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Former council leader urged to apologise over Marketing Gloucester failures

January 26, 2020 4:00 PM
The Lib Dem Marketing Gloucester motionCouncillors are demanding that the former leader of Gloucester City Council apologise for the Marketing Gloucester debacle.
The Liberal Democrats have tabled a motion to the city council calling on Councillor Paul James to apologise after the arms length organisation was bailed out to the tune of £240,000.
The city council had to give Marketing Gloucester, which was responsible for promoting Gloucester and running events, the money for it to stay financially solvent.
Councillor Paul James, who stood down as leader of the council in November last year, resigned as chair of the Marketing Gloucester board in May.
Councillor Jeremy Hilton, leader of Gloucester Liberal Democrats, said: "Councillor Paul James was chair of the board for eight years, which had oversight of Marketing Gloucester when it racked up this huge overspend.
"It's clear the board did not properly take a grip of expenditure and allowed things to get out of control.
"Councillor James, as chair, should have had better control over the governance and financial management of Marketing Gloucester.
"He owes the taxpayers of Gloucester an apology. This should never have happened."
Consultants GrantThornton, who were brought in by the city council to review Marketing Gloucester, found it had a "lack of clarity about the purpose, vision, strategic and operational priorities".
Councillor Declan Wilson, deputy leader of Gloucester Liberal Democrats, added: "Two independent reports have recommended that councillors and the city council take back control of Marketing Gloucester.
"That is something we support. It's clear that there has not been a proper scrutiny of the financial and governance of Marketing Gloucester by the board. That has to change."
The motion, which will be debated by councillors on Thursday 30th, says:
Marketing Gloucester Limited
This council notes the report that was presented to the Overview & Scrutiny Committee in relation to the organisational and financial failings of Marketing Gloucester Ltd, a company 100% owned by Gloucester City Council.
This council welcomes the recommendations in the report and the resolutions agreed by the OSC.
This council calls for a written apology from the former chair of the board and former leader of this council, who was responsible for the financial and organisational crisis that has hit MGL, which forced this council to bailout the company to the tune of £240,000 to help keep the company solvent.
Proposed by Declan Wilson
Seconded by Jeremy Hilton