Investigation into money taken from Mayor of Bedford’s charity fund

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An investigation has been launched by Bedford Borough Council into allegations money has been taken from the Mayor’s Charity fund.

The Times & Citizen understands an internal investigation is currently underway but the matter has not been referred to Bedfordshire Police at this stage.

The sum of money involved in the allegations is thought to be in the region of £2,200.

Mayor of Bedford Dave Hodgson has been informed of the allegations. He is not under any suspicion and is not connected to the investigation.

Mayor Dave Hodgson said: “Upon being informed of this issue I sought reassurances the charitable causes would not lose out, and I have received those assurances.

“Any potential discrepancies uncovered by the council’s own processes must be investigated thoroughly, wherever they are found.”

The allegations are understood to be historic, rather than an ongoing incident.

The issue was flagged following the routine audit of the charity, which takes place every four years in line with the mayoral election cycle.

As the council has insurance, none of the organisations who benefit from the charity will suffer any financial loss if it is the case money had been taken from the Mayor’s Charity fund.

Trustees and other senior councillors were also told of the investigation and the allegations.

The Bedford Mayor’s Charity exists primarily to assist cultural activities throughout Bedford Borough.

A Bedford Borough Council spokesman said: “When the council through its own procedures identifies any potential irregularities they are fully investigated including referral to appropriate authorities.

“While any such investigation takes place the council cannot comment on individual staffing matters.”