A REPORT questioning the accountability and value for money of councils dominated by a single political party has been rubbished as ‘speculative nonsense’ by a leading Wychavon councillor.
Wychavon District Council leader Coun Linda Robinson hit back at the report by the Electoral Reform Society and claimed Vale residents were more satisfied than ever with the value for money the council is providing.
Conservatives have dominated the council since 1999, with currently 39 Tory councillors taking their seats in the council chamber compared to just five Liberal Democrats and one UKIP councillor.
While the Electoral Reform Society (ERS) didn’t focus specifically on Wychavon, the report described the quality of services, value for money and accountability of one-party dominated councils across England as a ’cause for concern.’
But Coun Robinson said: “Frankly this is a lot of speculative nonsense. The fact is Wychavon has just achieved its highest ever value for money score from residents.
“We also increased the number of candidates standing at the 2015 district council elections when compared with 2011, to give voters as much choice as possible.
“We comply with all procurement legislation and strive to get maximum value out of every pound. We also recently updated our anti-fraud and corruption policy to reinforce our zero tolerance position on this matter.
“We have various means of holding the council to account including allowing councillors and the public to ask questions at Council meetings and an active Overview and Scrutiny Committee.”
Single-party councils typically achieved lower price savings on projects and were at higher risk of corruption according to the reports findings.
A ERS spokesman said: “Our research does not make specific claims about individual councils, nor does it suggest that every council dominated by one party performs badly on procurement.
“Of course some one-party councils are models of excellence and efficiency.
“Nevertheless, the overall picture is clear – one-party councils, taken as a whole, are at higher risk of corruption and could be missing out on significant savings through their tendering processes.”