Report Highlights Legal And Financial Issues Facing Council This Year

town hall 4Councillors are being advised that the level of payments to senior Council officers made redundant recently, could generate a reaction from locals when the sums are made public.

Tonight’s Policy and Resources meeting will be asked to approve a Council response to the auditor.

Grant Thornton formally requested details of any legal, compliance or financial issues which have been dealt with or which could flare up this year.

The Council won’t reveal how much former Chief Technical Officer Neville Gardner and the redundant Director of Finance and Resources Peter Lawrence got in their settlement until the Statement of Accounts are published in June.

But in a paper to members, Head of Finance, Iain McCulloch, advises that there might be a public reaction when that figure gets out.

The Council also intends to advise the auditor that they face two cases of legal action over alleged breach of employment contracts. Money hasn’t been set aside for this because the Council doesn’t know how far it will go.

The Information Commissioner will rule on two alleged breaches of data protection soon too, but there’s unlikely to be a financial penalty.

Other problems that will be flagged up include the Food Standard Agency ruling that the Council failed in their duty to provide statutory food law enforcement activities.

Steps have been taken to deal with issues at Moorwell but the Council will still need to put it on record that the incinerator breached emissions levels and that the Environment Agency has served a closure notice on the use of the dump as a landfill site.

The good news is that there have been no cases of fraud or bribery to flag up.

If councillors approve the responses in this letter, it will then be sent off to the auditors.

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