KNUTSFORD Town Council’s shameful shifting of blame for their deficit needs some analysis.

Firstly, the council is at fault for mishandling negotiations with their longstanding tenant about the future lease with La Belle Époque.

This establishment is sorely missed in the town, and I used to dine there often, entertaining clients and for personal special occasions.

Mr Mooney Jr was a genial host, and always very welcoming. The picture that the town council painted of him as difficult is not one I recognised at all.

Mr Mooney himself told me that the council had refused for years to undertake essential repairs and that he paid all his rent to the council, albeit in his last year there, not on time in an effort to put pressure on the council to actually maintain their building.

Now the council are left with empty premises, which will cost them far more money than if they had done those repairs in the first place. The blame then, for this state of affairs must be laid squarely at the door of the council.

In addition, it is a sign of the mismanagement of this council that at a time of financial stress due to no longer receiving rent from La Belle Époque, that they are proposing to employ a further three people at a cost of around £50,000.

This is simply not a sensible step at a time when their income has dropped by about £72,000 rent plus rates liability, due to their mismanagement of this wonderful heritage building on King Street.

I know that people have said for a long time if you put a Blue Riband on a donkey it will get voted on to council in Knutsford, but the present council’s behaviour is very donkey-like.

Any reasonably intelligent person knows that when you are faced with a financial crisis you don’t go employing three staff to make that crisis worse. But of course I forgot that it’s really very simple; you just demand that council taxpayers foot the bill.

A disgrace, and councillors should hang their heads in shame at this solution to their profligacy.

Roger Clarke Knutsford