Thu. May 30th, 2024

At last night’s meeting Councillor Donna Moran, Chair of the Finance Committee read out a statement on behave of herself and Councillor Hird, outlining the action they have been taking behind the scenes and the future actions they wish to see regarding Independent Hemsworth Town Council’s financial affairs:

“As you will know there have been many questions asked about the spending at Hemsworth Town Council since 2019.

This led to an audit in 2022 that highlighted some areas of concern that are being addressed.

One item is to my knowledge outstanding and this is an investigation into a councillor taking money from the petty cash and not, for sometime providing a receipt.

We await the outcome. After contacting the police we were told that this could not be investigated unless reported by HTC (and) not an individual.

Further to that, there was a question raised about a purchase for the Waterpark that involved tarmac, on face value the payment is correct, an invoice was provided and paid. However despite this it took weeks and a phone call from the clerk to a former employee to establish where this concrete went, some on the patio the rest in other areas of the park.

Furthermore, when I looked into the accounts in question for this, I discovered that numerous entries for financial year 2019/2020 are missing including this particular payment.

It is a legal requirement to display the accounts online; I reported this to the clerk by email and verbally on the 25th January after a full check of what was present.

The clerk could not tell me why these items were missing, it appears that the file was edited on the 9th August 2022 at 13.11.

After the detailed audit had been requested. I have repeatedly since this date asked the clerk to obtain the website logs to understand who amended this document and investigate why.

I would like to make it clear that I do not believe this was done by the office staff.

I await that report.

As this is a breach of the council’s legal obligations, Maxine and I have approached various organisations to seek help.

These are as follows: West Yorkshire Police, Action Fraud, Wakefield Council Monitoring office, The Chief Legal Officer at Wakefield Council, The Financial Conduct Authority, HMRC, The National Association of Local Councils, The Yorkshire Local Council Association and finally LittleJohns Auditors who are responsible for the councils AGAR report.

The police, action fraud, HMRC and the FCA told us it was not in their remit.

NALC told us to contact YLCA.

YLCA will only investigate items raised by the clerk or the chair.

The Monitoring Office and the CFO told us to contact Littlejohns.

Littlejohns could not help further.

We have now enlisted the help of our MP’s office.

The key issue here is that accounts that have been questioned have been removed from public scrutiny and nobody can explain why.

The accounts have now been updated with all spend however the issue is not resolved.

As you can imagine this is massively frustrating – we have been faced with brick walls at every turn.

Now we have this clear evidence we would like to ask the chair and clerk to report this matter to YLCA, should they be unwilling to do this or YLCA refuse to investigate we suggest a  forensic audit to cover the spending at the Waterpark and all contractor payments for the FY 2019/2020.

However I must be clear that the auditor can only identify areas of concern, we are likely to face the same issues with reporting any issues as we have done for the past month.

Hence the suggestion to report to YLCA.

We now we have a specific area of concern we will not be charged as much as we would for a full 3 year forensic audit which is a focussed spend of precept money. This would need to be agreed by the council as a whole.

However there remains the issue that we would need some authority to pursue any legal action.

We would also like to move a motion that the full audit report from Karen King be published with only names and job roles redacted.

This will be done in the next full council meeting.

I would also like to make the public aware that this is not a reflection of the work done by Karen King, Karen, reviewed the councils bank statements and payments and internal documents, not the published accounts as these should be a direct representation of the internal documents post the external audit.

We would like to thank the public for their support and understanding that until we had followed all correct procedures we could not share this information”.

First and foremost, Ferret is sure that the majority of readers would join with Ferret in thanking Councillors Moran and Hird for their hard work in investigating the financial misappropriation at Independent Hemsworth Town Council.

It has been clear for some time, at least since May 2019, that the financial affairs at Independent Hemsworth Town Council have not been “open and transparent”.

Ferret welcomes the statement and looks forward to further updates into the areas of concern contained within it, as these are available.

By Ferret

4 thought on “Councillors Donna Moran and Maxine Hird: A Statement…”
  1. The community owes Councillor Donna Moran and Councillor Maxine Hird a massive Thankyou for all their hard and continuous work in trying to put right 4 disastrous years of indulgent spending by the Independent councillors that run HTC.
    It was obviously at last nites meeting just how much time and effort and through hard work and determination they both are trying to serve the community and put the parishioners first by sorting the financial mess the Certain Independent councillors have caused and put our community in.
    Thousands and thousands of pounds wasted probably millions and nothing to show for their 4 disastrous years only dilapidated,destroyed and decaying isores and accounts so bad that our reserves will now need to be used to pay for all the repairs.
    Missing accounts,altered and edited accounts ,hands in tills ,and the bomb shell statement from Councillor Ian Mcginnies who also needs a huge Thankyou for showing the community just what depths of deceit and how low certain councillors and their associates will sink to and again Breeches of confidentiality that we all know councillor Kenyon and co do without apology when proven.Time for the community now to show the Independent councillors that run HTC enough is enough ,time for the community to VOTE for true hard working community councillors who have integrity,honesty,trust,Transparency and who will work for the community,roll on May and Vote,Vote,Vote for the people who care.
    Please can you post on FB site Thankyou.

  2. Well well well, the noose it tightening for some. I believe if only one starts talking the floodgates may open on all those involved, either directly or indirectly by keeping silent because they may have skeletons in the cupboard known to the cabal. There have been rumours about this for some time. Silence doesn’t always turn out to be golden. Complicity is complicity what ever the reason.

  3. Well said Vickie and let’s see now which of the other councillors show full support to councillors Moran and councillor Hird and vote for what is right and vote for what the community asks of them.
    The two councillors have worked and gone beyond every aspect possible which must have been in very difficult circumstances especially if not every councillor onboard.
    Hopefully now the public are aware of their tireless work to correct any misdoings and will use their Votes very very wisely and vote for the right people to be trusted councillors on our HTC.

  4. A big thank you to the two councillors and others who have actively (behind the scenes) put the parishioners first by campaigning to seek that wrong is righted .
    Wonder if the town clerk and chairperson report to YCLA what was found in the investigation, I think we all know the answer to that one (hope I’m wrong ) but it will highlight what they think about the parishioners and the community they serve if they don’t.
    Councillor Mcginnies spoke open and frankly about a incident regarding himself I do hope he vigorously pursues to get to the truth about who accessed cctv then tried to discredit him.

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