Pickles accuses Tower Hamlets Council of withholding information from PwC

By Rob Virtue on June 30, 2014 4:41 PM |

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Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has accused Tower Hamlets council of not providing key information in an independent investigation into its mismanagement.

Mr Pickles said PricewaterhouseCoopers study into the administration would now continue beyond the agreed timeframe and has ordered the council to pay the costs.

Speaking in Parliament on Monday, he said: "The investigators PwC have informed me the council has considerably delayed the investigation by delaying the provision of key information or simply not providing it at all.

"This is simply not acceptable and I am consequently extending the period for PwC to report. The cost will be met by the council.

"Whether the council likes it or not, this investigation will be thorough and comprehensive and I will update the House in due course."

In April Mr Pickles requested for PwC to look into the running of the council following a Panorama documentary. It asked for the investigators to report back by the end of June.

The council released a statement in response to Mr Pickles comments.

It said: "We share the Secretary of State's frustrations at the delay in the PWC best value investigation. It is in the interests of all concerned for the report to conclude quickly but also to provide meaningful and credible findings.

"In a week where once again Tower Hamlets services are recognised as high performing - our schools record in getting pupils to university - it is time to draw this process to a conclusion.

"However the council is considering all its options and will comment further in due course."