In a shock move, the Liberal Democrats have demanded urgent answers to allegations of fraud made by a whistle blower.
Chris White, Liberal Democrat councillor for St Albans Central, recently met with a former highways engineer, who handed him some documentation. This documentation included paperwork from county council officials which admitted:
- falsification of records
- use of inferior materials instead of contracted materials
- falsification of key performance indicators reported to the council
- false ‘close down’ of jobs
There was also a letter from a senior county council official which said: ‘We have considered the situation carefully and it has been agreed that out files will be handed over to the Police so that they can consider what action, if any, they wish to take.’
Cllr Chris White asked a series of questions in yesterday’s county council meeting:
- What was the cost to the council?
- Why did the county council allow contractors to get away with these practices?
- Why was this information not revealed to opposition councillors?
- What is the result of the police investigation?
- Why was the key witness not interviewed by the police?
He added: ‘This is a very serious matter which should have been shared with opposition councillors. It is a mystery that council staff failed to monitor contracts so that these practices could take place.
‘We know that the sums involved run into six figures but the real cost is likely to be in the millions – but councillors have only been shown redacted documents.’
Chris White also formally asked the Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd, who was in attendance as a member of the council, to ensure that there was a thorough police investigation.