Coun­cil­lor asked to re­tract al­le­ga­tion voiced at meet­ing

Macclesfield Express - - JONES RESIGNATION -

A COUN­CIL of­fi­cer who signed off one of the Core Fit con­tracts asked a coun­cil­lor to re­tract a state­ment in which he said the rules at Cheshire East coun­cil can be bro­ken.

Labour coun­cil­lor Sam Cor­co­ran raised con­cerns at the Au­dit and Gov­er­nance Com­mit­tee meet­ing as to why con­tracts were is­sued to Core Fit out­side the nor­mal ten­der­ing process.

He brought up the mat­ter at var­i­ous points and at one point told the meet­ing: “In this coun­cil the rules can be bent, the rules can be bro­ken.”

Re­spond­ing to his com­ments, mon­i­tor­ing of­fi­cer Anita Bradley said: “We have to wait for this work to come back (by in­ter­nal au­dit).

“I ask you to re­tract that state­ment.”

Coun Cor­co­ran did not re­tract the state­ment.

Com­mit­tee chair­man Les­ley Smetham told Coun Cor­co­ran the mat­ter had al­ready been ad­dressed be­fore mov­ing the de­bate on.

Ms Bradley was one of three se­nior coun­cil of­fi­cers who signed off forms to waive the nor­mal pro­cure­ment pro­ce­dures for con­tracts with Core Fit.

The coun­cil says that the nor­mal process was waived to al­low a pi­lot scheme run by Core Fit to con­tinue.

A spokesper­son for Cheshire East Coun­cil said: “The mon­i­tor­ing of­fi­cer is there to ad­vise the coun­cil on ob­jec­tive le­gal and pro­ce­dural mat­ters and her in­ter­ven­tion was fac­tual and rel­e­vant to pro­ceed­ings.

“There were no pa­pers on the agenda specif­i­cally on the Core Fit pro­cure­ment mat­ter. It was clear from the early part of the meet­ing that a de­tailed re­port would come for­ward to the next meet­ing and it was im­por­tant that mem­bers recog­nised that they would have an op­por­tu­nity to make in­formed com­ments on the facts pre­sented.

“Ex­ter­nal au­dit was sat­is­fied on the coun­cil’s ap­proach to date. The dis­clo­sures made in the meet­ing by of­fi­cers were ap­pro­pri­ate.”

Ms Bradley could not be con­tacted for com­ment.

It was de­cided at the meet­ing that the re­port be­ing pre­pared by the in­ter­nal au­dit team would also be made avail­able to the Au­dit and Gov­er­nance com­mit­tee as well as chief ex­ec­u­tive Mike Suarez.

●● Cheshire East Coun­cil’s head­quar­ters at West­fields, Sandbach

●● Coun Sam Cor­co­ran

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