Thursday, March 02, 2017

Rutland County Council Response Oakham Town Council Oakham Town Partnership FOI Hawksmead Payment

I find it astonishing and unacceptable that meeting to discuss OTC money was kept
from the Council and Clerk since 2014 upto the date OTC fortunately received the
money in its accounts in 2016.

Fortunate because no fraud was committed if the money as the Clerk was told
had been paid to the Partnership as he was told was meant to happen then
a fraud would have been committed.

The police have asked that RCC's monitoring officer conducts an investigation
into Oakham Town Councillors Conduct.

The first I can see who has failed is our current Chairman Cllr Adam Lowe
but as he is a Tory member I doubt if there will ever be an investigation
and the others involved in what appears to be a case of attempted fraud
and possible deception of the Town Council and Rutland County Council
are no longer Councillors.

I am pleased we have the money and do not support any involvement
of the Town Partnership when we decide how this money should be spent.




FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST – 195/17

Dear Sir/Madam

Your request for information has now been considered and the information requested is provided below.

Request/Response:

1. Please can Rutland County Council supply the full names of any Oakham Town Councillors who attended meetings with Rutland County Council and Oakham Town Partnership to discuss and agree how the Hawksmead £62,586.50 should be spent.

Answer:

Meeting of 16th February 2016 .  In attendance: Alf Dewis (Oakham Town Council /Oakham Town Partnership) along with representatives from Oakham Town Partnership regarding proposed management arrangement, potential self-employment status and a draft job description for Town Centre Manager. (Discussion only, not minuted by Rutland County Council)

2. Please can Rutland County Council supply the full names of any Oakham Town Councillors who attended meetings with Rutland County Council and Oakham Town Partnership before and up to the employment of the Town Centre Manager in July 2016.

Answer:

Meeting of 15 May 2014. Held at Rutland County Council - In attendance  Alf Dewis (representing Oakham Town Partnership ), Jayne Woodcock (representing Oakham Town Council along with representatives from Rutland County Council, Uppingham Town Council and Uppingham First regarding all Section 106 payments due to Rutland County Council for town centre management/town centre improvements in both Uppingham and Oakham.
(Minutes provided with FOI response.) Enclosure 1

Meeting of 10th October 2014. Held at Rutland County Council – In attendance: Alf Dewis (Oakham Town Council /Oakham Town Partnership), Adam Lowe (Oakham Town Council) to advise Rutland County Council about a Joint Working Group (JWG) formed between Oakham Town Partnership and Oakham Town Council . Terms of Reference for the JWG agreed at an Oakham Town Partnership / Oakham Town Council meeting held on 27th October 2014
(Discussion only ,not minuted by Rutland County Council)


Meeting of 24th November 2014 Held at Whipper Inn, Oakham and organised by
and with representatives from Oakham Town Partnership and Oakham Town Council, Rutland County Council invited to attend.

Meeting of 5th February 2015 Held at Rutland County Council – In attendance: Alf Dewis (Oakham Town Council /Oakham Town Partnership) , Jayne Woodcock (Oakham Town Council) to discuss drafting on a ‘Future of Town Centre Management Paper’. (Discussion only, not minuted by Rutland County Council)

Meeting of 9th May 2016 at Rutland County Council offices – In attendance: Michael Haley (Oakham Town Council), Michael Elliot (Oakham Town Council) from the Oakham Town Council Finance Working Group met as part of the Oakham Town Council Finance Working Group review into the £62.5K payment to Oakham Town Council. (Not attended by Oakham Town Partnership). (Discussion only ,not minuted by Rutland County Council)

3. Please can Rutland County Council provide me with copies of all agreement documents made between Rutland County Council, Oakham Town Council and Oakham Town Partnership for the Hawksmead 106 payment and the appointment of the Town Centre Manager.

Answer: Documents provided: Enclosure 2

Letter to Oakham Town Council dated 10.11.2016
755323-Supplemental Agreement relating to Land North of Oakham.

4. Please can Rutland County Council supply copies of all correspondence, emails, letters and notes sent from Rutland County Council to Oakham Town Councillors and staff about the Hawksmead 106 contribution of £62,586.50 and the appointment of a town centre manager.

Answer: Documents provided :

Letter to Oakham Town Council dated 10.11.2016 Enclosure 3
75523-Supplemental Agreement Relating to Land North of Oakham Rutland (attached to the letter referred above)
Emails Enclosure 4

5. Please can Rutland County Council supply copies of all correspondence, emails, letters and notes sent to and received by Rutland County Council from Oakham Town Councillors and staff about the Hawksmead 106 contribution of £62,586.50 and the appointment of a town centre manager.

