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Rotherham MBC could face losses of up to£250,000 if the National Local Government Forum Against Poverty collapses....
Rotherham MBC could face losses of up to£250,000 if the National Local Government Forum Against Poverty collapses.

This is the amount still owed to the council by the anti-poverty group at the centre of a police investigation into alleged misuse of public funds, reported The Yorkshire Post (11 Dec, p4.)

The forum borrowed nearly£500,000 to set up shop in offices near the town hall four years ago, and only half the money has been repaid.

The council is now considering ways of helping the organisation survive following a mass exodus of local authority members. Wakefield MDC is the latest to pull out of the forum and senior councillor Colin Oldroyd has been ordered to give up the post of caretaker national convenor, which he took over when Garvin Reed, Rotherham's deputy leader, was relieved of his duties pending the outcome of the police inquiry.

Rotherham's chief executive Alan Carruthers said that the council was concerned to keep the forum going in order to recoup the money owing, and more than 100 local authorities had indicated they wished the forum to continue.

'The last thing we want is for the forum to be put out of business and discussion are going on at the moment about how we can help it survive,' he said.

Next week, the results will be revealed of an internal investigation into links between the forum and Rotherham Council's community regeneration department.

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