New town hall cash probe
PROVING Labour councillors illegally overspent ratepayers' money could mean them funding their own mistakes and losing their seats on Waltham Forest Council.
That is the reasoning behind the latest move by Waltham Forest Ratepayers Action Group, which is asking the District Auditor to investigate certain financial aspects of council spending during the past year.
All this week members have been inspecting piles of documents at the Town Hall, made available at their request by council officers.
They are specifically looking at grants given to voluntary organisations, overtime payments to refuse collectors, money spent on homes for children and old people, and the advertising ban on News International publications in 1986.
Armed with the information, members will lay it before District Auditor Brian Skinner for his final decision.
If illegal over-spending is proved, individual councillors can be surcharged to meet the cost.
If that sum exceeds £2,000 each, they are banned from continuing in office.
It is the right of every ratepayer to inspect the council's books, and one which the action group is taking full advantage of.