Nottingham

Probe into council home allocation dropped

An investigation into the improper allocation of council homes in Nottingham has been dropped, the city council said.

It was looking into how some tenants were allegedly given properties because they knew council officers.

The council said it spent £100,000 on the inquiry but there was not enough evidence to warrant further action.

Lib Dem city councillor Tony Sutton described the decision to halt the inquiry is a whitewash.

Mr Sutton said there had not been a full and proper investigation into the accusations made in 2005.

But the city council said the police had investigated the matter and said the evidence did not justify taking criminal proceedings.

'Robust approach'

The city's investigation started after the Audit Commission found that hundreds of Nottingham council homes were not allocated fairly.

The city council had promised that anyone found guilty could lose their homes; and that officials might lose their jobs.

But the council said the matter was now closed.

Nottingham City Council's Chief Executive Jane Todd said: "We are disappointed and frustrated that we cannot, having regard to the costs involved, take these matters further, despite pursuing all legal channels open to us, spending over £100,000 in legal costs and taking it forward with the police."

She said the district auditor said she was "satisfied that we have taken a robust approach".

She added that the systems that failed between 2003 and 2005 have been completely overhauled.

An Audit Commission report said Nottingham's housing service was not consistently operating in the public's best interests between 2003 and 2005 when there were "failings in the culture, systems and management".

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