Surrey TPA December '08 and January '09 Diary

PeterWebbNew1 Below you'll find the latest campaign diary by our erstwhile organiser, Peter Webb.  We've built up an impressive branch in Surrey, with constant communication, meetings with senior councillors and a constant presence in Surrey arguing for local taxpayers.


17th Messaged Michael Gosling (Executive Member Resources) asking about Organisation chart now as arising from earlier data and amended top structure given to us at November meeting. I invited him to re-assure me by stating his own satisfaction. He replied 14th January with emollient reference to ongoing work


19th Letter based on TPA publicity spending review published in Surrey Advertiser


Generally exchanged ideas and points with supporters outside ‘intimate’ circle frequency. They included Ted Huxley, Tim Craig, Robyn Grant,.Daryl Mullins and  Ray Harrison.


5th Jan Wrote to District Auditor re qualified certificate with County Accounts 2007-08 following mass of material supplied by Cccllr Michael Gosling  leads me to say that original questions not answered see 24th October


Generally John Bosten deep into analysis of County Accounts 2007-08 re pensions , cash and investment policy; Icelandic Bank deposit and credit rating; audit.


7th Jan called on Nevillle Shearman at home to discuss his wish for a public meeting. Useful first face to facer but finally agreed that such a meeting might be a flop and so would be counter-productive


13th Reply from Julian Wood, Director of Corporate Affairs of the NAO on behalf of Tim Burr the Comptroller and Auditor General. This was gratifyingly full, informative and revealed confirmation of present flaws and the intention by the Treasury to produce whole-government accounts for the first time for 2009-10.


14th To Reigate with Peter Rauch and  Ernie Hughes to meet Cllr Joan Spiers Leader of Reigate and Banstead Borough Council with her Finance Officer in response to introduction from MP Anne Milton. We discussed matters of taxpayer interest and left impressed by her feisty style.
25th Neville Shearman letter published in Surrey Ad re County and its Interim Chief Executive


Leading up to and following 28th when we attended as invitees the County Budget Consultation meeting at County Hall. Joining me were Peter Rauch, Ernie Hughes, John Bosten, Gerald Gilbert, Steve Bowers. Our pre-submission was circulated at the meeting and asked for a freeze in council tax and a repayment from surplus invested cash (John Bosten). The County presentation was built around a 3.95% precept increase and 2.9% was voted in February (Gerald Gilbert and Kevin Court attended the SPA meeting on 9th Feb and Gerald Gilbert observed the Council meeting on 10th. He had put in a formal freeze-linked question for the Executive Meeting on 3rd February) We are to meet with Michael Gosling and Finance Officer  Philip Walker on a date to be fixed to discuss the balance sheet, After the end of the meeting MG asked me to let him have a note heads of further matters we wished to raise or probe.


31st A Press statement was issued reporting the above outcome, with suitable quotes. This was picked up by TPA for web site ‘front page’.


30th Reply from District Auditor states his duties and explains that certificate qualification is one of recording and procedures in  Childrens’ Department and does not imply Accounts cannot be relied upon. I took up his offer to be intermediary on questions to Council as to terms and dates of Accounts Adoption and Approval so that I can see quality of ‘rubber stamp’.


Peter Webb                                           17/02/09

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