Nov 17, 2023Liked by NN Journal

With regard to the Kettering Library roof and the so-called "Executive" (the correct word is "Cabinet" and the leader of NNC shows his constitutional ignorance by insisting on calling it the "Executive") meeting yesterday, and the 2019 survey by NCC.

From the council's background paper for the meeting yesterday:

"The library roof has been in need of repair for some time. However, a survey

undertaken by the former County Council in 2019, prior to the Cornerstone

construction beginning, stated that it would need replacing within 10 years."

In other local news sources, I have seen the state of the roof described, seemingly from the 2019 survey, as "still good for another ten years" and "likely to fail within ten years". I would like to know where the statement in this NNJ article, that "the roof still had ten years left" came from. Clearly, in the blame-shifting game, being played by Helen Howell, Mark Rowley and others too, the exact meaning of the report is being misrepresented for the convenience of each individual talking about it. So far as I am aware, the council is refusing to release the survey report itself, and this is, in my opinion, an absolute disgrace. The report should be placed imediately in the public domain so that the public can make its own judgment of it and the various interpretations that have been voiced.

For myself, I would just point out that the Google Streetview images of the roof from around 2019 are readily to be found, in their proper place, on Google Earth. In them, the roof covering can easily be seen to be in a pretty poor state. So I conclude that, at the time the decisions about Cornerstone were made, it was abundantly clear that substantial work was required on the roof, and that the decision to proceed with the construction phase of Cornerstone (made by NNC) without attending to the roof was incompetent, quite possibly to a culpable degree.

I absolutely think that there should be a full independent inquiry into Cornerstone, and the decisions made around it, and that the reluctance to do this, and the continued concealment of relevant documents, collectively represent a severe shortfall in the integrity of NNC and of its senior members.

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Isn’t it possible to hold anybody to account for the criminality of the audits in NCC? The individuals concerned were at least morally bankrupt for doing jobs they weren’t skilled to do. Power over people. Employed by equally incompetent friends. NCT is only overspent based on what was predicted. At one finance meeting I sat in once the finance lead accidentally missed a zero off some figures. You couldn’t make this stuff up. So the predicted figures were probably only as high as somebody could count.

It’s like the eye watering costs of the Newton Europe Farce. Nobody saw the costs recouped in savings as the predicted savings figures turned out to be made up. Nobody cared though. Nobody held accountable. The cost of that would have fixed the roof. The backhanders alone might have.

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Is 6.8 million pounds to repair a roof at Kettering Library a ridiculously high amount ?

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