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Corruption In City Councils?

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Just wondering what checks and procedures are in place, to prevent corruption within the council?

 

For example, if a contractor in some way bribes a public official to award their firm a particular contract. That's public money being spend on something that may not represent the best value, or may not actually be required at all.

 

Is it feasible that kind of thing happens? If so, what measures are in place to prevent it, and bring and corrupt public officials to justice?

 

Just curious, not suggesting anything like that happens here in lovely Sheffield.

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Posted (edited)

Now this is a big big question..... Corruption doesn't have to be anything as obvious as a direct bribe. I suspect most corruption in this country is businesses putting councillors (or MPs or whoever) "in a positive frame of mind" towards them by indirect means, i.e. gaining influence.

As an example, who would have thought that councillors being given free tickets to sports events could be corrupt ? But it is and I'm pretty sure it's not allowed or if it is the politicians would have to declare it. You may have thought that petty, but actually it isn't. I have an ongoing issue with SIV (Sheffield International Venues), and they are an arrogant organisation if ever I saw one, right up to the very top. As it happens the council say they have no legal powers over them anyway, though they do obviously have influence (£1.2 million worth this year....), but, if councillors had had free tickets (not that I'm saying they have) they would obviously be less willing to get involved (consciously or sub consciously) with an issue which could cause problems between them and the distributors of largesse.

And that's why all benefits should, and must, be declared by all politicians, and why there is such a furore if said benefits (like Boris Johnson's holiday) are found not to have been declared.

Edited by Justin Smith

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1 hour ago, Waldo said:

Just wondering what checks and procedures are in place, to prevent corruption within the council?

 

For example, if a contractor in some way bribes a public official to award their firm a particular contract. That's public money being spend on something that may not represent the best value, or may not actually be required at all.

 

Is it feasible that kind of thing happens? If so, what measures are in place to prevent it, and bring and corrupt public officials to justice?

 

Just curious, not suggesting anything like that happens here in lovely Sheffield.

I believe years ago this went on all the time. Think it was called “ a backhander” . Not sure about today though.! 

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Doesn't have to be a direct bribe but I think up and down the country choosing a contractor isn't always down to what's best or value for money, money gets wasted all the time

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19 minutes ago, melthebell said:

Doesn't have to be a direct bribe but I think up and down the country choosing a contractor isn't always down to what's best or value for money, money gets wasted all the time

My point exactly.

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Posted (edited)

When the Bethel Chapel on Cambridge Street was taken over by some independent organisation, the council told them that the electrics had to be checked over, Amey came checked them and said the building needed re-wiring at a cost of £30,000, they new owners brought an independent electrical contractor in to re-check Amey’s findings, they found the wiring was sound and the building didn’t need any re- wiring done at all.

Edited by lazarus

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2 hours ago, lazarus said:

When the Bethel Chapel on Cambridge Street was taken over by some independent organisation, the council told them that the electrics had to be checked over, Amey came checked them and said the building needed re-wiring at a cost of £30,000, they new owners brought an independent electrical contractor in to re-check Amey’s findings, they found the wiring was sound and the building didn’t need any re- wiring done at all.

Are you implying that the independent organisation slipped a bribe to the independent electrical contractor to over-look any faulty wiring?
 

That's a big accusation so you should be prepared to back it up with proof.

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25 minutes ago, max said:

Are you implying that the independent organisation slipped a bribe to the independent electrical contractor to over-look any faulty wiring?
 

That's a big accusation so you should be prepared to back it up with proof.

Look I was told by one of the people who was running the place, who has since moved down south. Some time ago one of Amey’s managers stole around fifty feet of stone slabs that topped a wall on Gleadless Road and when I complained to them and the council the lies that Amey spewed  out was unbelievable, they said most of them were missing to start with, which was a lie,none had gone missing in fifty years, another excuse was they were removed to a secure compound and they were stolen, my question to them, did you report the theft to the police, answer well no, the result was ordinary paving slabs were put on the wall, I complained again and in the meantime someone else who was annoyed at the slabs smashed them all and the result was imitation stone slabs were put on the wall, not as good as the ones that were stolen but they are adequate.

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6 hours ago, melthebell said:

Doesn't have to be a direct bribe but I think up and down the country choosing a contractor isn't always down to what's best or value for money, money gets wasted all the time

If you've got a few days to spare read through the regulations that public sector bodies have to abide by.

 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/public-sector-procurement-policy#introduction

"The Local Government Transparency Code 2015

As a Local Government buyer, in addition to the legal requirements to publish covered by both the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 and the The Local Government (Transparency Requirements) (England) Regulations 2015 legislation, there are additional recommended requirements for greater disclosure in the Local Government Transparency Code.

For procurement information this includes monthly (or preferably real time) publication on Contracts Finder of every invitation to tender or invitation to quote for contracts to provide goods and/or services with a value that exceeds £10,000 (and a lower thresholds of £500 is recommended)"

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16 hours ago, lazarus said:

Amey came checked them and said the building needed re-wiring at a cost of £30,000, they new owners brought an independent electrical contractor in to re-check Amey’s findings, they found the wiring was sound and the building didn’t need any re- wiring done at all.

Sounds just like Halfords at an MOT test, only on a grander scale.

 

As for Amey, lets not forget that environmental campaigners argued that many healthy trees were being cut down unnecessarily for contractual reasons.

 

Birmingham City Council fined Amey for unnecessary cosmetics for a number of jobs they did for them.

 

And another example here:

 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7947407/Council-defends-contractors-wobbly-football-pitch-lines-day-work.html

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On 12/03/2020 at 20:16, lazarus said:

Look I was told by one of the people who was running the place, who has since moved down south. Some time ago one of Amey’s managers stole around fifty feet of stone slabs that topped a wall on Gleadless Road and when I complained to them and the council the lies that Amey spewed  out was unbelievable, they said most of them were missing to start with, which was a lie,none had gone missing in fifty years, another excuse was they were removed to a secure compound and they were stolen, my question to them, did you report the theft to the police, answer well no, the result was ordinary paving slabs were put on the wall, I complained again and in the meantime someone else who was annoyed at the slabs smashed them all and the result was imitation stone slabs were put on the wall, not as good as the ones that were stolen but they are adequate.

Didn't a load of nice stonework disappear from around Hillsborough when the streets were redone a few years back?

 

Lots of nice Yorkshire flag or something?

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A few years ago Amey were re-laying the whole of Arundel Lane, it runs at the side of the Rutland pub, they were laying a fresh new asphalt surface, it was a untouched cobbled lane, so all the fantastic cobbles were removed and the Amey workers were selling them off for £50 a load plus when the Wicker was being redone, they found all the tramlines that were still in situ, they job was dragged out until all the tramlines were removed and sold for scrap by the workers.

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