Call for Merton council’s finance minister to step down


Councillor Mark Allison has hit back after Merton’s Conservative group said he does not have the ability to carry out his duties.


Merton council’s head of finance has come under pressure after a vote of no confidence ahead of the 2013/14 budget.

Councillor Mark Allison was attacked by Merton’s Conservative group, who said he has shown time and time again that he is not up to the job.

In an official statement issued last night, shadow finance spokesman Cllr Suzanne Grocott said it was time for him to step down.

“The budget papers he has produced were delivered late, are incomplete and demonstrate a lack of the transparency and openness that the public should expect from the man who spends their money,” she said.

“Perhaps worst of all he has made drastic cuts to vital services whilst at the same time under spending against the budget by more than those same services cost to provide.

In other words, residents have lost services for absolutely no reason whatsoever. This is appalling incompetence and shows he lacks any cohesive strategy for managing the council’s finances.”

The motion is to be debated at the next full council meeting on February 6.

Cllr Allison hit back at the claims, stating that the Tories are two-faced as Labour has delivered three years of council tax freezes, whereas the Tories put council tax up.

“Perhaps they’re embarrassed because while we’re protecting services and keeping council tax low, their Government has slashed funding for council services and they have voted against our council tax freezes,” he said.

“They’re too divided between the new Tea Party Tories and their few remaining moderates to tell us what they would do instead. I’m sorry the nasty party is back, but I wish that instead of playing games these two-faced Tories would join with Labour and the other parties in finding a constructive way to deliver low taxes and good services in these difficult times.”

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