Auditors and police will meet before report into council's handling of £10.25m Northampton Town is published

The compilers of an internal review looking at the way Northampton Borough Council handled the £10.25 million loan to the Cobblers will meet with police before publishing their report.

Saturday, 27th August 2016, 6:00 am
Northampton Borough Council loaned the Cobblers £10.25m through 2013 and 2014 for a stadium revamp. However the East Stand project failed. Inquiries were launched as to how that happened in January.

Pricewaterhouse Cooper (PWC) was appointed to carry out a study of the borough’s handling of the loan in January, amid calls from the public to find out what happened to the money.

The internal auditors say they have now compiled a draft report, which has been discussed with the chief executive of the council David Kennedy, its leader Councillor Mary Markham and deputy leader Councillor Jonathan Nunn, as well as its monitoring officer and chief finance officer.

In an update to the council’s audit committee, PWC says the final report is close to completion.

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“The fieldwork is complete and we have drafted the report,” papers sent to the audit committee by PWC say.

“We have met with the chief executive, leader, deputy leader, monitoring officer and section 151 officer on August 12 to review the factual accuracy of our findings.

“We are in the process of updating the report before it is shared with the audit committee.

“Northamptonshire Police have requested a meeting to discuss our findings and we will seek to finalise the report as soon as possible. Once the report is finalised, we understand that a specially convened audit committee is likely to be held to share the findings of the report.”

A team of three investigators for PWC have scoured minutes of council meetings, emails and other relevant documents to “understand the rationale behind the agreement” to loan Northampton Town the funds through 2013 and 2014.

Its remit was to look at whether the council had an effective business case in place before deciding to grant the League Two side the funds.

The firm has also looked into the wording of the loan agreement itself and all other documents “produced to support the decision to make financing available to the football club”.