Tory controlled Walsall Council must have been praying they could get through next week’s elections without any reference to the massive scandal that Council leaders have been
sitting on awaiting a report on for months. Well, no such luck. Yesterday in the Commons Walsall MPs David Winnick and Bruce George revealed that they had received a letter from the Assistant Chief Constable of West Midlands Police informing them that a file into the alleged misspending of millions of pounds of public money has been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service.
Both MPs launched a blistering attack on the Tory-led authority who are bizarrely trying to describe the allegations as ‘historical’ despite the fact that they are the same councillors and the same senior management team…. with the exception of the ‘historical’ Chief Executive Annie Shepperd. Winnick and George are complaining that the two enquiries are being held back by the Council until after next week’s local elections.
Bruce George told the House of Commons…
“I can think of few cases in my 34 years as a Member of Parliament that have filled me with such a sense of embarrassment at the disgrace and perversion of local government in Walsall.”
With echoes of the Tory sleaze in Westminster under Shirley Porter, David Winnick said about the £11 million regeneration money,
“That money was intended for the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods. When Mr Francis became the programme manager he found that was not happening and that some money was being used in areas not classified as such neighbourhoods.”
So, is this a case of Tory sleaze, the Crown Prosecution Service and burying bad news? I bet those two public watchdogs Dale and Staines will be headlining on this one shortly. Perhaps at this very moment a Doughty Street video is being prepared involving Tory Leader Tom Ansell and a special interview with Peter Francis, the man bullied out of his job for trying to expose the misspending of public money by the Tory controlled Council? Don’t hold your breath.