Financial illiteracy and cabinet members for finance

The Conservatives on Cheshire East Council have struggled to find decent candidates for several Cabinet posts, but the Finance Portfolio has been particularly problematic. The post was held by Michael Jones when the fateful decisions over Lyme Green were taken (with Peter Groves as his deputy).

Later the post was held by Sam Gardner until it was revealed that he caused Fomfest Ltd to misuse donations of at least £4,142 collected on behalf of a charity. Peter Groves was then brought back to the post, but recently resigned to protect his reputation Surely that should read to protect the reputation of the Council? However, the Conservative brand on Cheshire East Council is now so toxic that even Cabinet members are trying to distance themselves from the mess they have created.

The current Finance Portfolio Holder Cllr Paul Bates, is sustaining the doubtful Tory track record as he was a director of Solutions (EU) Ltd which went bust in 2010. Solutions (EU) Ltd, company number 06506411, was formed in only February 2008, but in less than 2 years later the company was wound up with unsecured creditors of £176,804.

Irene Faseyi, Labour Councillor for Crewe Central, said, “Why do the Conservatives keep putting the Council’s Finance Portfolio into the hands of people who have bankrupted companies? Cllr Paul Bates is the third since I became a councillor in 2011.”

Cllr Brian Roberts, Labour Councillor for Crewe West, said,

Paul Bates has also had problems with being accurate and transparent. For he uttered a load of what he later accepted was inaccurate gibberish at a recent meeting of the Full Council when asking Councillors to approve £2.8million of additional funding for the controversial Ansa depot in Middlewich on the basis that it was a loan by the Council, to Ansa at commercial interest rates.It wasn’t!’

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