No crim­i­nal­ity in al­lo­ca­tion of grants, say po­lice

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£525,000 been run.

“We don’t know what hap­pened to [some of ] the money,” County Cllr Alan Vin­cent said.

“We didn’t assess it, we didn’t mon­i­tor it and in some cases we can’t ever mon­i­tor it, be­cause we didn’t get [the re­cip­i­ents] to agree to that mon­i­tor­ing in the first place.”

And he added: “Don’t give me this non­sense that it’s some kind of Tory witch-hunt – it’s us ex­pos­ing a ter­ri­ble scheme.”

The meet­ing heard that no­body was sug­gest­ing that the char­i­ties and com­mu­nity groups that re­ceived the grants had done any­thing wrong.

Grant con­fir­ma­tion let­ters, out­lin­ing a re­quire­ment to re­port how the money was spent, were of­ten sent after pay­ment had been made.

That meant it was dif­fi­cult for the au­thor­ity to de­mand progress re­ports and 44% of re­cip­i­ents have failed to com­ply with re­minders to do sub­mit them.

County Cllr Ali said that he had “no re­grets about al­lo­cat­ing any of the money to the groups which I did”.

“Some­times, when you com­mis­sion a re­port, you get the out­comes that you want, but in this case, [the Con­ser­va­tives] haven’t got the out­comes they’ve been seek­ing for over 12 months,” he added.

The deputy chair of the coun­cil’s au­dit, risk and governance com­mit­tee, Ed­ward Nash, said it was “the least po­lit­i­cal” scru­tiny group at County Hall. scheme had

County Cllr Azhar Ali al­lo­cated com­mu­nity grants at County Hall, right

Coun­cil leader County Cllr Ge­off Driver had called for the ini­tial au­di­tors’ in­quiry

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