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Camborne councillors "shocked" by £19K workshop roof repair bill demand investigation

By West Briton  |  Posted: December 06, 2013

By Jason Lock

Camborne councillors "shocked" by £19K workshop roof repair bill demand investigation

Robert Webber

Comments (5)

CAMBORNE councillors have requested an investigation after receiving a "shocking" £19,000 invoice for repairs to a controversial council building.

Members of Camborne Town Council's budget and development committee said they first came across the invoice while authorising the council's monthly payments.

It was for roof repairs on the handyman building purchased – amid controversy over its location in Redruth – in June for £250,000.

Mayor of Camborne, Mike Champion, chairman of the council's handyman workshop and store sub-committee, said it gave approval to carry out the work, having been granted powers to make financial decisions.

But payments involving thousands of pounds of public cash should have come before the full council for a "proper" debate and should be standard procedure, councillors have argued.

Chairman of the budget committee, Councillor Robert Webber, said members were shocked because there were no records of what works were carried out and it had not been authorised by council.

He told the West Briton: "I can confirm it was unanimously agreed, except one, to go ahead with this investigation.

"The (budget) committee is very unhappy this has gone ahead."

The budget committee agreed to block the payment until the investigation has been resolved.

The work to the handyman store has been carried out by Willsher Construction, and it is understood contractors are still on site.

Councillor Jean Charman said the amount of cash was "atrocious" and would have been better spent elsewhere.

She said when the building was first bought it was in need of £1,500 worth of roof repairs.

She said: "For that amount of public cash we could have paid for keeping toilets in the town.

"I'm furious that the handyman sub-committee has just gone ahead with this. It should have been discussed with councillors before any authorisation was given.

"This needs to be thoroughly investigated to get to the bottom of just what is going on in Camborne.

"I would have thought if the handyman committee was asked to get on with it, that would mean starting a tendering process for the repair work, not spending thousands of pounds."

No one from Willsher Construction was available to comment.

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5 comments

  • TWINSCREW  |  December 06 2013, 2:40PM

    Sounds like the Mayor has a bit of explaining to do, £250,000 for a handyman workshop, how big is it? All this will be quietly swept under the carpet and "lessons will be learned" it's just what we have come to expect from our elected managers both locally and in Government, until these people are made accountable for every penny they spend it will go on, and on.

    |   26
  • Turnerscrafts Ltd  |  December 06 2013, 11:12AM

    @Josdave I don't think £19,000 would be enough to build a house. But if you are referring to the whole amount of cost including the £250,000 to buy the building then of course you are right. However, the amount for the roof repair should have been discussed by full council, and a tendering process should have been arranged for the work. No sub-committee of council should have the power to spend that amount of money without council approval, the sub-committee procedure should be overhauled at Camborne council if committees can spend large amounts without council approval.

    |   16
  • cornishgirl  |  December 06 2013, 10:48AM

    It is about time that every bit of public spending can be scrutinised- by the public! It is our hard earned money that is being wasted time after time after time. Too much wastage in the public sector by far!

    |   24
  • MarjProops  |  December 06 2013, 8:57AM

    "I can confirm it was unanimously agreed, except one............ Not unanimous then!

    |   23
  • josdave  |  December 06 2013, 7:59AM

    For that you could build a complete large house. The council has been ripped off and the person who should heck on these things should be reprimanded at the very least.

    |   23

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