William Eichler 02 February 2024

Council officer hands police file on £1m pay-outs

Council officer hands police file on £1m pay-outs   image
Image: John Gomez / Shutterstock.com.

A file relating to allegedly unlawful exit payments to managers at Northumberland County Council has been handed to police, Northumbria Police has confirmed.

Last July, a review of six severance payments totalling more than £1m made by Northumberland CC to senior officers were declared ‘unlawful’ by the council’s section 151 officer.

Jan Willis found the payments, which were made between May 2017 and May 2022, were ‘not subject to scrutiny’ or approval by councillors.

In November, the matter was referred to the police.

On Wednesday, monitoring officer Stephen Gerrard informed the council’s audit committee that he has provided the police with a ‘substantial file’ for consideration and said it would be ‘inappropriate’ to elaborate any further.

A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: ‘We can confirm we received correspondence from Northumberland County Council on January 25. We are currently reviewing that material.’

The council has been contacted for comment.

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