Police investigate financial crime allegation at North Norfolk District Council

The North Norfolk District Council offices at Cromer. Photo: Archant

The North Norfolk District Council offices at Cromer. Photo: Archant - Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC

Detectives have been called in to investigate an allegation of financial irregularity at North Norfolk District Council (NNDC), we can reveal.

The allegation dates from last year and involves how a contract was awarded by NNDC to a consultant to carry out a review into the way it was operating.

Last December, the council concluded that there was no need to take any action about the way it had, under its new Liberal Democrat leadership, awarded the contract to carry out a “Capability Review”.

But an allegation was later made to Norfolk police which was then passed on to Cambridgeshire police to look at.

A spokesman for the force confirmed: “We are investigating an allegation of criminal financial irregularity within NNDC in 2019.

“The inquiry is ongoing, therefore, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

A spokesman for NNDC said it was “co-operating fully”.

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They said: “The Employment and Appeals Committee, comprising a cross-party group of North Norfolk district councillors and an independent representative from the Local Government Association, concluded in a meeting in December 2019 that there was no need for any further action relating to the appointment of consultants to conduct a council performance review earlier that year.

“Subsequently, the council was contacted by Cambridgeshire Police in July 2020 asking for us to help them with investigations they were carrying out into the procurement procedures employed by the council when the review was implemented.”