QUESTIONS have been asked why it has taken potentially as long as a decade for Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council to list and value its assets.

At an audit and accounts committee meeting on June 26, councillors questioned why it has taken so long to get details of the council’s property assets, valued at around £370million, transferred to a new online register.

During the meeting, Basing ward councillor Onnalee Cubitt said the question has been posed for 10 years with no answer.

She said: “I haven’t had an answer to the reasons for the failure of this plan to be implemented.

“I just worry about the assets that belong to our taxpayers in our borough, and why is there an inability to get the assets from different books into one system.”

The Conservative councillor asked whether if this failing has gone on for a decade it meant that some of the borough council’s property assets had gone missing.

Cllr Cubitt added: “Is there some assets which have gone missing?

"I cannot understand any other rational, to put our assets on a computer system where things can be audited properly.

“Somebody somewhere does not want to fess up to something.

"Which can only suggest to me they are hiding something.”

Popley East ward councillor, Cllr David Potter echoed Cllr Cubitt’s concerns saying somebody needs to be held accountable for this delay.

He added: “We need some clear explanation as to why that situation has occurred and it has taken so long.”

However, executive director of finance and resources at the borough council, Kevin Jaquest, said a new system is on the horizon.

He said: “We will be bringing in a more streamlined system for recording how the properties directly owned by the council are maintained.

“Currently a range of processes are used and, while this is an adequate way of storing information, moving to a single electronic property system will make it more efficient for our occupiers and less time intensive for our staff.

“The process of introducing this has been slower than we would have liked as it has taken time to secure the right system.”