Coventry MEP Nikki Sinclaire is to report Coventry City Council to OLAF, the European Unions anti-fraud department.
In a speech about the European Regional Development Fund, the We Demand a Referendum Now MEP, speaking in Strasbourg, said,
" The European Regional Development fund is an anathema to my constituents Mr President.
On one hand it is promoted as a benefit of the European Union yet we see precious seldom of that fund which is after all the UK Taxpayers money being returned to us much reduced and with strings attached.
One such project is the Coventry Arena known locally as the Ricoh arena. In 2003 the council received £4.75 million from the fund. Last June following a number of complaints I submitted a Freedom of Information Request to Coventry Council seeking to ascertain the purpose. At the same time I submitted an official question to the European Commission seeking the same.
Imagine my surprise when the answer did not match. In fact they could not be further apart.
Mr President, with other information that has come to my attention in the past year, and the constant refusal of Coventry City Council to meet with me about these discrepancies in funding I can only conclude they have something to hide.
When the Commission sought to ascertain the situation Coventry Council changed their position.
Today I can confirm that I am referring the matter to the EU anti-Fraud department, OLAF for investigation into this use of taxpayers’ money
There is something rotten at the heart of Coventry Council. Is there something fraudulent as well?"
Nikki has also referred the matter to the Information Commissioner.