Police probe old accounts

POLICE investigating Glemsford Parish Council’s former clerk are believed to be probing financial records going back 10 years, writes Elliot Pinkham.

It was revealed in last month’s council meeting that parish clerk Sara Turner had been sacked and was under investigation by police due to alleged financial irregularities.

Speaking at Tuesday night’s meeting, council vice-chairman Michael Brown said: “I have been in contact with the police. There is a full investigation going on and it is going back many years.

“They have interviewed a person over an incident five years ago, and that is still ongoing. It’s not just recently – it is going back a long way.”

Mr Brown also confirmed that the public will be kept up to date with the case.

“The police have asked to not have any outside interference,” he said. “If there are any developments, they will let me know.”

Councillor Ann Mallalieu, a retired accountant, is looking through financial records on behalf of the council.

She said: “We need to be more honest and have more discussion about things. If we can be more open, then we will question things.

“I am pulling at threads of what has been going on. I could produce a 25-page report on what has gone wrong in the past, but personally I think my time and skills could be better spent looking at how we can get money for new things.”

Speaking after the meeting, Glemsford resident Pauline Currie said she believed it was important for taxpayers to understand the situation.

She said: “Some people don’t realise that the money that has gone or was being misspent has come out of their council tax. Any organisation has to be run in a professional way, otherwise is just goes completely off the rails.”

Mrs Currie said she was hopeful the situation could be rectified as soon as possible.

“It is pretty rudderless at the moment, embarrassingly so, but then you get these pockets of hope from people who do know what they’re doing,” she added.

“I just hope everything comes to a close sooner rather than later and we can move on in a positive way.”

A spokesman for Suffolk Police said: “An investigation is under way and we are working with Glemsford Parish Council and Babergh District Council.

“A woman is helping Suffolk Police with our investigation.”