Following further leaked papers a number of new questions have arisen with regard to the relationship between the LEP and Opportunity Peterborough.
- What date did the LEP first have concerns that the business engagement numbers for Opportunity Peterborough were incorrect and not those reported in their Quarterly returns?
- Was Mark Reeve informed in November 2015 that Opportunity Peterborough had incorrectly reported data on their performance under their LEP contract, and if so what investigation was carried out, by whom and how was this reported to the LEP board?
- Why did the Chief Executive of Opportunity Peterborough email the Chief Executive of the LEP suggesting that John Bridge had discussed LEP skills business in a meeting with both the Chief Executive of Opportunity Peterborough and the Chief Executive of the LEP, when he was also Chair of Opportunity Peterborough?
- On 26th January 2016, the LEP Board agreed to award Opportunity Peterborough £75,000 to support a changeover when their skills pilot contract came to an end and £285,000 was awarded for an 18 month contract for further skills delivery outside of the City Deal area. It is not stated in the minutes that John Bridge nor Cllr Holdich declared a conflict of interest. Yet in a letter received from Mark Reeve, he states that both John Bridge and Cllr Holdich declared all their conflict of interests. Why was this not therefore recorded in the board minutes?
- Did John Bridge telephone the LEP Chief Executive on two consecutive evenings in March 2016 to discuss the allocation of LEP funds to Opportunity Peterborough? If so, how was this conflict of interest managed
In response to my previous blog on links between the LEP, Opportunity Peterborough and the accountable body Cambridgeshire County Council, I have now received replies which I have offered to publish, however Mr Reeve’s letter was marked private and confidential. I am awaiting his agreement before doing so. The letter from the Chief Executive of Opportunity Peterborough is enclosed. Oddly enough, he has now stepped down from his role as board adviser to the LEP!