Lancashire taxpayer once again look set to pick up the tab with the latest financial crisis within Lancashire County Council’s accounts.
The external auditors Grant Thornton have refused to sign off the accounts due to the emergence of a £50 million loan. This was taken out in 2010 by the previous Conservative Administration whose leader was and now is Cllr Geoff Driver. The external auditors are now seeking advice regarding the legitimacy of the council’s actions. The accounts for the 2017/18 financial year cannot be approved until cleared by the eternal auditors.
This is an annual analysis of the council’s accounts to establish if the finances are not only sound but legitimate within regulations. On both counts the council has been found wanting. The accounts are described as at a “tipping point” and “unsustainable”. This situation may get worse due to the status of the £50 million loan, as the council may be facing heavy financial penalties at a time when they can least afford them.
Cllr John Fillis, Deputy Labour Leader said “It’s the people of Lancashire who will be footing the bill for this debt debacle, which has been created by a Conservative. The budget for 2018/19 was built on mounting debts, which the council are unable to pay back and the reserves are set to run out in 2020.
They appear to be following their Conservative colleges in Northamptonshire Council. By bankrupting the council, destroying vital services that will inevitably cost local people millions of pounds more than they needed to pay. We will have to wait for their excuses and who they blame for their irresponsible actions.
The people of Lancashire have already had to pay out a massive 6% increase in council tax it is clear that they are going to have to pay out more for less vital services.”