THREE employees of Ribble Valley Borough Council have been suspended from their jobs pending an investigation amid allegations of misconduct at the council’s Salthill Depot.
The Clitheroe Advertiser and Times has received information from undisclosed sources which suggests that the investigation concerns the “bulky waste/special collections” service operated by the council.
For a minimum payment of £12 (for up to four items) the council will collect bulky items of household waste for recycling and disposal. Any scrap metal items, such as old cookers or other “white goods”, should be taken to a scrap metal skip at the Salthill Depot. They are then removed by a contracted merchant who pays the council an agreed fee.
However, it is alleged that some items collected from householders were not taken to that skip, but instead to a private lock-up garage in Clitheroe. When enough items were there, it is alleged that they were then taken on a council vehicle to a scrapyard outside the borough where they were “weighed in” for cash.
According to our sources, this came to light after the council vehicle was involved in a collision with another vehicle during one of the alleged scrapyard sorties. It is claimed that alarm bells rang when an insurance company contacted the council over discrepancies about exactly where the accident happened, the other driver’s claim stating that it happened outside the council’s area of operation, where the council vehicle had no reason to be.
In the wake of that discrepancy, The Clitheroe Advertiser and Times understands that three council employees based at the borough council’s Salthill Depot have now been suspended pending a full investigation. It is not believed that the police are involved at this stage.
When these allegations were put to Ribble Valley Borough Council, its chief executive, Marshal Scott, responded: “I can confirm three members of staff have been suspended pending an investigation, but am unable to give any further information until that investigation is completed.”