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Police hand file on council contract to prosecutors

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Officers investigating a contract awarded by Cheshire East Council have sent a file to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Cheshire East leader Rachel Bailey (Con) said: “Cheshire police have informed us that the investigation into the historical awarding of a contract by Cheshire East Council has concluded and a file has been submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service.

“The investigation has taken some time but it is good to know that this matter has progressed and is now closer to resolution.

“We continue to liaise and cooperate with the police on other matters that we have referred to them – air quality monitoring, land purchases and making a grant to Berkeley Academy.” No details have been provided of the contract in the CPS file.

In March Cheshire East called in police to probe two further allegations, potentially taking the total number of investigations to six.

Acting chief executive Kath O’Dwyer said at the time that one of these new investigations involved acquisition of land subsequently used to provide the council’s Cledford environmental hub project, while she declined to disclose details of the other.

Police are also investigating allegations that Cheshire East manipulated air quality data and concerns about land purchases.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government said in October it would monitor Cheshire East but would only intervene were there enough evidence of “widespread, systemic and extremely serious failure”.

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