William Eichler 11 September 2018

Northants council-owned company spends ‘thousands’ on luxury events

An investigation has been launched after it was revealed a company belonging to cash-strapped Northamptonshire CC spent ‘thousands’ on luxury events.

An internal audit launched in 2017 after a whistle-blower raised concerns reportedly found that NEA Properties paid thousands for a rugby club hospitality box and a vintage bomber flypast.

Northamptonshire County Council is facing a potential budget shortfall of £60m-70m and has had to issue two Section 114 notices this year.

The council-owned limited company paid £3,624 on a flypast at a memorial event in May 2015 and spent £80,000 with the rugby club Northampton Saints, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

NEA Properties also spent £2,700 on a heritage dinner with string quartet and £250 on cheese and biscuits at a stately home event.

There will now be an external review of NEA Properties.

A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said: ‘An independent, external review into NEA Properties has been commissioned by the council.

‘As such we are not in a position to comment any further on this matter until we receive the outcomes and findings of this review.’

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