Northampton

Northamptonshire County Council: MP's questions over council-owned firm

Valerie Vaz Image copyright PArliament Live
Image caption MP Valerie Vaz raised questions over NEA Properties at the House of Commons

Questions have been asked in Parliament after a company owned by cash-strapped Northamptonshire County Council bought a rugby hospitality box.

NEA Properties spent more than £1.5m on unspecified "projects" over a 10-year period without external checks.

Valerie Vaz MP has raised the issue twice in the House of Commons in consecutive weeks.

The company is currently the subject of an independent investigation commissioned by the council.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption NEA Properties spent more than £1.5m on unspecified "projects", including a rugby hospitality box

NEA Properties spent money for the use of a 16-person hospitality box at Premiership rugby union side Northampton Saints.

Ms Vaz, Walsall South MP and shadow Leader of the House, made her intervention in Parliament following a joint investigation into NEA Properties by the BBC and Local Democracy Reporting Service.

On Thursday, she accused the Leader of the House and South Northamptonshire Conservative MP Andrea Leadsom of not answering her previous question.

She told the Commons: "Last week I asked about Northamptonshire County Council-owned NEA Properties.

"The Leader of the House again did not answer the question and say what happened to £1.5m of public money spent on unspecified projects.

"Will she ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to update the House?"

Mrs Leadsom had said it was "an issue I am incredibly concerned about".

Image caption Northamptonshire County Council has commissioned an investigation into NEA Properties

NEA Properties was dissolved in January 2018 and had been run by two Conservative councillors - Andre Gonzalez De Savage and Bill Parker.

In August it was revealed the company had purchased a string of luxuries, including a £2,700 heritage dinner with a string quartet and hiring a vintage World War Two bomber for a flypast.

The inquiry into NEA Properties is expected to be completed in the next few weeks.

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