QUESTIONS have been raised why members of the scandal-ridden Cotswold Water Park Society remain in place nearly 12 months after the arrest of its chief executive and finance director.

South Cerney parish councillors laid into the controversial society at their meeting last week and blasted it for not being accountable and transparent.

The CWPS was rocked eight months ago following the arrest of its chief executive Dennis Grant and finance director Nick Hanson on suspicion of theft, conspiracy to defraud, money laundering and false accounting.

In a bid to restore public confidence, the society is reorganising itself as a charitable trust.

But furious South Cerney councillors said the board members who were at the helm at the time of the arrest should have already resigned by now.

Matthew Millett, joint acting chief executive officer of the CWPS said the existing board members would resign once the new trust is launched. But Cotswold district councillor Esmond Jenkins said it was too late by then.

He fumed: "The society is undergoing major changes and the figureheads making the decisions are those who got the society into the deep hole of mess it is currently in.

"These people managing the society are not private investors, they are there as de facto representatives of the community. They have a duty to represent our interests, which they are currently not doing."

He has now called for the society’s board membership to be widened to include Water Park representatives.

"The society should be hugely embarrassed at the situation. It is unbelievable board members believe they have a mandate to reorganise the society when they failed so spectacularly."

Chairman of the parish council, Mike Stuart, said the community had moved beyond feeling concerned, it now felt anger that the situation had barely changed since last year.

Mr Millett responded to the criticisms and told the Standard: "I understand, and have sympathy, for the frustration felt by local communities over the length of time that it is taking to make the necessary changes.

"Yes the current Board are still in place but they have all agreed to stand down in April 2011.

"While it would seem desirable to have an immediate change in the society’s Board, or to co-op additional board members onto the Society, I would repeat that the Board will not exist after 31 March 2011.

"It would be far better instead to concentrate on getting the high quality candidates for the Trust’s board as it is this organisation which will be taking over."

He added that it was not just the eight board members who approved changes but the twelve members of the society.