Council leader orders external inquiry into whistleblower's allegations

Scarborough Council leader Derek Bastiman has bowed to public pressure to hold an external inquiry into allegations of corruption within the council.
Scarborough Town HallScarborough Town Hall
Scarborough Town Hall

Ben Marriott recently won a constructive dismissal claim against the council after tribunal judges ruled that he had not choice but to resign after the council failed to properly investigate his claims that senior managers were using council contractors to have work done on their homes in return for taxpayer-funded contracts down the line.

The council disputes elements of the judgment and the tribunal has agreed to look again at certain aspects of it.

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Cllr Bastiman said: “I cannot comment in detail while the case is ongoing, but I want to reassure residents that I take the council’s governance responsibilities very seriously.

Derek BastimanDerek Bastiman
Derek Bastiman

"This is why I have chosen not to wait until the tribunal reconsiders aspects of the judgment to initiate an external review.

“Having immediately instigated an internal review upon receipt of the judgment, I also believe it is right and proper that independent external auditors look into and review the matter.”

The council has instructed Mazars, an integrated and independent organisation specialising in audit, accountancy, tax and consulting services, to undertake the review.

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Mazars has been appointed and is one of a number of private sector firms appointed by central government to take on the audit and compliance role that was formerly the responsibility of the now dissolved Audit Commission.