Councillor wants answers over fraud probe delay

Stewart Rickersey
Stewart Rickersey

A councillor is wanting answers as to why a fraud investigation into the mayoral election in Mansfield took months to be dropped.

Coun Stewart Rickersey, agent for Kate Allsop during her successful bid to become mayor last year, recently spoke of his relief that allegations into election overspending proved to be false.

Nottinghamshire Police had followed up claims last year that the funding had gone beyond the legal limit, before passing it to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Coun Rickersey, who won a seat on Mansfield District Council during last year’s elections, has now questioned the length of time it took for the case to be resolved.

He said: “I was surprised it left Nottinghamshire Police in the first place.

“Anyone can come to the Civic Centre and ask to view the election returns of any candidate.

“If anyone wants a copy of any page there is a charge of 20p per page, so it’s a total cost of £5.40 for a complete copy to take away and study.

“Anyone reviewing the return would have seen there was an under spend of £1,238 and any experienced observer would not have thought to take the matter any further.”

The documents show where the money was spent which included newspapers, websites, signs and banners.

It also includes printing costs and petrol costs, as well as listing those who helped fund the campaign through donations – which amounted to £6,047.

All were examined and no discrepancies were found

Meanwhile, Coun Rickersey has now put in a Freedom of Information request to both Nottinghamshire Police and the Crown Prosecution Service seeking details about the full cost of their fraud investigation.