The Parish Council in question appointed a new clerk. After a while in office the (now former) clerk saw his opportunity and started to embezzle the funds, eventually totalling the councils entire funds, £80,000. Whilst the clerk was resourceful in how he achieved this, the lack of checks and controls by the Council and their failure to follow their own Standing Orders and the opportunity this created, are key.
The clerk has now been found guilty of embezzlement and sent to jail and unsurprisingly the recovery hearings reveal that he has spent all the money so it cannot be retrieved.
Meanwhile the bank state, amongst other things, that the bank mandates were changed to a single signature, which enabled the clerk to spend as he wished, and they are not at fault and the insurance company state that they will not pay out because the Council did not follow standard financial procedures. Whilst the newly elected 2019 Council has yet to pursue both or either the bank and insurance company further, we need to be aware what responsibility the councillors of the 2015 council, many of whom remain in office having been re-elected, might have.
We seek this advice as much to protect the former councillor members, who face tough questions from the public, as to take action. We just need the money back as we are broke!