Camborne councillors "shocked" by £19K workshop roof repair bill demand investigation
CAMBORNE councillors have requested an investigation after receiving a "shocking" £19,000 invoice for repairs to a controversial council building.
Members of Camborne Town Council's budget and development committee said they first came across the invoice while authorising the council's monthly payments.
It was for roof repairs on the handyman building purchased – amid controversy over its location in Redruth – in June for £250,000.
Mayor of Camborne, Mike Champion, chairman of the council's handyman workshop and store sub-committee, said it gave approval to carry out the work, having been granted powers to make financial decisions.
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But payments involving thousands of pounds of public cash should have come before the full council for a "proper" debate and should be standard procedure, councillors have argued.
Chairman of the budget committee, Councillor Robert Webber, said members were shocked because there were no records of what works were carried out and it had not been authorised by council.
He told the West Briton: "I can confirm it was unanimously agreed, except one, to go ahead with this investigation.
"The (budget) committee is very unhappy this has gone ahead."
The budget committee agreed to block the payment until the investigation has been resolved.
The work to the handyman store has been carried out by Willsher Construction, and it is understood contractors are still on site.
Councillor Jean Charman said the amount of cash was "atrocious" and would have been better spent elsewhere.
She said when the building was first bought it was in need of £1,500 worth of roof repairs.
She said: "For that amount of public cash we could have paid for keeping toilets in the town.
"I'm furious that the handyman sub-committee has just gone ahead with this. It should have been discussed with councillors before any authorisation was given.
"This needs to be thoroughly investigated to get to the bottom of just what is going on in Camborne.
"I would have thought if the handyman committee was asked to get on with it, that would mean starting a tendering process for the repair work, not spending thousands of pounds."
No one from Willsher Construction was available to comment.