Corby council takes action over Cube overspend mistakes

Corby Cube houses council offices, a library, theatre and a register office

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Action to prevent a repeat in the future of the multi-million-pound overspend on the Cube project in Corby is set to be backed by councillors.

The Cube building was originally supposed to cost about £35m, but ended up costing £47m.

An audit report said oversight at critical points was insufficient and financial management was poor.

Corby Council is being recommended to strengthen scrutiny and financial management at a full meeting later.

The Cube building houses council offices, a library, theatre and a register office.

These are the Cube civic offices, Kingswood estate, Rockingham Triangle sports complex and St James land sale.

Review whistle-blowing

Consultants KPMG, which was asked to produce a report by the Audit Commission, said arrangements obscured who should make key decisions, oversight at critical points was insufficient, project and financial management was poor.

It says land at St James was sold for considerably less than the best price.

KPMG concluded the council may have breached its statutory obligations.

A report to a full meeting of the council calls on councillors to back 18 key recommendations of the report.

These include strengthening the contribution of councillors to regeneration plans and ensuring decisions are properly recorded in council minutes.

It also calls for a review of whistle-blowing arrangements to "ensure staff feel confident to use them".

The report also calls for a review of arrangements for assessing financial risk, including the early involvement of finance staff.

It says that many of the recommendations have already been acted upon.

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