February 4, 2019 2.05 pm This story is over 31 months old

Boston officers under fire for “longer than Brexit” delays

The cabinet member laid into officers for the time the reports had taken

Council officers have come under fire for a lack of detail, over-use of jargon and delays in reports to a Boston committee.

During a debate on a BTAC wishlist, Councillor Nigel Welton, cabinet member for the Town Centre and BTAC liaison, said councillors had been “sat here for four years waiting for reports” on improvements to the town’s open spaces.

Public consultations carried out by officers had narrowed the list down to a £127,000 list of 18 items – however, councillor Welton felt it had not gone far enough.

“This is raising people’s expectations of what we are going to be doing when we might not be here next year,” he said.

“I’m fed up and tired of waiting around…. Our stuff is going on longer than the bloody Brexit debate.”

He called on the committee to “just get on with it” and have a report by the next meeting in February so councillors could make a decision before the May elections kicked in.

However, council officer Phil Perry said it would not be feasible, to which Councillor Welton jibed: “Can we get it before 2020?”

He also criticised a lack of detail in other agenda items including a request for up to £20,000 from the Parish of Boston towards their Passion for People Project and a £40,000 spend on open spaces.

This was especially pertinent for a £40,000 spend which will have to go before cabinet to be agreed but appeared in the report as four “rounded” figures of £10,000 each and did not include a full breakdown of costs.

“In this case BTAC is sending it to another committee which hasn’t got the history we have,” he said.

“This is going to be a very difficult task for myself to argue the case for BTAC to cabinet.”

Other councillors including housing, property and community portfolio holder Councillor Martin Griggs agreed with Councillor Welton’s sentiments, however praised officer Fran Taylor for the work she had already done on consulting with the public.

Councillor Yvonne Steven’s criticised the use of jargon in the report, zeroing in specifically on the word “offer” being used as shorthand to describe the play equipment in the parks.

Councillors agreed to the £40,000 spend but asked for more detail. They also put aside another £40,000 for the wishlist. The grant request from the Parish of Boston was deferred for more detail to be brought before the committee.

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