Corby regeneration projects management condemned

Corby Cube The Corby Cube is home to the town's theatre, library, register office and council offices

Related Stories

Management of regeneration programmes at a council in Northamptonshire has been condemned by consultants appointed by the Audit Commission.

The report into Corby Borough Council highlights flaws in financial and project management of four projects.

These are the Cube civic offices, Kingswood estate, Rockingham Triangle sports complex and St James land sale.

The Labour administration said failures were "unacceptable". The Conservative opposition called for a public apology.

The three construction projects cost £67m over six years and the land sale settlement brought in £3.8m.

Public 'let down'

Consultants KPMG said arrangements obscured who should make key decisions, oversight at critical points was insufficient, project and financial management was poor.

Start Quote

Simply shrugging your shoulders and attempting to wash your hands of responsibility is totally unacceptable ”

End Quote Robert McKellar Corby Conservative

Land at St James was sold for considerably less than the best price.

KPMG concluded the council may have breached its statutory obligations.

Corby council leader Tom Beattie, said: "The failures that have been identified in this report are unacceptable.

"The people of Corby have been let down but they can be assured that these failings are a thing of the past.

"When these projects were undertaken there was clearly a lack of oversight by elected members, weak project management and a culture in which officers were fearful of questioning or drawing attention to practices which fall well short of the standards our residents expect of Corby Council.

"These issues are all being addressed."

'Squandering millions'

Conservative councillor Robert McKellar has written to Mr Beattie expressing disappointment by his refusal to take direct responsibility "for the four financial scandals".

"Simply shrugging your shoulders and attempting to wash your hands of responsibility is totally unacceptable and frankly the taxpayers of Corby deserve better," he wrote.

"We demand that you acknowledge the collective responsibility of the Labour administration for the four scandals at Corby Borough Council and for the squandering of millions of pounds in taxpayers' money.

"The public deserve an apology."

The Conservatives further proposed a motion of no confidence in Mark Pengelly, the Labour councillor responsible for finance, accusing him of being involved with the mismanagement of the four key projects.

Mr Pengelly has told the BBC he has stepped down from this responsibility but said it was because of pressure of work rather than the demand by the opposition.

Mr Beattie added: "We will fully consider the report and its recommendations in open session at the next full council meeting."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Northampton



Min. Night 0 °C

Features & Analysis

  • Baby in boxStrange case

    The remarkable appeal of the Finnish baby boxes

  • WW1 gas mask being demonstratedTrench terror

    Did the soldiers of WW1 have an irrational fear of poison gas?

  • Mitt Romney, speaks at the podium as he concedes the presidency during Mitt Romney's campaign election night event at the Boston Convention 7 November 2012Aura of a loser?

    Mitt Romney looked presidential but could never pull it off

  • A woman holds up a feminist sign.PC virus

    Is liberal speech policing out of control?

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • ReadingBest books

    BBC Culture takes a look at ten books you should read in February


  • A car being driven by Cruise Automation technologyClick Watch

    The tech which could allow any car with an automatic gearbox to become self-driving

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.