Oh dear – H&F’s finance supremo gets his sums wrong – by factor of 20

maxschmidAt the last council meeting Cllr Max Schmid, the Cabinet Member for Finance, defended an increase of 16% in spending of Cabinet members allowances by suggesting the cost would be offset by no longer providing catering at council meetings – apart from the annual council meeting.

Cllr Schmid claimed this would save £22,000. The figure struck me as high. Catering at committee meetings had been scrapped years ago. So the only saving was for sandwiches for the four full council meetings apart from the annual council – which Labour used as a £1,400 Council Taxpayer funded victory party for their rowdy supporters.

Could we really be spending £5,000 a time on a couple of trays of sandwiches? No. The council’s Head of Governance and Scrutiny supplied me with the correct figures which are as follows:

Information requested is below.

03/07/13: 348.96

23/10/13: 264.00

29/01/14: 290.40

26/02/14: 278.40

Total:     £1181.76

As Cllr Schmid has seemed to me an amiable fellow I thought I would offer him the chance to explain. So I sent him the figures, along with the following email on June 30th.

There would seem to be a discrepancy between the figure of £22,000 of savings on catering for councillors which you reported at the last council meeting and the figure below of £1,181.76.

Please would you clarify?

Best wishes,

That was sent over two weeks ago. No reply. Puzzling.

I would still like to believe that he made an honest mistake rather than setting out to mislead. But even that is rather worrying, isn’t it? The council spends £600 million a year.

How many more figures will the Cabinet Member for Finance get wrong by a factor of 20?

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