‘Invisible’ town centre revamp team criticised
November 03, 2010
A team of councillors tasked with making sure cash invested in Wokingham’s redevelopment is wisely spent has come under fire for cancelling two meetings.
Councillor David Lee, leader of Wokingham Borough Council, was last week asked to explain why a trading and enterprises sub-committee set up to scrutinise and monitor the work of Wokingham Enterprise Limited (WEL) has failed to meet since being set up earlier this year.
Wokingham Borough Council set up WEL as a private company to oversee the multi-million pound revamp of the town centre, and the sub-committee has been tasked with ensuring the taxpayers’ money invested in it is properly managed and well spent.
Cllr Lee was asked why two meetings of the committee planned earlier this year had been cancelled.
He was put on the spot by Cllr Phil Challis, Liberal Democrat member for Loddon, at a meeting of the council’s executive at Shute End last Thursday night.
Cllr Challis asked: “Could you explain how you are going to make the scrutiny and monitoring of WEL work effectively for the people of Wokingham borough.”
Cllr Lee, in response, explained how the meetings were cancelled due to personal and unforeseen circumstances relating to two of the committee’s three members on both occasions the committee was due to meet.
He also dismissed claims from his counterpart that the council was making key decisions in shambolic circumstances and behind closed doors as “unfair”.
“There is some important work being carried out by the committee and officers of this council, and they are working very hard on that,” Cllr Lee said.
“Just because some of this work is not being shared with the public is not a fair comment to make.
“We do recognise the importance of these meetings and I would like to assure residents and members that the process of monitoring WEL will be carried out correctly.”