Tue. May 28th, 2024

Some while ago Ferret readers may recall a post about Audlem Parish Council and concerns about allegations of potential fraud being investigated.

This was of particular interest as they were concerns shared by our community about the financial dealings of the current Hemsworth Town Council.

Fraud arrest in Audlem Parish Council bank account probe
By Kaleigh Watterson
BBC News

28 October 2022
Police say the investigation is expected to take several months

A man has been arrested on suspicion of fraud as part of an investigation into suspicious transactions in a council bank account.

It follows allegations regarding Audlem Parish Council.

Cheshire Police said a “vast amount” of material and electronic devices were seized from the man’s home and would be examined.

The man has been released under investigation pending further inquiries.

“This is a very much a live investigation which is expected to take several months and while our enquiries are ongoing we would encourage residents not to speculate,” Cheshire Police said.

Audlem Parish Council said councillors remained “optimistic that a favourable outcome will be secured” and thanked local residents for their patience while “we work behind the scenes to resolve this extraordinary and very challenging occurrence”.

Ferret is pleased to see this investigation is ongoing and is encouraged by the “vast amount” of material and electronic devices seized from the man’s home and would be examined.

Given our community concerns of:

The huge amount of petty cash used, cash card machines, payments made before council authorisation, Jobs for the boys and girls, companies that have connections to councillors and even an internal auditor used that was previously employed and recommended by certain councillors.

These concerns along with poorly identified payments coupled with the huge delays of accounts actually being published, makes payment checking very difficult.

The validity of VAT payments has also been brought into question at times.

The length and depth of this investigation is obviously apparent and highlights the absolute need for a Forensic Investigation into the financial affairs of Hemsworth Town Council will still be needed at some time in the future…

By Ferret

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *