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More allegations about Suffolk CSD contract on eve of budget meeting

In an explosive story today, Ipswich Spy says a £3.5 million “saving” on Suffolk County Council’s controversial Customer Services Direct (CSD)  contract is in jeopardy.

If true, it will undermine the austerity budget the Conservative-controlled council is to present tomorrow.  This already looks like being a stormy meeting, following protests at Norfolk and Cambridgeshire budget meetings this week.

In December, the Guardian reported that the council was ignoring spiralling costs of more than £100m from its joint venture with British Telecom.

A former head of supplier relationships at the council, Michael Gower, said he had repeatedly complained that the joint venture set up by the council and BT, to run human resources, finance and IT, was over-budget. He said  contract changes he suggested were ignored by the Suffolk CC chief executive Andrea Hill who had taken courtesy trips to the US with BT.

Ipswich Spy says the latest officer put in charge of the CSD contract has also resigned. There are further allegations about the involvement of Ms Hill.

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