A COUNCIL is to audit its coronavirus payments to local firms to check for fraud.

Burnley Council's internal audit manager Ian Evenett told councillors he would be checking the details of payments to make under the government's various Covid-19 business grant schemes to ensure they were in order.

He was responding to a question from Liberal Democrat Cllr Maggie Lishman, finance boss under the previous coalition administration, at Wednesday's meeting of the borough's Audit and Standards Committee.

Mr Evenett said he had purposely distanced himself from the administration of the grant schemes to ensure he could examine their workings and payments independently.

He told the committee that the main risks for fraud against the council were council tax, council tax and housing benefit support, business rates, housing tenancies, procurement, grants and insurance claims.

Mr Evenett added that the council was paying particular attention to the possibility of cyber fraud as it became increasingly dependent on information technology to enable working from home.