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 16 °C

Features & Analysis

  • Man holding lipWitch hunt

    The country where a writer accused of blasphemy must run

  • Espresso cupNews quiz

    Which city serves the strongest cup of coffee?

  • Malaysian plane wreckage in UkraineFlight risk

    How odd is it to have three plane crashes in eight days?

  • Irvine WelshDeaf ears

    Five famous Scots who can't vote in the Scottish referendum

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Canada.Hidden rail trip

    Canada's tiny, two-car shuttle is a train lover's dream with scenic views


  • Leader of Hamas Khaled MeshaalHARDtalk Watch

    BBC exclusive: Hamas leader on the eagerness to end bloodshed in Gaza

BBC © 2014 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.