THE long running Pembroke Dock grant scheme irregularities saga continues with a review into the “complete and utter whitewash.”
A commercial property grant scheme lessons learnt review will be carried out by members of Pembrokeshire County Council’s audit committee, including Cllrs Mike Stoddart and Jacob Williams who uncovered evidence of potential fraud.
At Thursday’s meeting (October 17) Cllr Jacob Williams put forward an amendment to include examining the way the council dealt with the concerns raised be included in the purpose/objective of the review.
Cllr Stoddart added that the scope of the review should include investigating the “complete fabrication” in reports by officers after an initial concern about the scheme was raised by Cllr Michael Williams in 2013. Cllr Stoddart also called for the authors of early reports – “the initial cover up” – to be asked to attended to “justify themselves.”
Councillors also involved with the initial response, then leader Cllr Jamie Adams and cabinet member responsible Cllr David Pugh will also be questioned.
He also highlighted the need to examine administrative errors in the scheme’s set up which made “it an open invitation to fraud.”
Committee chairman Cllr Tony Baron said that a planned “debrief” with Dyfed-Powys police had been held earlier in the week, with details to be distributed to committee members.
He said: “From what I have seen there’s no doubt in my mind that there’s serious cause for concern in how that grant scheme was operated.”
The review will be carried out separately to a task and finish group due to be set up to explore to possibility of the council launching its own prosecution linked to the grant money, following a CPS decision to drop the case.
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