Investigation launched into Crest Academy’s missing funds

Crest Academy, Neasden. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

Crest Academy, Neasden. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg - Credit: Archant

Questions were being raised this week after Freedom of Information (FOI) requests revealed that the Crest Academy has yet to pay back £20,000 in ward working funds.

The funds were originally granted to the Academy back in 2012 to help it purchase a minibus, with the purchase date set for early 2013. The minibus was intended to serve both the school and the local community.

However despite being awarded the funds it was recently revealed that the minibus was never purchased by the Academy, and the funds never paid back to the ward.

The ward in question was Dollis Hill, where the academy is situated. Alison Hopkins, who made the FOI requests, was a ward councillor when the funds were awarded.

“I just feel like we as a ward have lost out on £20,000 that we really could have done with,” she told the Brent & Kilburn Times.

“Dollis Hill isn’t a particularly rich ward, and all that will happen now if the money is paid back is it will go into one big pot for the council, and Dollis Hill will miss out.

“It’s just not fair on the local community.”

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Ward working funds were introduced “to secure long term improvements in the way services are delivered to meet the needs of residents at the local neighbourhood level”. Brent council say they “are in the process of seeking recovery,” of the funds.

And last night E-Act, the academy’s sponsor. released the following statement regarding the funds:

“E-ACT will undertake a full investigation into the award of ward working funds to the Crest Academy in 2013. The results of the investigation will be shared in due course. Should the investigation conclude that errors have occurred, the full award will be returned.”