MP wants release of report on Cube

MP LOUISE Mensch has called for the secret report on the Cube civic hub at Corby to be made public.

The MP, who represents the town and East Northamptonshire, has lodged a Freedom of Information request with Corby Council, calling on the authority to release details of the dossier.

It was compiled after months of investigation by a cross-party committee made up of borough councillors and an officer.

The review group was convened to look into the escalating cost of the Cube.

Every borough councillor at Corby has received an edited copy of the report but it has not been made public.

Mrs Mensch said: “I think it is right that taxpayers in Corby should be able to see how their money has been spent, yet the release of the report has been withheld.

“I see no reason why members of the public cannot see the report for themselves: making this kind of information available is usually standard practice.

“I have issued this Freedom of Information request so that people in Corby can make their own minds up.

“If the council has acted appropriately with their spending, then there is no reason why this information should not be released.”

The MP is also calling for details of the council’s spending on other projects.

A year ago the council revealed that the cost of the Cube had hit £41.6m, about £5m over budget, but in June councillors agreed further borrowing of £5.5m, bringing the total overspend to £10.5m.

Borough council leaders say the review group took legal advice and was told the report should not be made public as its findings could prejudice the outcome of potential litigation relating to the Cube. A copy of the report has already been sent to the Audit Commission.

Conservative councillors at Corby have also called for the report to be made public and they have referred the matter to the Information Commissioner’s Office, an independent body which has the power to compel councils to release information if it is in the public interest.