Some of the East Cambridgeshire District Council Lib Dem group after being denied the chance to scutinise the Council's trading companies
East Cambridgeshire District Council’s Liberal Democrat Group, consisting of 13 of the 28 councillors on the council, has issued an open letter concerning the governance of the Council’s trading companies, and in particular East Cambs Trading Company Ltd (ECTC).
The published accounts of ECTC disclose losses of £3/4m. We are concerned that the finances of ECTC, its business plans and the governance of the company place both East Cambridgeshire District Council and the residents of East Cambridgeshire at risk of serious financial loss.
On Tuesday 8 October all the councillor members of the company board resigned their positions as directors.
On Thursday 10 October we attended a shareholder meeting hosted by the trading company, prepared with a number of questions to try to gain full reassurance about these matters. Neither the Chairman of the company board nor the Managing Director was present, and the chairman of the council and council officers were unclear as to the status of the meeting and the rules under which it was being run. It subsequently transpired that they simply intended to deliver a number of presentations. This is not scrutiny of the companies, and in view of the lack of clarity about the status of the meeting Liberal Democrats felt it was necessary to leave.
This left us with no option but to raise these concerns directly with the auditors of the company and the auditors of the council. We immediately issued an open letter to both sets of auditors and to the remaining directors of the company.