Brentwood council accounts ‘never stood a chance’ of being signed off on time

Brentwood Council never had a “cat in hell’s chance” of signing its accounts off on time, a member of the audit committee has said.

Cllr David Kendall, who is also the leader of the Liberal Democrats on the council, said that at Tuesday night’s meeting it became clear that the accounts for 2010/11 won’t be signed off until the end of this month or February.

As revealed by the Recorder in October, the accounts – which were supposed to be signed off in November – had been found to be full of errors.

He said: “The council’s response to the External Auditors Interim Annual Governance report suggests that the council didn’t have a cat in hell’s chance of getting the accounts signed off on time.”

This is borne out by the number of measures that are still needed to be put in place to ensure the 2011/12 accounts be signed off, he said.

He questioned why the council spent �250,000 on employing temporary staff who weren’t able to produce the accounts in the correct format.

Conservative councillor Chris Hossack told the committee that a “post-mortem” needed to be carried out to look at the situation.