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To: City of Edinburgh Council, Police Scotland, The Scottish Information Commissioner, The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, The Auditor General Scotland, The Standards Commission

Reopen Investigations into Malpractice at City of Edinburgh Council

Reopen Investigations into Malpractice at City of Edinburgh Council

In light of recent convictions and jail terms handed out to City of Edinburgh employees and directors of Action Building Contracts Ltd (18/06/2015), we would like investigations into the Property Conservation Dept. reopened.

We would also like the institutions mentioned above, that are supposed to ensure good governance in Public Institutions, to enforce changes that are within their individual remits, at the City of Edinburgh Council (CEC).

Why is this important?

Reekieleaks calls for Transparency, Accountability and Honesty in our Public Institutions. The remit of this petition is more finite, but the clarion call is for accountability to start somewhere, here ... as a 1st step.

This is important because the very fabric of local democracy is being cynically abused by those at the top of institutions that are set up to protect citizens.

Dame Sue Bruce, the 5 Directors of Edinburgh Council, 58 Councillors, MSPS and Nicola Sturgeon are all refusing to collectively answer legitimate concerns, preferring to hide behind the flawed 'independent' Deloitte Reports which cost taxpayers Millions on top of irrecoverable losses due to the fraud. These are 'Reports' that Deloitte themselves referred to as 'at best patchy' due to the lack of information they received from the Council to allow them to investigate the scandal fully.

Many Millions have been wasted that should have gone to good causes, thousands of residents have been and are still being caused undue stress. In the region of 3000 to 3500 Statutory Notices were issued per year on Edinburgh properties, that equates to approximately 20,000+ individual notices! The Scandal is known to have been going on for at least 10 years. Those on the inside say more.

These figures are staggering, yet as Councillor Rose stated recently to the BBC “The implications are that what we saw at court [22/06/2015] was the tip of the iceberg. For the sake of the council and the people of Edinburgh this needs to be out in the open, otherwise suspicions will 
continue”. We at reekieleaks.org.uk could not agree more.

As yet most of the perpetrators go free (only 4 have been jailed), and the systems that allowed it to happen go unchallenged by the public. If we do not challenge them, they will occur again.

Do not believe Councillor Alasdair Rankin's protestations that investigations have been 'robust' and 'independent'. CEC has tried to contain the problem in the ill-advised belief that it is for the greater good if the true extent of corruption and malpractice is not known.

What is for the greater good, is the rooting out of corruption and maladministration so that ever penny of taxpayers' income is put to good use in the future. And that those manifestly not fit for office are never again allowed into office ... not simply conveniently moved into other positions.

The Police launched an investigation in 2011 which was dropped by the Crown reportedly due to lack of evidence. According to the few Councillors within City of Edinburgh who are prepared to fight against institutional stone-walling: there are wide-spread allegations from within and outside the Council that this was because staff had been ordered to shred damning documentation en masse.

This is borne out by the fact that Deloitte confirmed that so much crucial documentation, in hundreds of cases is indeed missing. There are only two plausible possibilities as to why the documents are not there: the first is institutional incompetence, and the second is that they were systematically destroyed. Given this did not happen elsewhere in the Council and that there must be rules about sound data management, the latter is the more likely.

Detective Inspector Arron Clinkscales, of the Organised Crime Unit at Police Scotland, has promised that officers would liaise with prosecutors if further allegations surfaced (Edinburgh Evening News, 22/06/2015):

“It could mushroom, it could escalate. With public sector corruption, there are more and more people willing to come forward to speak out. I think [the recent convictions] will prompt people to come forward.” Let us hope he is correct.

Who was in charge at the time? What was the chain of command? What orders were given to staff? What is known within CEC that would prove wide-spread fraud? Why have staff been sacked or moved by CEC with no disciplinary or legal charges brought against them? Why is Dame Sue Bruce not engaging in open and transparent conversation about this scandal with Constituents who are writing to her directly? Why are countless Freedom of Information requests being refused and information willfully withheld?

We the Public deserve to know how much was wasted by corrupt officials and contractors through the years of the Statutory Notice Scandal, how much has been spent on external consultants in the attempt to draw a line under the fiasco, who was to blame, and what concrete implementations have been made to ensure that this never, ever happens again.

Now is the time for conscientious citizens (inside and outside the Council) to come forward and fight for a truly democratic, honest and accountable local government in Scotland's Capital.

Please support this campaign, and reekieleaks.org.uk in the fight for an honest and competent Council.

How it will be delivered

We will ask the press to attend and we will deliver the Petition in person, with specific demands pertinent to the remit of each of the following Public Institutions:

City of Edinburgh Council
Police Scotland
The Scottish Information Commissioner
The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman
The Auditor General Scotland
The Standards Commission

Edinburgh

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL


Reasons for signing

  • Over charging, mis-management, corrupt unnecessary works by CEC
  • I've a 10 grand bill hanging over my head due to this scandal with threats of legal action from Morton Fraser LLP after the Council have once again outsourced work, no doubt at an additional cost of millions to tax payers. According to the Council's recent Edinburgh People Survey, citizens have a high regard for the Council! What Orwellian times. “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.”
  • The Council try to impose settlements without real consultation. Even the Deloitte Reviews are deeply flawed. (Successful in obtaining two rebates, but luck rather than sensible judgement.)

Updates

2016-04-18 14:01:56 +0100

In light of the PFI scandal which has affected 17 Schools in Edinburgh ... the necessity of having transparent, accountable and honest councils is further underscored.

We are eroding belief in democratic structures by allowing malpractice and corruption to go unpunished. Reekieleaks wants the public institutions that exist to do their allotted jobs, to rigorously route out malpractice, to punish corruption and fraud, and to cease favouring compliant mediocrity.

2015-06-24 16:51:02 +0100

100 signatures reached

2015-06-23 23:37:34 +0100

50 signatures reached

2015-06-23 21:36:49 +0100

25 signatures reached

2015-06-23 21:14:56 +0100

www.reekieleaks.org.uk

2015-06-23 20:57:15 +0100

10 signatures reached