Police clear council over awarding of £30k contract

Steve Blatch, corporate director at North Norfolk District Council

Steve Blatch, chief executive of NNDC - Credit: Archant

Detectives have ended their investigation into an allegation of financial crime at North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) after finding no criminality.

Police were called in last July to investigate the way the Liberal Democrat leadership awarded a £30,000 contract to a consultant.

The contract, worth £1,000 a day, was awarded to a contact of Lib Dem councillor Karen Ward. 

In December 2019, the council concluded that there was no need to take any action about the way the contract to carry out a Capability Review was awarded.

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

A police spokesman said after "extensive enquiries and consultation throughout with the Crown Prosecution Service... no criminality has been identified".

NNDC chief executive Steve Blatch said: "We are pleased the matter is concluded."

Christopher Cushing, leader of the opposition Conservative group, said he had asked the chief executive for any feedback they had from police to see if lessons could be learned.