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Missing money probe call

PUBLISHED: 12:15 09 September 2008 | UPDATED: 21:14 05 July 2010

A leading councillor is refusing to give up on finding out where £38,000 of missing taxpayers' cash ended up.

Malcolm Cherry, leader of the opposition Labour group at Waveney District Council, said he wanted further investigations into the disappearance of the cash.

A leading councillor is refusing to give up on finding out where £38,000 of missing taxpayers' cash ended up.

Malcolm Cherry, leader of the opposition Labour group at Waveney District Council, said he wanted further investigations into the disappearance of the cash.

Mr Cherry, who also chairs the authority's overview and scrutiny committee, insisted it was important to search for answers even though the council has written off the money and police were unable to discover any wrongdoing.

Mr Cherry said: “We are considering sending it to the audit and risk management committee to give them the opportunity to find out where the money is. It is a serious matter. It is a rather large amount of money. I know there are people who are not prepared to let it lie.”

The matter was raised at a meeting of the scrutiny committee last week amid concerns the missing money would have a serious impact on Waveney' already overstretched budgets.

It was revealed earlier this year that records showed £37,583.31 that should have been paid into the council's bank account in 2003 was never deposited.

Suffolk police said the money had been handled after it left the council by un-named organisations, which no longer held paperwork dating back to 2003.

Chris Punt, the council's portfolio holder for performance, said: “I approved the write-off because nothing else could be done to find it. If they can find it then we'll take it back, but I don't think they will. The police were involved, but said there was nothing much they could do.

“There is quite a healthy provision for bad debt. It won't affect the general fund balances in the future. It won't affect this year's budget or future budgets.”

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