A good header; how long have the public waited for this mea-culpa of incompetence?
Many of my regular readers have no doubt been waiting for any comment on the front page of the Monday Medway Messenger.
Whilst it would be remiss of me to make Cllr Jarrett look any less in grip of his brief he seems to have done it all by himself.
Anyone reading this piece will now utterly dismiss his arguments on all the other fiscal matters which he was trying to appear credible; I suspect Cllr Jarrett was trying to lance the boil of the bus station but to do it at the same time as you are trying to sell you own Tory Party on local finances; Not sensible at all.
I have to give it; makes the gaffe over city status look like a walk in the former Brook park (before it was uprooted).
I also suspect many of the officers were not briefed in advance; the thunderous looks from the officer bench said everything... they of course said nothing... which said everything.
The KM article echoes my interpretation of the budget meeting and those from other press articles; a total lack of control over the finances and £14.3m announced cuts to front-line services.
As I stated last week; it is all very easy for Cllr Jarrett to come out now and blame Medway Renaissance and officers, but that does not fit with the pattern of obfuscation that we have observed from Tories for a year or more.
I would suggest the Tories either knew and didnt tell us last year or they didnt and do not have a grip of the finances
The issue of the bus station is not new; it has come up monthly since January 2011 when Cllr Vince Maple led on the timetable and cost for the bus station; Labour have since asked question after question on the fiscal position on the station and have poured over financial statements to discover the truth.
The answers given by the Tory Council leader and Deputy leader at Full Council were not substantive in any way; coming so close to a local election and the convenience becomes apparent. The lack of clarity after the election surrounding the Arriva negotiation and the fact the station was half-complete on opening is of course not only Medway Renaissance - many of these things were under the direct control of the Council at this point.
The simple truth is the Tory leadership could and should have been open and transparent with the public from the start. The mea-culpa has all come a bit late am afraid.
We knew it was a financial noose but it seems the Tory backbenchers were oblivious. Many (now stupidly) fobbed Labour off as nay-sayers, as 'Medway knockers' or even harsly labelled as supporters of the old bus station. I dont expect any acknowledgement or admittance they were wrong; an apology is too much to ask.
Tories of course spent months refusing to accept our reasoned argument that this bus station was a botch job; now finally they can admit it was.
Dont expect a rush to advertise it!