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Special council meeting to look at KLIC affair

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A special meeting will take place later this month to debate West Norfolk Council’s handling of affairs relating to a Lynn business hub.

The move comes after an internal review of the authority’s dealings with the King’s Lynn Innovation Centre (KLIC) was debated in closed session by its audit committee on Monday.

Council officials also say that, in addition to the session on March 26, a redacted version of the review will be made public, although it is unclear when that will happen.

But, although the plan for a full council session has been welcomed, some opposition councillors have insisted the measures do not far enough.

KLIC centre in Lynn
KLIC centre in Lynn

There have been questions about the council’s dealings with the centre, including calls for an independent inquiry, since its operator NWES missed the deadline to repay a £2.75 million council loan last November.

Jim Moriarty, leader of the council’s independent group, said he was pleased the council had agreed to hold an additional meeting on the issue.

He said: “We can’t have the cabinet marking its own homework. The public must know the background to this and what can be learned.”

But Labour’s Charles Joyce, who led calls for an independent inquiry into the issue, said his view had not changed.

He said: “I’m still of the opinion this should go external.”

However, when the call for an independent inquiry was made in January, council leaders insisted they weren’t ruling out an external investigation in due course.

The audit committee, seven of whose members are part of the authority’s ruling Conservative group, recommended that a redacted version of the internal review should be published as soon as possible with an explanation of the reasons behind the redactions.

Officials have stressed that neither officers nor councillors will be part of the redaction process, but no indication has so far been given of when such a document will be released.

The council has also been urged to set up a working party to look in more depth at the report’s findings and create a new mechanism for major projects to be reviewed.

The special meeting will take place at Lynn’s town hall on Tuesday, March 26 at 6.30pm. As a result, the scheduled cabinet meeting that day will now start at 5pm, instead of 5.30pm.

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