AS a matter of principle, any large debt or loss by Blackburn with Darwen unitary authority should be debated by the whole council.

With the new cabinet system, councillors have found it difficult to learn about the financial status of the various portfolios. And even when a management letter, auditing accounts in December appeared, certain aspects were far from clear.

Thus we read: "The following movements against budget include reduced social services spending of £1.1 million." The explanation was that, to avoid an overspend, £1.1 million was saved -- £400,000 by higher charges for services and an unidentified sum by delays in job appointments, etc.

The system can only be corrected by proper scrutiny of each of the portfolios.

COUN EDMUND CRITCHLEY (Liberal Democrat) Mill Hill Ward, Blackburn.