COUNCILLORS will not investigate the people who run sports centres in Kirklees.
The council’s Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee decided yesterday not to hold a special inquiry into Kirklees Active Leisure (KAL).
Clr David Woodhead had asked the committee to investigate after a series of revelations in the Examiner.
We revealed how KAL, which runs 10 sports centres and swimming pools, launched an investigation last year into a series of hospitality trips taken by senior staff.
Bosses went to Las Vegas and Italy on fact-finding jaunts paid for by businesses.
There were also allegations they had been on golfing days, motor racing trips, horse racing days, a clay pigeon shooting outing and rugby and football matches.
KAL’s investigation found the trips broke strict rules that ban staff from accepting corporate invitations which could be deemed extravagant or inappropriate.
Former chief executive Terry Meehan was suspended last year and later resigned.
But KAL has not confirmed that his departure was linked to the investigation into the junkets.
Yesterday Clr Woodhead asked the scrutiny committee to consider the following questions:
How are the chief executive and senior managers appointed and what performance management procedures are in place?
What protocols and procedures are laid down concerning hospitality from clients and suppliers? Have the protocols and procedures concerning hospitality changed?
When did the board become aware of allegations about “junketing” and what action was taken? Was there a report to the board on the allegations?
Following the suspension of the chief executive, what management arrangements were put in place? What financial consequences have there been following the resignation of the chief executive?
The Holme Valley North Liberal Democrat told the meeting: “I have made this request because there’s a problem of accountability.
“When a new KAL chief executive is appointed, I want he or she to be aware of this problem.”
Clr Woodhead added that the role of running sports centres in Kirklees is a difficult job.
He said: “KAL is a charitable trust but it’s run as a business. The chief executive has to be a public servant and a public figure.
“Who keeps an eye on what this person is doing?”
But the scrutiny committee decided not to investigate.
Chairwoman Clr Molly Walton said: “We don’t think there can be any added value in having added scrutiny. We cannot think of any further information we could have that would add anything more to what we already know.”
Speaking after the meeting, Clr Woodhead said: “I’m disappointed because I think there are still issues that need to be looked at. I will talk to my Lib Dem colleagues and decide what to do next.”