Council leader is refusing to quit

CORBY Council leader Tom Beattie says he has no intention of resigning, following a call by Conservative councillors to quit.

Cllr Beattie today pledged to continue working for the benefit of the town and its residents.

The Conservative group on the borough council, including its leader David Sims, and councillors Rob McKellar, Stan Heggs and Ray Lilley, have accused Cllr Beattie of misleading the public over an allegation in the Cube review report, that financial details of the project were suppressed for political reasons until after last May’s council elections.

Cllr Beattie said: “I have absolutely no intention of resigning and will continue to work hard for the residents of Corby and help provide them with the borough and services that they deserve.

“Information contained in the report on the Cure is not evidence – it amounts to opinions and assertions.

“I am not aware of any financial information being suppressed.”

The report on the Cube was produced by a cross-party group at the council who interviewed councillors and members of the authority’s staff associated with the project.

The review was carried out in response to mounting concern over the cost of the Cube after the budget rose from £34m to £47m.

Cllr Beattie said that applications for additional funding were dealt with properly by the council and there was no attempt to hide information.

He said: “Some mistakes were made, but not on my watch.

“The Audit Commission has a copy of the report and we will co-operate fully if they make any recommendations.”

Cllr David Sims, leader of Corby’s Conservative group, said: “I like Tom as a person but we believe he has misled the public by saying there is no evidence of political suppression.

“I think he is in denial.

“If he can’t recognise that a problem exists, how can he address it?”

In a letter to Cllr Beattie calling for his resignation and made public, the Conservative group says: “We believe that by denying the existence of this evidence you have deliberately misled the public.

“That is why we are calling upon you to resign and give way to a new leader who is prepared to break with the council’s dark past and bring the people of our borough the long overdue transparency they deserve.”