Parish council hires private investigators

MYSTERY surrounds a 
decision by Holbeach Parish Council to pay out almost £1,200 on a firm of private investigators.

The revelation emerged at a meeting last week where members were asked why £1,185 was paid to Nottingham-based 
Morcliff Securities.

Holbeach resident Paul Poll posed the question during the meeting’s public forum after spotting the entry on the council’s 2011-12 accounts.

Mr Poll said: “I saw an advert on the parish council’s noticeboard which said their accounts could be looked at.

“I made an appointment with the clerk to look at the books and I went to her office to see them last month.

“There was a large amount shown as paid to Morcliff Securities, but I didn’t know at the time what it meant.”

Mr Poll added that he was not satisfied with the council’s response that it was looking into the matter and called on members to “come clean” about what the payment relates to.

He said: “It’s ongoing and we’ll have a proper answer out of them sooner or later, but the sooner the better.

“This council has to come clean about a lot of its actions and why it’s withholding information that we as the public are entitled to know.”

Council chairman Peter Savory said: “I can’t shed any light on it because I don’t know the answer yet.

“It’s something that was picked up while the council was being audited and we’re looking into it.

“It takes time to look into things like this and it’s very hard to speculate.

“It could be part of something else that we’ve agreed but I don’t think it’s anything to do with our present councillors.

“Our first priority is to answer the auditors but until we’ve got all the answers, I can’t say anything.

“Hopefully, we’ll have an answer in due course and if it’s something we’re able to make public, we’ll do it.”

The Lincolnshire Free Press approached Morcliff Securities for a comment but none was forthcoming at the time of going to press.