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Orders of the Day — Local Government Finance

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:50 pm on 1st February 1995.

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Photo of Frank Dobson Frank Dobson Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Shadow Minister (Culture, Media and Sport) 5:50 pm, 1st February 1995

No.

Thirdly, it is to make up for money lost by that Tory council deliberately by fraud, incompetence and corruption. Everyone in the country now knows that Westminster council is being done by the district auditor for the "homes for votes" scandal in which £21 million has been lost, but there has been a more recent revelation.

The Secretary of State said that he did not deal with figures unless they came from the auditor. These figures are from the auditor—Westminster's internal auditor—who says that the council lost £30 million by not collecting service charges, management charges and the cost of repairs to flats and houses that it sold. That cannot simply be forgotten, as it did not happen by accident. It was deliberate, and the papers show that the council ignored legal advice and kept the facts from committees and the public. That is why the Labour party is calling for a special audit of Westminster city council. I now challenge the Secretary of State to order a special audit of—