“The report should be published. Not to do so would be a disgrace” says Elisa Meschini

There has been much speculation about the tenancy of the council-owned Manor Farm in Girton. The tenant was Conservative deputy leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, Roger Hickford. He resigned his position and seat last week after an independent audit report into the tenancy was finally released to Council leader Steve Count.

Given the seriousness of the allegations concerning the awarding of the tenancy to Mr Hickford, questions have been raised over why Mr Count and the Conservative group have been content to allow Mr Hickford to remain in his position as deputy leader throughout this time.

Tomorrow the County Council’s Audit committee meets to review the long-awaited report that examines how the tenancy was awarded and other matters such as the £183000 extension to the property.

The audit committee will make the important decision whether to make the report public.

Elisa Meschini, Labour Group leader on the County said

“The situation has been dreadfully mismanaged by Tories as it should have been obvious that there was a conflict of interest.

“Given all the controversy surrounding what has been dubbed FarmGate, it would be best to clear things up and publish the report. Then the public can judge for themselves.

“If Audits and Accounts choose NOT to publish the report on this issue at their meeting tomorrow it will be truly disgraceful.

“Labour doesn’t have a seat on the audit committee so we can’t be part of the decision. 

“We’re calling on the committee to do the right thing for transparency and let the council tax payers know what’s happened

“If there’s nothing to hide, why hide the report?

“As ex-Councillor Hickford appears to be trying to blame incompetence in his own administration, then we definitely need so see what the audit report has to say about what really happened.”

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