The Missing Cheque(s) Saga of URPC

At the last URPC meeting the URPC Chairman answered the question relating to the  missing cheques (listen to the Audio Minutes at around minute 55). He said they were in relation to the Parish Clerks employment termination, without any further explanation. As a consequence I would like to know the amounts involved? I will ask the financial auditor, Grant Thornton for the details and I suggest others do.

Also, last week the payment initially published to CLR Law has now disappeared – cheque number 100257?  

Also, surprised that the Acting Clerk spends so much on expenses, so quickly.

Finally, I notice Debbie Hill was paid for the whole of June when in fact her employment ceased much earlier in the month, what is going on? 

I do not like my precept deductions paying unaccountable sums and therefore show complete lack of confidence in this Parish Council.

The table below is an amalgamation of the two Appendix tables published by the Parish Council and subsequently changed and is listed in Cheque number format. Link to Table

I have also included URPC Financial Regulations-Dec 2016 for your reference and they do not adhere to their own policy.

37 thoughts on “The Missing Cheque(s) Saga of URPC

  1. The chairman stated at the meeting that cheques 100210 -100234 had all been destroyed/cancelled many of which had been posted on the URPC website previously.

  2. I am glad it is not only me that is concerned about recent payments being made out of our precept money and missing off the payments list.

    I also noticed that chq no 100257 for £300 to CLR Law was no longer on the payments list. So I have asked the clerk why it was on, then now off the payments list and the reason given was she inadvertently made an error and corrected it when the error was realised. What does that mean?

    I am not happy with the explanation, as the cheque has been written, it’s obviously something to do with our clerk leaving as CLR Law is a firm specialising in employment law, so why is it not on the payments list for this month as Debbie left in June.

    And why has Debbie been paid for the whole of June if she left halfway through? If Cllr Hanks said the missing cheques were to do with the Debbie’s employment termination, why are they not on the payments list either? And just exactly how much of our precept money has been spent on the clerk’s termination??? It’s all very mysterious.

    I am not at all happy with them paying out thousands of pounds of our precept money to get rid of a perfectly good clerk when they won’t use precept money to sort out parish trees that are causing a problem for residents!

  3. Debbie left at the end of June. The dates were reported differently for other reasons like avoiding an election as there were 7 candidates for co-option and this is why both Nigel Moor and Mark Mckensie Charrington stated that they believed the election to be null and void! There will never be a truthful explanation but all should be revealed by the auditors, by the external ones if not the internal one! Watch this space.

  4. Well by now we all have worked out that Debbie left under what is called a Compromise Agreement, where the Parish Council have paid off Debbie to leave, as the bullying didn’t work.

    What PC meeting was this agreed at?
    Who agreed to the settlement amount?
    Who agreed to employ an HR consultant?

    1. Some great points:

      What PC meeting was this agreed at? I would think their secret meetings.

      Who agreed to the settlement amount? Councillor consultations with their HR advisor.

      Who agreed to employ an HR consultant? Another private meeting for all councillors.

      But ultimately all councillors – which means Brian Hanks, David Arnold and Dawn Laird.

      A very sordid affair indeed.

      1. Looking through the few PC meetings that actually took place, the time line doesn’t seem to fit with what decisions must have been made. Draw your own conclusions on that 😮

  5. Sordid indeed but supported by CDC as they believe everything was done according to the rules? Others have now signed up to perpetuate this nightmare!

    1. If more have joined all I can say is that they are foolish and don’t realise what they are geeing into. OK, so more fun at council meetings, until they resign. How sad?

      But please send https://www.grantthornton.com an email explaining the cheque situation before they complete their audit.

      1. What happened to Martin’s comments? Have they too been taken down now he’s signed his co-option papers? Interesting change of direction overnight?

  6. Well I just had to google what a compromise agreement was!

    "You must take independent legal advice from a lawyer on the agreement for it be valid and your employer will normally pay for the cost of this."

    So that explains the cheque for £300 to CLR Law! A lawyer for the clerk as URPC paid for her independent legal advice!

    Which begs the question, just exactly how much of our parish precept has been spent on the clerk’s compensation pay off as apparently the average is £10,000!

    1. Having been involved in a Compromise Agreement, the actual pay off depends on your particular circumstances, so an average is a bit miss-leading. The Clerk’s lawyer should have be independent of the Parish Council and the one they would have used for their side of the Compromise Agreement.

  7. Karen, your estimate is high but nevertheless it will be revealed eventually! It was a lot more complicated as they gagged her too so she will, not be able to divulge what was going on behind the facade! In addition the facts in hindsight tell us that even she did not know what they were upto either! The co-option process was flawed so litigation is the only option given that letter from Nigel Adams that is circulating today! Given what else is posted here I still do not see why people consult him?

