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Council makes two more referrals to police including one over land acquisition

Cheshire East Council has confirmed that it referred two matters to the police last month, including one which relates to the acquisition of land.

The local authority is reported to have previously referred four other matters to the police.

In a statement the council’s acting chief executive, Kath O’Dwyer, said: “As a result of targeted and risk-assessed audit work, undertaken over the last couple of months, I can confirm that I referred two further matters to Cheshire police on 26 February. The police are currently undertaking an initial assessment of these matters, in order to determine whether an investigation is required.

“One of the matters referred to the constabulary relates to the acquisition of land at Cledford Lane, which was subsequently used to provide the Cledford environmental hub project.

“In December 2017, council resolved that a report to clarify certain points raised as a notice of motion by elected members, in relation to the Cheshire East environmental hub project, would be presented to cabinet. We had intended to bring such a report to cabinet in March 2018.

“However, because the police are now considering whether any criminal offences have been committed in that matter, I am not in a position to bring forward the report as planned.”

O’Dwyer said it had been agreed with the police that the council would not name the second matter until such time that the police have determined whether or not they will be formally investigating the matter.

She added: “We stated last year that we would endeavour to ensure that any historical matters of concern are fully explored and appropriate action taken on our findings. To this end, we have embarked over the last few months upon a targeted and risk-assessed programme of audit in relation to specific land sales and acquisitions. This has resulted in these two referrals to the police, outlined above.”

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