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Improvements still needed at Barnet Council since £2m fraud

Local Democracy Reporting Service

“Significant improvements” are still needed to bring the running of the council up to standard more than a year after it fell victim to a £2 million fraud.

Barnet Council’s internal audit team could only give a ‘limited assurance’ that risks to the council were being adequately managed in 2018-19 – the same overall rating as the previous year.

Despite some improvements, the internal audit team said there were still weaknesses in the council’s framework of governance, risk management and control which “put the achievement of the organisation’s objectives at risk”.

The findings sparked a debate at an audit committee about whether the council was being given enough scrutiny – particularly in light of a recent move to limit questions from members of the public.

Committee members also raised concerns about how the council could ensure the culture of firms providing outsourced services was up to standard.

Trishul Shah, a former employee of outsourcing firm Capita, was jailed last year for defrauding the council of more than £2 million.

School children using 'trick cards' to manage stress
Meet the school children using a box of 'trick cards' to learn how to prepare for adult life.

Cumbria's weather: Sunny spells and showers, maybe heavy

BBC Weather

There will be sunny spells today, but also the chance of showers, especially in the afternoon, and they may be heavy and thundery in some places.

It will be a breezy day with higehst temperatures from 16C to 19C (61F to 66F).

Weather graphic
BBC

You can always find the latest, hour-by-hour, BBC weather forecast for where you are, here.

Yorkshire's Thursday weather forecast

BBC Weather

Early cloud and rain is expected to clear this morning.

The afternoon will be dry with sunny spells and a light wind.

It'll be dry with some late sunny spells this evening:

weather graphic
BBC

Trust calls for disposable BBQ ban following fires

A wildlife trust is calling for a ban on disposable barbecues after a series of devastating wildfires.

Fire
BBC

In August last year a fire swept through the Staffordshire Roaches leaving about 20% of the area blackened and lifeless.

It was later discovered that it was started by campers who hadn't put out their fire properly.

As well as a ban, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust is urging local supermarkets and shops to take the barbecues off their shelves.

Fire service photo shows extent of damage to hotel after blaze

A hotel that caught fire on Wednesday has partially collapsed, new photos show.

Avon Fire and Rescue tweeted an image showing one of the walls of the Premier Inn at Cribbs Causeway laying in the road.

View more on twitter

Devon and Cornwall weather: Dry and sunny with showers

BBC Weather

Most of today will be dry with sunny spells, however there will be the chance of a few showers bubbling up at times.

Feeling a little fresher than Wednesday with a light to moderate westerly wind.

Maximum temperature: 21C (69F).

weather map
BBC