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Councillors grilled over InvestSK move but no action taken

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No action is to be taken over a council decision to turn InvestSK into a council-owned private company.

Independent Ashley Baxter led a move to 'call in' the decision, claiming a decision by South Kesteven District Council had not received enough scrutiny.

Council leader Matthew Lee (Con) and others were grilled for more than two hours at Tuesday's meeting of the overview and scrutiny committee.

Coun Baxter, backed by Labour members Phil Dilks and Charmaine Morgan, asked why the cabinet decision last month was done so quickly.

Coun Lee said a decision was made after the employment committee on April 19 when Paul Thomas, InvestSK's lead was promoted to become the district council's director of growth, leaving InvestSK with no dedicated leader.

The council and InvestSK also must soon decide whether to renew a contract with Opportunity Peterborough, which is due to expire at the end of July.

Further questioned, he added that the private organisation had no business plan yet, as such, which led Coun Baxter to call this "nonsense" and Coun Dilks to wonder how long a company would last on TV's Dragon's Den without one.

However, cabinet member for economy Mike King (Con), called it "entitrely false" to believe a private InvestSK would have no business plan, as it would use the existing one.

Councillors were also told that scrutiny of the private InvestSK would hardly change, with it also having to publish annual accounts as a private company.

Details over who would sit on an advisory committee and other administrative changes could also be settled or scrutinised while the new company was setting up its 'articles of association'.

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