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Alresford Town Council criticised over alleged fruit machine fraud
5:48pm Friday 11th October 2013 in News
ALRESFORD Town Council has come under fire from a former chairman over the alleged loss of tens of thousands of pounds from fruit machines in the town recreation centre.
Robin Atkins called for an independent investigation into the loss of an estimated £35,000 from the machines at the council-run Alresford Recreation Centre.
Mr Atkins told the council last night: “Some £35,000 is owed to the council as a result of machine fraud from March 2011 when the council under the chair of Roy Gentry approved a 50/50 deal with Enterprise Leisure. From their introduction is about May 2011 the council failed to introduce any procedures and controls with no money being received for around 22 months until February 2013.
“Both town council staff and/or Enterprise Leisure are involved with the fraud. It is being covered up by the chair and the executive committee,” alleged Mr Atkins. He called for the attempts to be made to chase the £35,000.An auditor is examining the issue.
Cllr Gentry replied: “As chairman of the finance committee I await the report of the auditor.”
Mr Atkins also raised the issue of a former member of the ARC staff Heather Graham who was sacked earlier this year. She is suing the council for unfair dismissal and a tribunal is due in early 2014.
He also defended Cllr Natalie Carpenter who has criticised council staff over the fruit machine issue and been accused of harassment.
“She is a hard-working and honest councillor who has opposed the way the council treated Heather Graham.
The council needs to stop harassing and threatening her and spreading untrue rumours about her. NATC do not own her and are in danger of trying to pervert the course of justice.”
Outside the meeting Cllr Carpenter denied harassing anybody and added: “It is now difficult for me to engage fully as a councillor and my position is becoming untenable with the rest of the councillors.”
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