Fringe Box



Letter: Scrutiny Committee’s Questioning of Village Report Is Refreshing

Published on: 16 Nov, 2017
Updated on: 15 Nov, 2017

From Wayne Smith

It is quite refreshing to find that some members of GBC’s Scrutiny & Oversight Committee have questioned the report and figures presented to them.

One of the excuses put forward for poor performance was “the coldest winters for some years” but the Met Office described it as “rather dry and mild”, so how did the report author come to that conclusion? I’d be inclined to go with the Met Office version of events.

A quick look at the capital budget figures shows some astonishing cost escalations from budgeted to actual:

   June 2016    August 2016    Actual March 2017
Cost of Units £158,760 £230,000 £296,694
Utility Infrastructure £5,000 £73,000 £133,713
Landscaping £10,000 £60,000 £54,276

While income from rentals initially projected at £300-£400 per week have been reduced to £80-£100 per week.

How could the budget figures presented to the Executive to sign-off have been so wrong ?

And then there’s the Gross Value Added (GVA). I’m not an accountant and readily own up that some of the terms involved in the calculation of this GVA are gobbledegook to me but I am familiar with the adage garbage in-garbage out in reference to computer calculations.

Visitor numbers of 15,000 were apparently produced from guesstimates. Day visitors assumed to spend £30.70 each and surely 1,050 people didn’t come to Guildford and stay overnight just to see The Village? If so, how disappointed they must have been.

I think it’s best summed up by Cllr Jenny Wicks’ comment, “We are not dealing with private money but public money… money we take out of the taxpayers pocket. We should not be spending money without very careful assessment of our priorities and the other uses to which the money can be put”.

Share This Post

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *