FACT investigation: Cambs County Council urged to suspend contract with FACT but thorough review will now take place

PUBLISHED: 16:40 31 July 2018 | UPDATED: 16:41 31 July 2018

FACT, HACT and ESACT report from Shire Hall on Tuesday, July 31. Picture: HARRY RUTTER / Archant 2018

FACT, HACT and ESACT report from Shire Hall on Tuesday, July 31. Picture: HARRY RUTTER / Archant 2018

HARRY RUTTER

Council bosses were urged to suspend their contract with FACT this afternoon but the audit committee said they would come to a "legal decision" and leave "no stone unturned".

Editor John Elworthy addressed the audit committee on Tuesday and in a hard hitting speech called for Mrs Philpott and the board to go.  Picture: HARRY RUTTER / Archant 2018Editor John Elworthy addressed the audit committee on Tuesday and in a hard hitting speech called for Mrs Philpott and the board to go. Picture: HARRY RUTTER / Archant 2018

However, manager of FACT Jo Philpott said they had listened “incorrect facts” throughout the meeting - also adding that she had not forged any signatures on grant applications.

Cambs Times editor, John Elworthy, quizzed the committee and called for the council to suspend their contract with FACT immediately.

“Leadership and management at [FACT] have shown a blatant disregard for honesty and integrity.

“This has been accident and error prone.”

FACT, HACT and ESACT report from Shire Hall on Tuesday, July 31. Picture: HARRY RUTTER / Archant 2018FACT, HACT and ESACT report from Shire Hall on Tuesday, July 31. Picture: HARRY RUTTER / Archant 2018

In response, Gillian Beasley, chief executive, said: “We have to make decisions that are legal and we will go through a process to make a judgement on where we will go from here.

“Community transport is very important in this area and we will continue to do what we can.”

Investigators PFK say that their report costs currently stand at £170,000.

Cllr Chris Boden, who sits on the audit committee called for a thorough review in six months time to check that actions had been completed.

FACT, HACT and ESACT report from Shire Hall on Tuesday, July 31. Picture: HARRY RUTTER / Archant 2018FACT, HACT and ESACT report from Shire Hall on Tuesday, July 31. Picture: HARRY RUTTER / Archant 2018

He added that “no stone will be left unturned”.

Chair Cllr Michael Shellins said that an interim review of the final report will take place in three months.

Speaking at the conclusion of today’s meeting, Ms Philpott, who has overseen FACT for the past few years, said: “We have listened to incorrect facts. We have done other work to fund and address any losses made.

“The committee should consider and care about our passengers like we do - and for the record I have not forged a signature on anything.”

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