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Cabinet 10 April

Aylestone Voice

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Agenda published



I cannot see anything specific on Bath Street Offices but it may be buried in the 14/15 Delivery Plan


Item 8 is in relation to a new audit service and the South West Audit Partnership is recommended.

If any Councillors see this thread I guess a question I would like asked on this is are there any ex Herefordshire Council staff employed by this organisation and is there any connection between the Chief Financial Officer Peter Robinson who moved here from somewhere south (Bristol?) and SW Audit Partnership? Just so we know who is or is not involved!!!!

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This gentleman left Bristol City Council under some very dubious circumstances - according to the Hereford Heckler.


Story from last year.





And a story from an independent news website in the South West





Seems like just the sort organisation to take councils' money and in return tell councils that what they are doing is just fine and dandy.

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This "South West Audit Partnership" - it wouldn't be an 'Arms Length' or 'Shared services' type of operation, would it?


If so, then what could possibly go wrong?


In addition, despite all the rules and regulations etc, and the flaws of the major accountancy firms,  the concept of auditors being owned by, and therefore having to please, the audited (council),  places a major potential conflict of interest at the heart of what should be an independent and rigorous process.



I also came across this about the quality of auditing in Bristol City Council.  There is a familiar name in it about our new finance director:







Describing an official report into financial management at Bristol City Council


So the Chief Internal Auditor should report directly to the council’s Chief Executive? This has never happened. The Chief Auditor always reports to the Head of Finance – a level below corporate management. Until recently, when he scarpered sharpish, Head of Finance was Freemason Peter Robinson, who SPIKED ANY INVESTIGATION into the Markets Service and did nothing to discourage the victimisation of a whistleblower there.


We know he also once spiked an investigation into the dubious procurement of a fleet of Mercedes vans. On that occasion he victimised – then attempted to sack – an investigator in Internal Audit who uncovered and produced a report on that particular procurement scam.





I wonder how Peter Robinson so impressed Herefordshire that they offered him sanctuary from all the cruel comments being made about his role in Bristol. 


If councillors are reading this, perhaps they could compare notes with their colleagues on Bristol City Council before making any audit decisions.

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South West Audit Partnership are recruiting for posts in Coleford/Hereford - 'We are looking to recruit to a number of permanent posts and are offering you the opportunity to embark on a career as an internal auditor.  No previous experience is necessary, although a higher starting salary may be available for exceptional candidates who have some previous audit experience.'

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So according to the job advert found by TWG it looks like the SW Audit Partnership company is recruiting (cheap) staff for a contract they haven't been awarded yet.  They must be very sure that the HCC cabinet will do what they are told by Peter Robinson.  On what basis, I wonder.


It would be interesting to hear from councillors how comfortable they are or were with Peter Robinson's recruitment. And Bill Norman's too, whilst on the topic of directors who left other councils under dubious and expensive circumstances.

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@ Aylestone Voice:  Regarding your analysis of next Wednesday's Cabinet meeting (at which the fate of the former Working Boys Home on Bath Street may or may not be discussed), tell us in all honesty whether you think e-mailed messages to said Cabinet members, emploring a stay of execution, would have any effect whatsoever?

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I have it on good authority that the Bath Street Offices have already been, or about to be sold.


To whom?

Is this another fait accompli to be presented by senior officers to the elected members?

Another Edgar St trees situation - get it done quick because well informed people are starting to ask awkward questions and we can't be seen to back down?


And any comment on the Peter Robinson/Audit information above?

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Cllr Vaughan-Powell it would appear that the cat has got hold of your tongue? As we the greater public are still awaiting for you to elaborate on wot you said yesterday regarding bath street!…I don't know how you expect to spill the beans correctly if you don't open the can up properly to begin with?!

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  • 2 years later...

From SWAP's archive, June 2014;


The Unitary Council of Herefordshire will be joining SWAP with effect from the 1st June 2014.  This opens up further opportunities for our auditors to share information on cross cutting audits and more importantly identify best practice across our Partners.  A team of three will be TUPE transferred into the Partnership and SWAP have recruited additional staff to deliver the annual plan.  Herefordshire’s joining will represent a significant cost saving in excess of £100k for the Authority with assurances of improved productivity.


My emphasis - were the savings and improved productivity delivered? Does any councillor ever follow these things up?

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