Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Link4Life: The Credit Card Kids!

TOMORROW there will be an emergency Council cabinet meeting at Rochdale Town Hall to discuss a probe into the use of credit cards by the Link4Life bosses that run leisure centres, museums and art galleries in the Rochdale area for the council.  Last year there were suggestions that some of the top administrators in the charity Link4Life may have been using the company credit cards for 'personal' items.  It has now been found that Craig McAteer, the Link4Life managing director, had spent £2,071 on a holiday in May 2011, and it is claimed, he charged £11,598 of 'personal' items to the charity trust over a 30-month period.   Mr. McAteer has since paid all this money back, but in some cases it took up to 14 months for the Link4Life charity, partly funded by tax-payers, to get the money back. 

Other Link4Life bosses such as deputy manager Peter Kilkenny obtained £1,480 of 'personal' spending, including £1,030 on a bond for a flat, and finance officer David Weldon spent £991 on flights.  Both are believed to have quickly paid these sums back.   Mr McAteer has responded to say that he has other business costs, such as mileage costs and the use of his personal phone for work that he pays out of his own pocket.  Delays in repaying 'personal' items was a consequence of his 'very busy' schedule.  Mr. Kilkenny claimed that his flat bond was an agreed expense for relocation, and the difference between 'personal' and business use wasn't always clear at the moment of purchase.    Mr. Weldon claimed he didn't have a personal credit card when he purchased the flights, and that he paid the money back rapidly.  

The auditors have found that 'Craig McAteer, Peter Kilkenny and David Weldon all failed to observe rules about the use of credit cards which is a disciplinary matter according to Link4Life's procedures and may be subject to a range of sanctions set out in the company's disciplinary policy.'  

Members of Touchstones Challenge protest group that has in the past voiced concerns about Link4Life's management of the local Rochdale museums and heritage are expected to seek to attend tomorrow's urgent meeting of the Rochdale Council cabinet looking into this matter.  Debbie Firth, the Secretary of Touchstones Challenge, has said:  'In the agenda which you can find on the (Rochdale MBC) link it mentions consideration of excluding public and the press but I have been told that the public can attend so I will be turning up to see if I can get in.' 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ok so they said they have paid the money back but what about the interest ?
They have not said they have paid the interest back have they. That could amount to quite a bit considering some of the money wasn't paid back for over a year