Blobbygate report 'fair'

First published in North Lancs

LANCASTER City Council has drawn a line under the Blobbygate' affair - days before the local election.

It has accepted the conclusions in a report by district auditor Clive Portman into the handling of Crinkley Bottom - and his statement of reasons.

He found that officers had, in parts, behaved unlawfully but their actions had not been "wilful".

The question of whether to accept his findings sparked a lengthy debate at full council yesterday (Wednesday), attracting opposition from some who claimed they could not accept the report without seeing all the evidence submitted during the four-year investigation.

And the auditor's second public interest report' has yet to be published, leading Cllr Shirley Burns to say: "There's no way I could accept this until we receive the final report."

It was a sentiment shared by others.

But Cllr Ian Barker said: "There's no doubt in my mind the district auditor has done a thorough job, that he has taken every piece of evidence he has been presented with."

Cllr Pat Quinton said: "The district auditor has taken four years to come to his conclusions and has taken a lot of evidence. He has had legal advice all along - I don't think his decisions can be questioned."

Finally, 25 councillors voted to accept it without reservation', 15 opposed it and two abstained.

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