Probe into One Connect goes on

County Hall, Preston
County Hall, Preston
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Police are remaining tight-lipped over the state of their investigation into Lancashire’s controversial One Connect Limited, a year to the day after they swooped on three homes.

Detectives probing alleged financial irregularities with the ill-fated partnership between County Hall and telecom giants BT say the inquiry is still “ongoing” and it would be “inappropriate to comment any further at this time.”

The statement is exactly the same as one issued by Lancashire Constabulary back in March 2014 when the force was already six months into its investigation.

It is understood that while homes in Fulwood, Southport and Knowsley were visited by officers on this day last year, no charges have so far followed.

One Connect was shut down by the county council just over a year ago after concerns over the way it was being run.

The partnership, set up by the previous Conservative administration to run services and save the authority up to £400m over a decade, had been in business less than three years when Labour pulled the plug.

The collapse resulted in the chief executives of both One Connect and LCC resigning from their posts.

But since then, despite bitter inter-party clashes in the council chamber at County Hall – the latest last week – there is no indication from police if the 18-month probe is near to being concluded.

Tory leader Coun Geoff Driver was back on the offensive a week ago during the annual budget council meeting.

He accused the county council of throwing away millions as a result of the “politically motivated” decision to scrap the agreement with BT.

The outburst came after Labour claims last summer that One Connect had been losing around £1m a month during its final year.

Coun Driver said a year ago today: “I have always made it clear right from day one . . . that I would welcome a thorough investigation into what has gone on.

“I have not had a visit from the police, my house has not been searched.”