Maghull Town Council leader: Liberal Democrats have serious ques


Maurice Byrne


Maghull Town Council leader, Labour's Cllr Maurice Byrne, said the previous Liberal Democrat administration has "serious" questions to answer about the running of Maghull Town Council.

Immediately after taking control of Maghull, the new Labour administration announced that it was holding a full investigation into the finances of the town council.

As part of the investigation, the Labour councillors have discovered that the town council has a debt of £673,000.

A staggering figure which Cllr Maurice Byrne said the Lib Dems must explain.

Cllr Byrne said: "Since taking control of Maghull Town Council, my Labour colleagues and I have been astounded at the financial mess the previous Liberal Democrat administration has left us in.

"There is a debt of £673,000 which is greater than a full year's income brought into the council via the precept. That is an outrageous debt which needs to be explained.

"Looking into the costing for the Town Hall roof which the Liberal Democrats hurriedly signed off in the days and weeks immediately preceding May's election when they lost power, is another issue which we are questioning and which will be brought to tonight's council meeting.

"There are some serious questions which the Liberal Democrats really must answer and which they must answer in public, instead of trying to push their decisions under the carpet as they would appear to have done for far too many years on Maghull Town Council."

Cllr Byrne said the debts left behind by the Liberal Democrats has meant the council must seriously consider all of its outgoings.

Cllr Byrne said: "I really can't emphasise enough the mess that the Liberal Democrats left behind for Maghull Town Council.

"The debts which they left behind are debts for the people of Maghull. They are an irresponsible burden which has been handed to this community.

"It is an issue which I have obviously raised with my friends and neighbours here in Maghull and while out knocking on constituents' doors as part of our regular roving surgeries. Each and every person is horrified at the extent of the mess.

"That is why we are working so hard to balance the books."

Cllr Byrne also said the Lib Dems' irresponsible management of Maghull Town Council together with the Tory-Lib Dem government's slash and burn cuts led to Maghull's Fireworks Display being jeopardised.

Cllr Byrne said: "We were told earlier this month that Sefton was cutting the annual fireworks display as a result of the Tory-Lib Dem government cuts to the tune of £8,000. Because of the financial situation we inherited, this is not a bill which Maghull Town Council can alone pick up without finding alternative sources of funding.

"Obviously it is an event we want to keep going  so we are therefore working hard to try to find alternative funding. I attend the display each and every year with my sons and I know it is a big community event. But trying to find as much as £10,000 to cover an event of this scale is obviously a very difficult thing to do. Made all the more difficult by the last minute decision by Sefton not to fund it this year.
"But this is the legacy which the Liberal Democrats left behind for Maghull Town Council, three of whom still remain as serving Town Councillors. They have some very serious questions to answer."

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