Mon, 04 Nov 2019
A TASK group “will get to the bottom” of how West Berkshire Council breached procurement law over regenerating the London Road Industrial Estate (LRIE).
The council was found to have breached EU law by failing to follow the correct procurement process over appointing its chosen developer St Modwen.
An internal inquiry to “understand the advice and guidance received” has met four times since July.
Task group chairman James Cole (Hungerford and Kintbury) told a meeting on Tuesday: “We are gradually getting to see the decision points, the points at which advice was received and we are getting a list of the key players and how they fitted into the project.
“We don’t have enough on the costs, what was paid to which consultants. There are still gaps to be filled in.
“There are questions that have come up that need to be clarified.”
Mr Cole said that two more meetings to review evidence were expected before the new year, before interviewing witnesses in January.
He said a report to the council’s overview and scrutiny management commission was expected in February or March.
He said: “Everybody involved is keen to do a proper job on this... we will get to the bottom of it.
“I am comfortable that we will have a complete answer.”
But when asked whether witnesses no longer at the council would be interviewed he said “We can’t compel them to turn up.
“Without a doubt there are some players who are no longer around... I have no doubt that some of them we will be able to retrieve.”