Answer: Documents provided :

Letters from Oakham Town Council Acting Clerk dated 25.08.2016 and 4.10.2016
Enclosure 5
Emails Enclosure 4

 In addition and by way of background information we have provided the:

Hawksmead Agreement dated 21.09.2016 Enclosure 6
RCC Council report No 1732015 (also available on RCC website) discussed at the Council Meeting held on 14.09.2015 Enclosure 7

You are free to use any documents supplied for your own use, including for non-commercial research purposes. The documents may also be used for news reporting. However, any other type of re-use, for example by publishing the documents or issuing copies to the public will require the permission of the copyright owner, where copyright exists. Such a request would be considered separately in accordance with the relevant Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005 and is not automatic. Therefore, no permission is implied in the re-use of this information, until such a request to re-use it has been made and agreed, subject to any appropriate conditions. Any request to re-use the information should be made to me at the address below.  

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request please contact the Head of Corporate Governance, Rutland County Council, Catmose, Oakham, Rutland LE15 6HP
You can also complain to the Information Commissioner at:

The Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House, Water lane
Wilmslow, Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Tel: 01625 545700

Yours faithfully

FOI Administrator
Corporate Support Team, Rutland County Council




Dear Oakham Town Council
 
Today I have received a full response from RCC to my FOI
 
The response is public and will I guess be published on RCC's own website.
 
The response highlights a serious failing by our Chairman Adam Lowe 
 
Meeting of 10th October 2014. Held at Rutland County Council – In attendance: Alf Dewis (Oakham Town Council /Oakham Town Partnership), Adam Lowe (Oakham Town Council) to advise Rutland County Council about a Joint Working Group (JWG) formed between Oakham Town Partnership and Oakham Town Council . Terms of Reference for the JWG agreed at an Oakham Town Partnership / Oakham Town Council meeting held on 27th October 2014
(Discussion only ,not minuted by Rutland County Council)

No working group was formally set up by Oakham Town Council, Cllr Adam Lowe told me in a recent phone call that he did 
attend this meeting and that the OTP being Cllr Alf Dewis and Cllr Terry King had already decided on how all the money would 
be spent and he did not attend anymore meetings.
The big question is why he made no reports to the Council regarding this matter.

It would appear Cllr Adam Lowe was brought into the fold at a later time than other members of the council
and he did not like what he saw and heard. At this stage he should in my opinion notified the clerk or the council
of what he had heard or seen.
It would seem the first meeting regarding the first formal meeting relating to the money was in May 2015 and attended 
By Cllr Alf Dewis and Cllr Jayne Woodcock both members members failed to notify the council of this possible funding.


Meeting of 15 May 2014. Held at Rutland County Council - In attendance Alf Dewis (representing Oakham Town Partnership ), Jayne Woodcock (representing Oakham Town Council along with representatives from Rutland County Council, Uppingham Town Council and Uppingham First regarding all Section 106 payments due to Rutland County Council for town centre management/town centre improvements in both Uppingham and Oakham.
(Minutes provided with FOI response.) Enclosure 1
There were many meeting attended by Cllrs Alf Dewis and Woodcock and this time it appears Cllr Lowe is telling the truth 
as it appears he did only attend the one meeting.

The big questiion is why did the former chairman of Oakham Town Council and Registered director of the Town Partnership
and former Oakham Town Council Chairman J Woodcock and the current Chairman Adam Lowe never notify the council
of these meetings and the intention of the town partnership to obtain money meant for Oakham Town Council.
When the money was paid to OTC the Clerk had no knowledge of the money or the reason RCC sent it and 
it was assumed it was sent in error.
Cllr Michael Haley is named in the response he attended one meeting which Oakham Town Council was aware
of after it received the payment.
If a RCC staff member had not paid the money to OTC we may never of known it was meant for us.
I will be reading and publishing all the documents soon. I understand the same will be available via RCC website.

http://www.rutland.gov.uk/council_and_democracy/open_data_including_foi__dat/freedom_of_information.aspx


I personally think the Chairman Adam Lowe should resign because this is not the first time he has not
reported a serious issue to council and he supported very publicly the unlawful conduct of the former
chairman Alf Dewis stating what was found by Grant Thorton was just a little mistake. Does he 
wish to make the same comment about the Hawksmead Larkfleet Money?


From


Martin Brookes

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