Audit request over Landmark House deal is rejected

SUFFOLK: A request for the county council’s audit committee to discuss the controversial purchase and refurbishment of Landmark House in Ipswich has been rejected as being unconstitutional.

Liberal Democrat resource management spokesman Andrew Cann had written to committee chairman John Klashka to ask for the purchase to be examined.

Mr Cann became concerned after reading in the Evening Star about a �5million difference between the sum quoted by a developer to build a new office for the council and police authority and the figure that was presented to councillors.

The Star has seen a letter in which a developer offered to design and build a new headquarters for between �6.2million and �6.9m but by the time the offer was presented to councillors at a confidential session of a cabinet meeting the stated cost had risen to �12 million – more than the �11.7 million quoted to buy and refurbish Landmark House.

Mr Cann said: “I wrote to the committee chairman about these figures because I could not see how they could possibly add up.

“He referred it to the monitoring office who said it would be unconstitutional to discuss the issue because it would have to be referred by a member of the committee, and the committee would have to agree to discuss it at a later date.

“As the county council has rejected my request for its own audit committee to look into this I have referred the matter to the District Auditor who is looking into the matter with much more urgency.”

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A spokesman for the county council said it was not possible for the authority’s own audit committee to consider Landmark House because it was outside its terms of reference.

n Are you happy about the Landmark House deal? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstar

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