7 Comments

Surely in 2022 we should be able to say where our taxes go. We all have personal morals and would probably be quite upset if we were informed every year that our taxes had gone towards groups or programmes that we individually would never donate or support.

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Good journalism.

What a disgrace !!

The finance people responsible should be sacked - do they not read newspapers ?

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Do they invest in apartheid Israel too?

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The social morality issues connected to Qatar do not exercise me as much as they do some others. In reality, it is very hard, if not impossible, to find a single country in the world that does not have some sort of moral black mark attached to it.

What does concern me is the way that "investment" decisions such as these are made. We are only a decade on from the Iceland banks scandal, in which many public and private bodies, "investing" in the same way as here, were fortunate not to lose huge sums. How was Qatar, a place where business processes are unrecognisable compared to our own, determined to be a safe territory in which to deposit public money? Who made that decision, against what parameters? What other countries is our money "invested" in?

Decisions like this, and the policy that surrounds them, are meant to be in the aegis of our elected representatives, advised by officials. What responsibility for this decision did Malcolm Longley (finance member in the WNC cabinet) take? What skills and experience was he personally able to bring in to assess what the Finance Director was recommending? Perhaps more pertinently, did he (76 years old, according to Companies House, and presumably busy enough already with his impressive family property empire) even know where the public's money was being put?

None of the above should be interpreted as meaning that I think a representative from an alternative party would have been better suited to being in charge of the council's finances. Nor do I think NNC is any better placed, with a leader whose principal business experience appears to be running a fish and chip shop and with a cabinet finance member who is an IT consultant but who can't even manage his own corporate website.

To state the "bleedin' obvious", I really do think that the way our two councils lurch from blunder to blunder can be related directly to the skills, capabilities and qualities of the people that we vote into power, and that a jolly good clear-out, across all our local parties' personnel, would be a good start in the pursuit of better governance of our county.

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I am disappointed in the quality of the writing in this piece of journalism. Perhaps you need a proof reader to ensure sloppy mistakes ( such as LQBTQ for LGTBQ) are not made, and sentences are constructed properly.

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