RENEWED calls for an independent inquiry into how a £660,000 fraud went undiscovered for so long have been made after it was revealed that local authorities were warned about missing money months before they took action.

Former Water Park chief Dennis Grant was jailed for more than four years last month after admitting six charges of defrauding CWPS out of £660,000.

But this week it emerged that senior council officials, police and Cotswold MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown had all been alerted to a missing payment of £150,000 more than a month before Grant's crimes were uncovered.

Cotswold District councillor Esmond Jenkins contacted officers at Gloucestershire County Council, Cotswold District Council, Wiltshire County Council, Gloucestershire Police and Cotswold MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown asking if they were aware of a £150,000 deal that had been struck between the society and Kilbride company. The money never appeared in the Cotswold Water Park Society’s accounts.

He has now called for an outside police force to conduct a review of the initial investigation into Grant’s activities claiming his warnings were ignored.

And he said any investigation would explain why even when CWPS finance worker Tasha Flaherty presented damning evidence that money had gone missing from the society, Gloucestershire Police still failed to act.

She was left to confront Grant herself and secure the evidence that he had funnelled the £150,000 payment into his own account, before officers moved to arrest both Grant, and CWPS finance director Nick Hanson, who later died following a heart attack.

"Nobody took my tip-off seriously," he said.

"The independent inquiry must look at why the local police initially rebuffed Tasha when she phoned to blow the whistle. I had already presented a file to them several weeks earlier setting out the suspicions over Grant.

CDC Lib Dem leader Paul Hodgkinson backed calls for an inquiry to avoid the issue rumbling on for years.

Cllr Jenkins said an investigation would restore public confidence "A cloud of suspicion hangs over the Water Park," he said. "It will only be blown away by a fully independent investigation."

Mr Clifton-Brown said it was because of Cllr Jenkins’ concerns that he called for the public meeting in March 2010 where local residents questioned both Grant and Mr Hanson.

Peter Bungard, chief executive of GCC, said it was not for the authority to police transactions between independent parties. GCC Water Park representative Cllr Shaun Parsons had asked Brian Atfield, the former CWPS chairman, to look into the matter. GCC would not provide details of Mr Atfield’s investigations.

David Neudegg, chief executive of CDC, said the authority had investigated the issue.

"These were questions the society itself had to answer," he said. "The internal audit report at CDC will soon be published in full and will state if anyone in the council could have prevented the fraud or should have done anything about it."

A spokesman for Gloucestershire police said they had been investigating Cllr Jenkins’ concerns at the time they received enough evidence to arrest Grant.