Official Cllrs Expenses Investigation 4
For those of you who have been reading Shepwayvox, you know all about the cllrs expenses investigation, well tonight, The Herald have finally reported on the story.
“A serving district councillor – Peter Simmons (pictured left) and a former council member Russell Tillson (pictured right) are officially under investigation for “inappropriate expenses claims“.
Cllr Peter Simmons, who represents constituents in the New Romney ward, has resigned as chairman of the audit committee. He has also voluntarily removed himself from the Tory whip, meaning he is currently an independent councillor.
Former district councillor Russell Tillson, who still serves on Dymchurch parish and New Romney town councils, is also under investigation.
It is understood a report is due to be published in the very near future which will show if any expenses have been inappropriately managed.
Cllr David Monk, leader of Shepway District Council (pictured centre between Cllr Simmons left, Cllr Tillson right) , said he could not say much until the publication of the report. He told the Herald: “(Cllr) Peter Simmons was (officially) under investigation for inappropriate expenses claims.”
What the Herald fail to inform you is that Cllr Peter Simmons is an accountant by trade. He was head of the Audit & Standards Committee – which looks after how the books are checked by the auditors and Cllrs’ behaviour.
Questions. Will SDC report Cllr Simmons to the Police if his found to have made inappropriate expenses claims?
Will Cllr Simmons pay back any monies if the report finds he did make inappropriate expenses claim he was not entitled to?
Will SDC allow an outside independent body to investigate them for failing to spot fundamental accountancy procedures?
How did the Auditors Grant Thornton, not spot these anomalies? They are the SDC’s well paid Auditors?
I would be more than happy to pose questions to either of the individuals you mention. However it is generally accepted that neither of them will reply, especially if your question is contentious.
Personally I have been waiting for more than a month for Alistair Stewart to respond.