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Sudbury Community Centre's £50k payment from Brent Council weeks late
A Sudbury community centre missed out on nearly £50,000 owed to it by the council for weeks after a finance error.
Sudbury Community Centre in Harrow Road was left without £46,806 owed to it by Brent Council for services it provides at the day care centre, which includes a luncheon club, activity classes, and shopping.
Councillor Krupesh Hirani, lead member for adults and health, said the missed payment was due to a human error in the council’s finance department, but that after the Harrow Times alerted him to it, the centre had now been paid.
But he criticised Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Paul Lorber, who first discovered the missed payment, for not bringing it to his attention earlier, accusing him of “petty party politics”.
He said: “I received an email yesterday about the late payments at the Sudbury centre, which was a surprise as I had never been alerted to this by Cllr Lorber or anyone else.
“My first action was to contact the centre directly, and I gave them a call and said that I was happy to meet them and discuss the issue.”
He added that he was not aware of any other centres who had not received payments, but that all council payments were affected earlier this month by the system problems at the Royal Bank of Scotland Group.
But Cllr Lorber told the Harrow Times that failing to pay large sums of money on time could put the existence of centres such as Sudbury at risk and make their planning more difficult.
He said: “It’s an awful lot of money, and it’s just incompetence really as far as I’m concerned. It’s an unacceptable situation.
“Labour really need to get a grip on this and get their act together to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
The dispute comes days after Cllr Hirani accused Cllr Lorber of ageism for comments made in a council meeting, for which the Liberal Democrat leader was warned by the council’s monitoring officer.
Managers at Sudbury Community Centre declined to comment when approached by the Harrow Times .