Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Fraud-hit Brierley Town Council abolished

A South Yorkshire council that was left more than £1m in debt after a fraud committed by its town clerk has been abolished.

Brierley Town Council needed a £1.3m loan to cope with its financial problems after Janet Cooper was jailed for eight years for theft and fraud in 2013.

Residents voted to abolish the authority in a ballot in 2015.

Its assets and liabilities have been taken over by Barnsley Council.

In the referendum in September, about 1,200 people - 21% of the electorate - voted on the town council's future, with 983 calling to scrap it and 202 voting to retain it.

Barnsley Council said the takeover would be carried out "without any additional costs for Barnsley council tax payers".

The deal means that town council facilities, such as community halls, sports grounds and allotments, will remain open.

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