The next Audit and Accounts Committee meeting will be taking place on Tuesday 31 July 2018.
View further details and committee papers
Watch live stream of committee meeting*
*Live stream will start 9.30am on Tuesday 31 July 2018.
Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC) takes the findings of this independent report into Community Transport issues extremely seriously and has already drawn up and delivered a detailed improvement plan in response.
The Cambridgeshire Bus Coach and Taxi Drivers Association (CBCTA) raised concerns with Gillian Beasley when she became the county’s Chief Executive in late 2015. As a result and after discussions with Council Leader Steve Count, she commissioned this full and independent inquiry in early 2016 and involved CBCTA in selecting the investigating body and nominating the topics it should explore.
Carried out by a highly reputable organisation PKF-Littlejohn LLP, the extensive report has been delivered to CCC in a certified unedited format. It will be discussed in full and in public by the Council’s Audit and Accounts Committee on July 31. Members will be asked to consider an improvement plan, which has introduced or strengthened a range of measures that respond to findings in the report and will be asked for their views on any additional measures they may wish the council to take.
Mrs Beasley said: “We commissioned this independent report to demonstrate the council’s commitment to responding to, and resolving concerns raised by CBCTA in a fair and transparent way.
“We didn’t respond to their complaints and Freedom of Information requests as quickly and comprehensively as we should have done when they were first raised with the council 5-6 years ago which we should have done.
“The report has raised concerns about some decision-making at Cambridgeshire County Council. It shows we didn’t follow our own processes and procedures properly, or put in place robust checks around how we awarded grants and loans for community transport or how we bought services from those who operate in this area. This isn’t good enough.
“Where shortcomings have been highlighted by the report, I can reassure residents that we have already taken steps to strengthen our processes. All staff have been reminded of their responsibilities in this area.
“The report raises serious issues about some of our community transport operators and we are in discussions with them about this. But I can reassure residents that the county council is committed to continuing to provide community transport which is a valued facility for residents, offering a lifeline to many living in our large and rural county.”
The investigation looked into 55 individual lines of enquiry and has cost in the region of £204,000 to complete, but through the course of the work has identified around £300k which is potentially owed to Cambridgeshire County Council and other local councils.
The committee report can be found on our website here.