The Labour Group at Northumberland County Council is questioning the appropriatenesses of cabinet member Councillor Nick Oliver’s role.
Mr Oliver, who is the most senior cabinet member responsible for council finances and debt recovery from business and residents, finds himself in the difficult situation of being connected with a company which owes £31,000 to the council for unpaid business rates.
The councillor was secretary of his spouse’s business Katie Kerr which was put into voluntary liquidation in April ,owing nearly £200,000 to its creditors.
Cllr Mark Purvis Shadow Cabinet Member for Cooperate Services said: “It seems inappropriate to us that the cabinet member who is responsible for council finances and debt recovery was secretary to a failed business which owes the council £31,000 of business rates.
“How can this possibly be appropriate?
“It is sad to see any business fail, but Councillor Oliver finds himself in an awkward position.
“It’s ludicrous that he is responsible for the council’s debt recovery when the business he worked for owes a substantial amount of money to the council.
“Councillor Oliver has been at the helm of other companies that have gone bust. Surely the right thing to do is for him to step aside.”