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KLIC review to be debated in private session

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An internal review of West Norfolk Council’s handling of loans made to a Lynn business hub is set to be debated in private when it goes to committee next week.

One councillor has accused the authority of a cover-up over the King’s Lynn Innovation Centre (KLIC).

But officials have insisted they are acting in the public interest.

There have been mounting questions about the management of the Nar Ouse Way site since its operator, Norfolk and Waveney Enterprise Services (NWES) missed a deadline to repay borough council loans worth £2.75 million last November.

General view of King's Lynn Innovation Centre (7641395)
General view of King's Lynn Innovation Centre (7641395)

An internal review of the affair has been taking place and its findings are due to be discussed at a meeting of the borough council’s audit committee on Monday.

But the report is listed as an exempt item, meaning that neither members of the public, nor the media, can read the review’s findings or hear the debate.

And Labour councillor Charles Joyce, who has called for an independent inquiry into the affair, said that “stinks.”

He said: “It’s not a good look. It’s an awful look. The council is just attempting to cover up its failures.”

But officials maintain the decision to debate the report in a closed session is in line with local government legislation and any recommendations made by the committee will be published.

A spokesman said: “The council absolutely acknowledges that there is a general public interest in promoting transparency, accountability, public understanding and involvement in the democratic process.

“However, the report before the audit committee relates to the council’s internal processes. It acts as a reviewing body on the council’s internal processes and the public interest is being protected in that way.”

It is understood the matter could be referred to a cabinet meeting later this month, depending on the outcome of Monday’s session.

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