Barnet’s Labour councillors have referred highways allocations worth £4m to the external auditors to investigate after discovering that no formal decision had been taken on which schemes were awarded money. The final decision over which schemes were progressed was delegated to the Cabinet Member for Environment whose own ward received the highest award of over £1m for 2013/14.
Leader of the Barnet Labour Group, Cllr Alison Moore said: “It’s hard not to be left with the perception that the process has been politically biased during an election year and given the sums of money involved there is clearly a public interest in this issue being investigated further.
“Members of the public will not understand how an individual Cabinet Member can be directly involved in the allocation of resources to their own ward in this way with no real formal decision and no public scrutiny or challenge.”
Cllr Alan Schneiderman, Labour’s Environment Spokesperson said: “The whole thing is a scandal! Opposition councillors were just by-passed by the Cabinet Member and not even asked to submit schemes for consideration. Quite how they decided what roads to include is surprising when we can all see roads and pavements in a far worse state than those chosen to be repaired.”