County council auditors sent into community transport provider FACT – three months after a damning investigation that led to the departure of manager Jo Philpott – found an organisation in financial turmoil.
The county council has been accused of “punishing” Cambridgeshire residents and council staff as both staff and councillors will have to take three days mandatory leave over the Christmas period, the equivalent of a 1.2 per cent pay cut.
The county’s most senior local government officers – together with the chief constable and the chief fire officer – sent an email critical of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority to its chief executive just days before he handed in his resignation.
For six hours they sat as council officers, councillors, taxi and coach drivers and forensic accountants drove home in devastating detail the actions that had brought them to the seat of local government for Cambridgeshire.
A police investigation into the Fenland Association for Community Transport (FACT) accepted that false information was created in funding applications but there was insufficient evidence to merit a prosecution.
Cambridgeshire County Council paid out hundreds of thousands of pounds to community transport provider FACT without in some instances proper authorisation, funding agreements or with no detailed follow up of how the money was spent.
Law chief Quentin Baker’s abrupt departure from Cambridgeshire County Council comes only weeks ahead of publication of a 288 pages, 71,000 words and £100,000 investigation into Fenland Association for Community Transport (FACT).