YET another Labour-run council has been officially placed under investigation – this time over alleged fraud and contract mismanagement in Blackburn.
Council officials from Blackburn are now cooperating with police as they investigate the serious allegations, yet councillors have not been informed what or who the alleged fraud specifically relates to.
Reports prepared for the council’s audit committee reveal council staff are ‘continuing to liaise with the police in the case of a suspected client fraud’.
Audit committee member Maureen Batseon MBE said councillors have not been told what the case concerns.
“There is nothing more we can say other than what is in the report and that the investigation is ongoing because that is all we know,” she said.
“We have been asking for more information but we won’t be given anything more while the investigation takes place. It’s an ongoing investigation.
“As members of the audit committee we wouldn’t be made aware of the details until the investigation is concluded.
“I would hope that, as a member of the committee, we will look at the investigation’s findings and we have asked for more information.”
The report prepared for the audit committee also reveals that auditors are ‘in the process of finalising a review into the contract management issues a following a whistle-blowing complaint by a member of the public to the Director of HR, Governance & Engagement’.
The council’s leader has not yet provided comment – yet the revelation comes after Labour-run Liverpool council leader Joe Anderson was arrested and charged by anti-fraud police.
This year, Labour-run Croydon council also found itself in similar hot water, with its leader resigning following the council’s bankruptcy while accusations made against him continue to be investigated.