North West, some local businessmen and some people from the voluntary sector. I am certain that some of the people that sat on this committee had vested interests in other organisations and yet decided to preserve their own organisations at the expense of Syke.

All of the political parties are being canvassed for their support and Councillor Watkins has declared his saying: "Obviously I am backing the Syke folk all the way.

"As a democratically elected Councillor I asked some ten days ago for a report on how we got to this situation, who made the decisions, the options that were put before the LSP committee, why this committee was held in private, etc. I have been completely ignored - so much for local democracy and accountability. I even got accused of intimidating people by stating that I would be holding them to account for the decisions that they made.

"I repeat that this is our taxpayer's money. I think that anyone should be entitled to question how it is spent and that I as an elected Councillor should be given clear answers to the questions that I posed."