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Hughenden council fraud could feature in Channel 5 documentary
A CHANNEL 5 documentary could be filmed about the theft of £28k from Hughenden Parish Council.
Lynne Turner stole £28,200 from the council during her time as clerk and served time in jail this year.
Channel 5 are looking to do a documentary concerning workplace theft and personal financial debt, and would like to feature the case.
Mrs Turner siphoned the money away from the council accounts into her own, and the court case heard she had personal debt.
Cllr Rick Gould said; "We have no control what goes out, no control on editorial.... that worries me. I have seen documentaries that are twisted and changed."
Cllr Phil Conran said the main person who would be involved would be Charlotte Watts, the former clerk who uncovered the fraud.
Miss Watts said she would take part if the council agreed.
Cllr Dennis Hackling said: "Whilst I think we should be nervous about what we do.
"I cannot see a producer doing a programme like this to praise people who steal money from the public purse.
"I think it will come out as crime does pay."
And he said he would be concerned that if they don't take part it would look like they have something to hide.
But Cllr Gould added: "It is all about homing in on this council."
A confiscation order was made for Mrs Turner to pay back £12,387.89 by November 17. It has, as yet, not been paid back.
Cllr Nick Morris said: "I think some people are probably right- there is no benefit at all.
"But this documentary may stop it happening to councils up and down the country and save public money- it is one reason why it could be done, maybe."
Chairman Roger Beavil said: "Whenever you turn on these programmes on they say things like we contacted x,y and z and they had no one willing to give a response.
"I just think how bad that could be if it happened to us."
The council agreed to set up a sub committee of three councillors and the current clerk to meet with the producers and discuss what the documentary would involve. Further action would be taken from there.
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