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London Road inquiry to carry on into next year

"I am comfortable we will have a complete answer"

John Herring

John Herring


01635 886633

Request to see LRIE email exchanges refused by council

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.” 

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Article comments

  • NewburyLad

    04/11/2019 - 07:11

    Another good reason why we should leave the EU - Why should the EU have *any* say on who is chosen to be developer. British law should be the only laws applicable to UK issues.


    • Bored of registering

      04/11/2019 - 17:30

      The EU does not dictate whom the contract would go to, however it does lay down protocol which must be followed which is in fact in the best interests of the buyer and the wider community. Or would you rather they gave the contract to someone who was not the best contractor for the role? that damn EU and their rules ensuring we as the consumers get a good deal when it comes to public procurement!!


    • NoisyNortherner

      04/11/2019 - 09:57

      And yet your man Johnson is more than happy to try and bypass Parliament when it suits him. Which is it? Sovereignty for the bodies which govern the UK? Or is that the same as every other justification for Brexit; a load of codswallop?


      • NewburyLad

        04/11/2019 - 10:30

        1. He's not my man and 2. He didn't get away bypassing anything. 3. His "brexit" isn't brexit.


        • NoisyNortherner

          04/11/2019 - 10:33

          1. Ok fair point. Assumption on my part. 2. The very fact that he tried so brazenly to get away with it is bad enough. 3. Ah, a "no true Brexit" type are you? So now that the sovereign UK parliament has deemed No Deal illegal, what would your plan be?