Bill Norman said he accepted the timescales were unacceptable, however the scale of resources that Legal & Member Services had been modest. He had come from the authority of Torbay in Devon. Torbay had half the population of Wirral, but more solicitors. This was a part explanation, but it didn’t justify the delay. The revised protocol (if endorsed) detailed timescales. They couldn’t undo the past, but he will do better and could be held to account to the timescales. He referred to the Localism Bill and changes to future changes to the standards regime. He thought it was best to suggest formal performance targets. There would then be standards of performance.
Cllr Les Rowlands mentioned the Standards Board for England.
Somebody arrived and started talking to Bill Norman.
Cllr Les Rowlands said it was “not a good excuse” that they had “not enough staff”. He asked why there hadn’t been a report to Standards Committee on this and why he had not said it in the past. He said they should stick to the times even if they haven’t got enough staff. He agreed with Cllr Chris Blakeley that it was appalling and the money that had been spent on this. He used the word failure and said it was a “horrendous amount of money”. He said it left a bad taste and they were supposed to be in the 21st century. He said they had been a long, long time trying to tackle this and said it was a failing of Bill Norman.