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CPS hold up council’s working group progress on Pembroke Dock property grant scheme scandal

A response from police on grant scheme fraud evidence is still awaited after the Crown Prosecution Service refused to hand over the information to councillors.

A working group set up to examine whether a private prosecution could be launched against those involved in the Pembroke Dock property grant scheme scandal requested disclosure of information on the case from the CPS.

At Monday’s (September 28) audit committee, Pembrokeshire County Council’s head of legal services Claire Incledon updated members on progress, saying a response from the CPS in March indicated it was not going to “furnish disclosure.”

“The CPS is traditionally the first port of call for such a request, and they have protocols to deal with this, however despite the length of time to come to this conclusion it was clear they would not undertake disclosure,” her report adds.

Requests have now been made, and chased up, to Dyfed-Powys Police for disclosure of the case details with an officer saying “something” is expected by the end of the month.

The steps taken to obtain the information, as well as other internal evidential material, were shared with members of the working group, despite it being unable to meet due to Covid-19.

Cllr Mike Stoddart felt that this information, or at least a timeline of steps taken, should have been shared with the audit committee so it could see “the problems encountered trying to gain information, especially out of the CPS” to explain why the matter was “going on and on.”

This was echoed by Cllr Jacob Williams, both councillors are members of the working group, who added: “There’s no suggestion that the QC or Mrs Incledon are dragging their feet on this, quite the opposite.”

The working group chairman has been asked if a meeting will be scheduled this month, or following the receipt of information from the police, and the audit committee will make a decision on its ‘lessons learned’ discussions following that.

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