Wednesday 5 February 2014

Brent Lib Dems back calls for police to resume Kensal Rise fraud investigation

 Liberal Democrat council group leader Paul Lorber has written to the City of London Police Commissioner, Adrian Leppard , about the failure to pursue the apparently fraudulent emails submitted to Brent Council in support of plans to demolish Kensal Rise Library.

The City of London Police is the lead police force on fraud and works with the National Fraud Authority to deliver the fraud reporting centre Action Fraud, to which the original complaint was directed.

Councillor Lorber said:

“It is in everyone’s interest that attempts to corrupt the planning process are challenged – so we need the truth about these dodgy emails.

“This whole sorry saga – with the all public money it is costing – would never have happened if Labour councillors had not closed Kensal Rise library and then acted to ensure the transfer of the building to All Souls College.

“Brent Council should have kept a community library at Kensal Rise by working with library volunteers and campaigners, as Liberal Democrats said at the time. This would have protected the library from falling into the hands of All Souls College and developers.”

This is the text of Councillor Lorber’s letter to the Police Commissioner:
Dear Commissioner,

As you know, most planning decisions in London are the responsibility of borough councils. These issues are often sensitive and controversial and generate a great deal of interest from the public. It is very important that the process both is and is seen to be open and free from abuse.

If anyone attempts to corrupt the process it is essential that they are taken to task.

It is clear that an abuse of the process happened in the case of the application relating to the Kensal Rise Library building (Brent Council reference 13/2058). Brent Council has gathered evidence and presented it to the police, via Action Fraud, for investigation.

It has been suggested that the police have decided not to take further action because of lack of resources or because this is not their priority.

If so, I consider that this is a wrong decision. Neither local councils nor the police work in isolation. We need to support each other to uphold the law and to eliminate abuses which undermine public confidence in our systems and institutions.

I urge you therefore to ensure that the investigation into the Kensal Rise planning application case is concluded and appropriate action taken.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Councillor Paul Lorber

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