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Council crack down claws back £250,000 of fraud and debt

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MORE than a quarter of a million pounds of taxpayers’ money has been clawed back – thanks to the success of a new action plan by Warrington Borough Council.
New figures, presented to the council’s audit and corporate governance committee, show that over the past year, council chiefs have identified and recovered more than £250,000 in fraud, error and debt monies.
This is a 70 per cent increase on last year.
The council’s interventions form part of a new counter fraud strategy which includes a firm stance on prosecuting individuals who have profited from fraudulent activity.
The largest area of work for counter fraud officers to cover is council tax, with the majority of casework relating to abuses of the single person discount or undeclared earnings.
The strategy also reveals that the misuse of disabled blue badge passes remains an issue following a string of recent prosecutions.
Cllr Russ Bowden, deputy leader of the council and lead member for corporate finance, said: “We want to ensure that we provide value for money, that everyone pays their fair share and that we bring in every penny we can to protect vital services. That’s why I’m so pleased that it has been such a successful year for us, in recovering monies owed.
“A big part of that is cracking down on fraud and we will continue to focus on using the full range of legal powers we have to deter people from engaging in fraudulent activity.”
Anyone with information about any fraudulent activity should get in touch with: Council tax fraud – warrington.gov.uk/benefits; blue badge abuse – warrington.gov.uk/bluebadges; General fraud enquiries – fraudteam@warrington.gov.uk or call 0800 854 440.

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