New concerns over Compass

NEW concerns have bubbled up on the finances of Compass Point Business Services Ltd - the private company that has been running many of East Lindsey District Council’s services since August last year.

Members of the council’s audit committe expressed concern at the mysterious disappearance of key financial documents relating to ELDC’s expenditure of £4.65-million on the start-up costs of the organisation.

Coun Steve O’Dare expressed incredulity that they had apparently been “either lost, misplaced or gone up in a puff of smoke”.

Cllr Mark Anderson protested the limited financial information provided to committee members was insufficient to empower them to hold officers to account.

“Substantial amounts of public money are at stake,” he warned.

“On hehalf of the public, we have a right to know how the money is being spent - and whether surpluses will be channelled back into improving services.”

The committee noted an auditor’s report that indicated shortcomings in some of CPBS’s business practices - for instance, on procurement and transparency.

But ELDC’s chief executive, Nigel Howells, sought to reassure the committee on CPBS’ financial position.

“It’s in the black,” he declared.

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