City council fires official for demanding bung

Edinburgh City Council has confirmed details of an official’s sacking amidst allegations of corruption in its building-repairs system.

The official had allegedly asked a private maintenance contractor to pay money towards a holiday, but the builder refused and reported the staff member to his bosses.

Details of the sacking - one of seven - are latest development since it emerged last year that Lothian and Borders Police were probing concerns surrounding Edinburgh City Council’s unique Property Conservation system and some £30m worth of work.

The system allows officials to issue statutory notices to order repairs on private homes, with council surveyors arranging the work through private contractors.

In October the BBC reported that the value of statutory notices issued by surveyors had increased dramatically from £9.2m in 2005 to £30m in 2010.

The Scotsman reported today that the sacking and had involved demands by the official for a “four figure sum”.

Mark Turley, Edinburgh City Council’s director of services for communities, said he had been determined to “eliminate all unacceptable practices” since taking responsibilty for Property Conservation last year. 

“This is one example and illustrates how seriously we are taking this matter,” he said.

“I am grateful for the public’s continued patience while we make every effort to resolve this issue and deal with the concerns that have been raised.

“Ultimately, our aim is to restore confidence in an important system for ensuring the quality of our housing and built heritage.”