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Surrey CC heeds the call for an Annual Report

posted 9 Aug 2012, 02:49 by Peter Webb

Surrey CC have just published their Annual Report 2011-12 at


This is earlier and at last sets the standard for the high purpose and content of this document subject only to some technical points , and a certain coyness in visibility and distribution. Councils have been  the only exception to the general rule for placing their record, performance (with public money), and plans for the future, before their residents (shareholders) in this form. In the private sector delivery may be by web-site given individual consent. There remains the normal concluding step of formal approval and (re) election.


The full introduction of this standard  ought to go a long way to cement the democratic process and improve trust in decision-making, communication and consultation. It should also reduce the burden on councils imposed by uninformed questions and  complaints.


The Audit Commission has called for this Report purpose to be enacted.


Claims for accountability by ‘transparency’ for mere accessibility  are usually  false: The Public Accounts Committee has just warned that it is “simply not good enough” (for Whitehall) to pump out vast amounts of raw data without making it digestible.


Guildford Dragon web-site  features an invited article. The official GBC official reply is: we don’t do an annual report -an  arrogant and out of date attitude which feeds the falling esteem for party political government.


The Annual Accounts 2010-11 (which do not add up to an annual report) of  Mole valley District broke the time limit law and were a mess. They were severely criticized by the District Auditor who was not able to sign off until May this year.


And leading by example (!) the Government makes the rules but does not observe them   : Confirming  the  “phenomenal arrogance and incompetence of the European political elites” and failure of government including our own, the draft unaudited Annual consolidated Accounts for the whole of UK Government for 2010-11 did not see the light of day until late in July this year. In those Accounts  the balance sheet bottom line is a red figure of £1.2trillion  casually but in desperation described as “financed by future revenue” ie by our grandchildren on top of their taxes to pay for current spending in years to come.   It is to be hoped that the Comptroller and Auditor General in his forthcoming report will consider carefully whether that is a safe assumption in the light of this terrifying Sovereign insolvency.