Instruct external auditors to investigate the Blakelands Warehouse

Instruct external auditors to investigate the Blakelands Warehouse

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Blakelands Residents Association started this petition to Councillor Peter Cannon (Milton Keynes Council)

We, the undersigned as residents of Blakelands and Milton Keynes, are calling on the Chief Executive of Milton Keynes Council to appoint external auditors with planning expertise to investigate the issues surrounding the approval of the Blakelands warehouse (Griffen Park MK) and the associated issues and mistakes that followed.

It is deeply regrettable that we are no longer able to support or have any confidence in the ongoing external review that was commissioned in March 2019 and has been carried out by Marc Dorfman since July 2019. We do not believe our concerns have been adequately investigated and we have absolutely no confidence that our many questions will be satisfactorily answered in Mr Dorfman’s report.

We welcome some of the work that Mr Dorfman has been doing and we do not doubt his abilities and skills as a planning consultant. However, the repeated unexplained delays and subsequent conversations we have had with Mr Dorfman have led us to the rational conclusion that his work is very much being treated as a business improvement exercise for the Council’s planning service. This would not be the review that we were promised by the Council's former Deputy Chief Executive, Paul Simpson, more than 18 months ago.

We are also mindful that the recent allegations of interference and meddling in the external review from within the Council by a senior officer are extremely serious and have the potential to undermine Mr Dorfman’s entire work. We are grateful that this is now being investigated by the Council's internal auditors at the request of the Chief Executive. However, we believe that it would only be appropriate for such allegations to be investigated by external auditors given the very serious concerns raised previously over internal audit's work involving the Blakelands warehouse.

We are therefore now calling upon you to instruct qualified external auditors to investigate and answer, in a timely manner, the many unanswered questions that we have been asking since May 2017.

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