Grant Thornton confirms whistleblower’s concerns about Wirral Council’s business grants program
In answer to a question of Mr. Hobro at last night’s Council meeting, Cllr Davies agreed to publish the Executive Summary of Grant Thornton’s report into their investigation into the BIG (Business Investment Grants) issue (which can be viewed by clicking on the link).
Although the names of the six companies are anonymised (referred to as BIG1 to BIG6), the executive summary does recommend whether Wirral Council should consider whether it should claw back the grant to the company referred to in the executive summary as BIG6 and consider whether it should refer BIG6’s application to the police.
Curiously the executive summary also states at the start “subject to an exemption under section 30 of the Freedom of Information Act”, which considering the Chief Executive’s statement at the same meeting that information relating to the departure of two Department of Adult Social Services officers can’t be published as it’s subject to an FOI exemption is highly curious and seems inconsistent.
As stated in the Executive Summary “This draft summary should be read in conjunction with a more detailed draft report, dated 5 June 2013”. Unfortunately this draft report is the one Wirral Council won’t release, giving the reasons stated above. Certainly the comments made by Grant Thornton and its recommendations vindicate the concerns raised by whistleblower Nigel Hobro.