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Lib Dems say councillors must be held to account

Author: Martin Johns - Lib Dem Published: 12th September 2018 09:32
Councillor Martin Johns added: “Public money was even spent on a framed and engraved print as a leaving present for the former Tory council leader.Councillor Martin Johns added: “Public money was even spent on a framed and engraved print as a leaving present for the former Tory council leader.
Another investigation by the BBC has revealed that whilst already heading for financial meltdown, Conservative councillors authorised Northamptonshire County Council to spend huge sums on lavish events and corporate hospitality. The BBC is now also reporting that a firm co-owned by a Northamptonshire county councillor was said to have been paid £60,000 from council-owned NEA Properties Ltd in May 2012. The Conservative councillor involved has not responded to the BBC's questions.

Liberal Democrat Councillor for Towcester, Martin Johns commented: “Just when you thought news about the failures of those Conservatives who have run Northamptonshire County Council couldn’t get any worse, comes along these stories. The arrogance and contempt for local people by those involved is breath taking. Some £80,000 was reportedly spent on a stadium hospitality box at Northampton Saints rugby club and tens of thousands more on events and other luxuries, it’s said, from secret accounts.”

Councillor Martin Johns added: “Public money was even spent on a framed and engraved print as a leaving present for the former Tory council leader. He had resigned three months after receiving a letter from the council’s chief finance officer outlining the financial crises the council faced and that made clear, the leader and other Conservative councillors were failing to respond to the issue.”

Councillor Chris Lofts, Liberal Democrat Leader at SNC, has expressed his concerns: “Nothing surprises me about how the Conservatives have mismanaged Northamptonshire. Having said that, are there yet more skeletons to be found? These payments were made through a company, NEA Properties, that was owned by Northamptonshire County Council. There seems to have been limited documentation and a total lack of oversight and governance. This whole matter should be properly investigated and those involved, both directly, and all those who were cabinet members at the time, made to fully account for themselves and for what has gone on.”
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