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Probe into procedure that led to 'shock' repair bill at Camborne Town Council

By West Briton  |  Posted: January 22, 2014

Probe into procedure that led to  'shock' repair bill at Camborne Town Council
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CAMBORNE Town Council has set aside up to £10,000 for an independent investigation into a "shock" repair bill to a council-owned building.

The town council is to ask Cornwall Association of Local Councils (Calc) to suggest a company that has no affiliation with the council to carry out the investigation.

It was decided at a town council meeting on Thursday that the investigation should go ahead. It will look into the procedure behind the appointment of Willsher Plant, which carried out £19,000 repair works to the roof of the council's handyman building in Redruth.

Some councillors said the bill came as a "shock" and the works should not have been authorised without the consent of the full council.

But the Mayor of Camborne, Mike Champion, has defended his decision to appoint Willsher Plant.

Councillor Champion said former locum town clerk, Sarah Willsher, requested that her father's company, Willsher Plant, be considered to do the works.

Mr Champion said the job was offered to two other companies, but only Willsher Plant responded.

The council had previously agreed to block payment to the company while an investigation was taking place.

But at the town council meeting on Thursday, the bill was authorised for payment.

Speaking after the meeting, Councillor Robert Webber said: "I am unhappy that the bill has been authorised for payment before an investigation has been carried out. But I do welcome the investigation.

"It is essential to review the processes that led to this work being carried out."

Mr Champion has accused Camborne Town Council members of "dragging his name through the mud" following the appointment of the contractor.

Mr Webber said it could be a number of weeks or months until the investigation is complete.

He said it was not anticipated to cost the £10,000 set aside.

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  • TWINSCREW  |  January 22 2014, 2:21PM

    The town council is to ask Cornwall Association of Local Councils (Calc) to suggest a company that has no affiliation with the council to carry out the investigation. In my opinion, the investigating company should be from out of County, then there will be no suggestion of a conflict of interests, if it's a Cornish company and the outcome is unfavourable they could say goodbye to any future contracts. Only saying.

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