Thursday, 7 March 2013

Rochdale Cabinet & claims of dodgy credit

LAST night in Rochdale Town Hall, Trevor Hoyle, a supporter of the protest group Touchstones Challenge, asked 'What were the Board of Trustees (Governors) doing ... were they fulfilling their roles as a charity?' He was speaking of the business oversight of the charity Link4Life, in an exchange of views and questions with the public shortly before an emergency Cabinet meeting of Rochdale Council set to discuss the developments following the revelations that the bosses of Link4Life, Craig McAteer, the managing director and his deputy, Peter Kilkenny, had used the company credit card for 'personal' items.

The Rochdale Council leader, Colin Lambert, had pointed out that Link4Life is an independent body separate from the Council and with its own Board of Governors; though there are Councillors on the Board of Governors they don't represent the Council. Link4Life provides Leisure, Sport centres and museum services in the Rochdale area on behalf of the council. The Chief Executive told the meeting that with regard to the nature of the contract between Link4Life and the Council, there had been no 'systemic service delivery' failure but that 'conduct is an issue'.

Mr. Hoyle argued that though 'Link4Life is separate from Rochdale MBC, the council-tax payers are largely financing Link4Life!' Councillor Lambert assured him that 'the Council is trying to get the best deal for the tax-payer' and that the Council have sought an independent investigation. It seems the Council will be requesting that it be able to review the audited accounts of Link4Life; that it will be revisiting the partnership agreement with Link4Life and that it will be trying to get an agreement by this coming weekend.

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