YEP Says, April 1: Charity wrangle that leaves taxpayers counting the cost

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Historic mismanagement forces council to pay out.

WHAT a shambles. Locked in a wrangle with a local charity over cash it claims it is owed, Leeds City Council decides to take the money from its future funding.

The charity in question, the Leeds Society for the Deaf and Blind, decides to sue – and a lack of paperwork means the council doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

The upshot is that the authority is forced to make an out of court settlement worth £310,000.

Given the potential legal fees involved, the bill for which would have been picked up from the public purse, the council was probably right to cut its losses.

But if it was correct in its claim that the charity should have handed back a total of £288,000 in unspent grants, then city taxpayers are still the losers.

The difficulty in this case is that it seems the mistakes go back nearly four decades.

The question is, why did it take so long for the council’s financial team to realise there was an issue with the way the contract with the charity was being run?

Such mismanagement would be unthinkable in private companies where every penny counts.

There are no winners here – only a reminder of the importance of proper procedures and the need for effective oversight of public funds by those we trust with our hard-earned money.

Fifa fruitcakes need dose of common sense

CARMEN Olmos is a keen young footballer who wants to turn out for her local Leeds team.

But because she’s Spanish, she’s not allowed to play.

The Football Association say they can’t obtain international clearance and their hands are tied by Fifa regulations. And no, it’s not an April Fool’s joke.

Have you ever heard anything so ridiculous in your life? These are rules that were made for top flight stars, not a 14-year-old who just wants to play for a local side.

Despite the calls for common sense to prevail, Fifa are refusing to back down.

Then again, they are the bright sparks who opted to play a summer World Cup in the desert.

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