POLICE and local authority officials are investigating two alleged town hall frauds.

The probes affecting Blackburn with Darwen Council contracts are revealed in documents to its Audit and Governance Committee.

The borough’s Conservative group leader Cllr John Slater has called for a thorough investigation with the results made public.

The agenda item ‘Audit and Assurance - Progress and Outcomes to February 2021’ details ‘Other Investigations’.

It says: “Audit and assurance staff are continuing to liaise with the police in the case of a suspected client fraud.

“In addition, audit and assurance staff are in the process of finalising a review into the contract management issues following a whistle-blowing complaint by a member of the public to the director of governance.”

The Lancashire Telegraph understands the first issue relates to social care costs and the second to a contract for the care of animals.

Cllr Slater said: “This needs to be investigated thoroughly to make sure this is a one-off to reassure the taxpayers of this borough.

“This could be very serious. The findings should be reported in public to Full Council.”

David Fairclough, the council’s governance director, said: “The two areas noted are standard updates investigated as a routine matter of course and are completely separate and unrelated.

“The first matter relates to a suspected social care benefit fraud that has been referred to the police.

“The second relates to a review into concerns raised around compliance in a small services contract and is being looked into as a matter of course.”

Committee member Cllr Maureen Bateson said: “This is what audit and assurance is about. It shows they are doing their job.

“This is public and council taxpayers’ money and we have to be sure it is being spent properly and carefully.”

The agenda item also reveals that five errors have been identified in housing/council tax support payments, resulting in savings of £7,878 and arrangements are in place to recover this money from the individuals concerned.