Page last updated at 10:51 GMT, Tuesday, 29 April 2008 11:51 UK

Council's property sales probed

Money

Aberdeen City Council has been criticised in a report into the sale of some of its most valuable property assets.

An Audit Scotland report has highlighted deals going through for millions of pounds below market value.

The inquiry centred on several sales over a period of many years.

Grampian Police told BBC Scotland it was approached by the council about the inquiry and that officers were in liaison with the procurator fiscal.

Audit Scotland said that some transactions made by Aberdeen City Council suggested "serious weaknesses".

The report states that senior officers at the council are "taking remedial action" in response to the concerns.

'Considerable concern'

A police spokesman confirmed the council had approached them regarding the audit investigation into council property sales.

He added: "We are in liaison with the Grampian area procurator fiscal and it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time."

Aberdeen Central Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald said he first became aware of the problem when a constituent raised concerns over a 2003 sale.

He said: "What I did not know at the time was how many properties were sold in this way, which I think will be shocking to everyone."

Brian Adam, SNP MSP for Aberdeen North, said: "Although this happened quite some time ago, it is a matter of considerable concern, and I hope the council will look very closely at the recommendations."

The council has already faced criticism for seeking 27m of budget cuts, and the Accounts Commission is due to conduct a public hearing into its affairs in May.




SEE ALSO
Council watchdog date confirmed
09 Apr 08 |  North East/N Isles

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