Earlier this year, prospective Lib Dem MP for Chippenham, Duncan Hames wrote to the Audit Commission to ask for an enquiry into redundancy pay outs made to senior council officials after Conservative councillors chose to pay out at up to four times the statutory rate.
The auditors have now reported back and have uncovered that the council made over £32,000 of overpayments to the redundancy pay outs. The auditors found errors in nearly half the cases that they looked into and their report criticised the poor accountancy procedures at the Conservative-run Wiltshire Council which allowed the mistakes to be made in the first place.
Duncan said “I’m glad that I was able to help bring this miss-spending of taxpayers’ money to light. Hopefully the money can be recovered but it should never have happened in the first place. At a time when the Conservative leaders of Wiltshire Council have been talking about cutting jobs, this sort of carelessness is unacceptable. On top of this, the outgoing chief executive is in line to receive up to two years of salary for taking voluntary redundancy when he leaves – so claims by Conservative councillors that ‘lessons have been learned’ ring rather hollow.”