SENIOR Gloucestershire politicians have welcomed Graham Garbutt’s report into the Cotswold Water Park Society.

Gloucestershire County Council leader Cllr Mark Hawthorne (Con, Moreland) said he was pleased the report had highlighted a number of issues within the council which can now be dealt with.

“We set out to differentiate between fact and fiction, between reality and perception, and I think we’ve been able to do that,” he said.

“It’s important to remember that the issues revealed in the report stemmed from a criminal act.

“The disposal of Keynes Country Park was done with the best of intentions – however, when this process of governance was bombarded by someone who was seeking to defraud the society, these systems were found to be lacking.”

Cllr Hawthorne added it was important the issues Mr Garbutt raised around delegated powers are acted upon as soon as possible.

“It is now clear that processes which were put in place were not followed – this is not good enough,” he said.

“The public expect due diligence from their servants and I’m determined that we correct what happened.

“I think its right and proper that we take to recommendations to build up something that benefits the local community.”

Cotswold District Councillor Esmond Jenkins (Lib Dem, Water Park), said he was pleased Mr Garbutt had confirmed his suspicions that complaints he had made around the lease of Keynes Country Park (KCP) had not been properly investigated.

“What we have here is a trail of mismanagement and obstruction that needs to be thoroughly investigated,” he said.

“I will be asking Cllr Hawthorne that those in his employ who are proved to have failed in their duty should face the most severe sanctions.

“In private enterprise this would not be tolerated nor must it be at Shire Hall.”