      1. Well ok £10,000 is high, but there are compromise agreement calculators on the web and they say £5000 for someone who was paid the same as our clerk and worked for 2 years and her age. £5000!!!!!! How can they do this when they nit pick over maintaining trees and bits of grass that cost no where near that amount!

        I have just looked at Jerry’s list with the missing cheques. There are 4 missing. So now we know what one of them is for, just the amount we don’t know, but if it is anywhere near that calculator amount that is a disgrace using our precept money to pay off a perfectly good clerk!

        1. My guess would be 3 to 6 months pay but closer to the 3 month side + any holiday owing + the last month Debbie worked but I guess some of that will have been on ‘garden leave’.

          Two cheques would be paying off the lawyers for both parties!
          And don’t forget the HR consultant they employed as well.

          1. They haven’t hid the HR consultant payments. The National Audit link I posted earlier explains what we can do as the public. I have also asked the auditors to take note and I have had an affirmative that they will.

  8. Only 4 cheques not accounted for? Uhmm ? Where are cheques 100210 -100234 because BH said they were destroyed but they were not unless they destroyed them to hide something after they posted and took them off the website! I do know that Debbie received a few cheques! She took the easy option out in the end! Nevertheless those monies were hidden from the public!

  9. There is agreeing and being pushed into something.

    I’m sure we are being treated as dim witts but we all cannot be wrong.

    The past and present are leading to all the unrest in the community.

    The way this community has gone through clerks we will never get anyone to apply knowing what we know and have seen of late.

  10. For this Parish Council Meeting (31st July) we have yet another version of the payments list. This time without cheque numbers, why does the acting clerk want to hide payments from the public?

    Here is the new list, but without CLR Law payment.

    Retrospective Payments List – 31 July 2017 – Appendix 2.1
    Payments List – 31 July 2017 – Appendix 2.2
    MISSING Payment List – 12 July 2017 – Appendix 2.3 MISSING “Confidential” 🙂

    These are the previous payment lists (also the appendix numbering is flawed):

    Payments List – 12 July 2017 – Appendix 2.1
    Payments List – 12 July 2017 – Appendix 2.3

  11. Has anyone managed to see the cheque books relating to these cheques, plus accounts?

    The meeting on Monday clearly said we do not a FOI request. It can be done by a visit to the office, suggest we start the line now. I will also ask what Grant Thornton has to say about their unethical methods.

  12. Do not forget to query the conflicts of interest as well as the unauthorised expenditures. Still concerned about that unused £180k when the village is looking so scruffy?

  13. I have asked numerous times to see the Cheque Book and Accounts – NOTHING. I have to ask what is the clerk doing? After Mondays meeting Nigel Adams made it very clear we were entitled to see the information.

    However, URPC defy CDC, as they know better. Or are they scarred that we will see the truth, in how they squandered £1000’s eliminating the only person who knew the real truth about them Debbie Hill.

  14. Just had two extremely long e-mails from the Acting Clerk, all saying that URPC wrote two cheques but that they cannot reveal the amount to the public. These are clearly all to do with the Clerk. Very sad day when in a small village this is so.

    In consequence I do not trust the Acting Clerk or for that matter the Chairman t run our village precept.

    I wonder what the auditors reaction to all this will be?

    1. So this now means the council can have closed session and pay anyone they like without the public knowing Could they pay themselves and we don’t know?

      I don’t think so

      I now want to see ALL quotes for works carried out this council has lost trust.

      Stop making your own rules regulation and stop pretending you know what your doing.

      Where public money is concerned it all has to be available to see

  15. Folks, the Chairman is a member of the professions and as such you do have the option to report him directly! If not for what appears to be illegally handling public money, charges of irresponsible behaviour in public office and negligence for NOT handling the finances himself as a professional could be charged but best raise this with GT first for clarity.

    1. Just responded to the ACTING CLERK, who along with the Chairman authorised spending a large amount of money and then choose to hide the amount from the public. I may publish the letter, but really want to avoid this.

  16. Just send it to GT, copy Nigel Adams and that way no one can claim they were not aware? that is the latest trick of their trade! Playing Nelson!!!!

  17. Toxicmike, Email sent to ALL councillors, including the extras. The acting clerk, is doing a great cover up job, but it will bite her. Yes, she has a huge conflict of interest on this one.

  18. In correspondence with Cllr Laird she says the following:

    The question of cheques numbers no longer being published on the payments list has previously been addressed, but for clarity I will address one further time: I was advised not to include cheque numbers as this posed a security risk to the bank account. I would like to assure you, the Council, otherwise, continues to report payments is the usual fashion.

    Unfortunately Cllr Laird has never published the source document as requested by Nigel Adams or myself, after numerous requests. Nigel Adams (CDC) has also requested this source to be published on the URPC website, which to date has not happened. This is the problem – no source.

  19. What is Nigel Adams doing about this, nothing, so CDC is complicit in this mess! Time to raise the stakes a notch or two!

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