AFTER waiting nearly four years, a complaint will be made to Dyfed-Powys Police about the length of time it is taking to finish investigating alleged commercial grant irregularities uncovered by a Milford Haven councillor.

Hakin Councillor Mike Stoddart revealed irregularities in a council-administered Commercial Property Grant Scheme (CPGS) in Pembroke and Pembroke Dock, funded by the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO).

Irregular payments of around £60,000 were found to have been made to developer Cathal McCosker - in respect of properties on Dimond Street and Meyrick Street - who offered to pay back a total of £180,000 having received payments for other projects.

However, it was not known by the committee if any repayments had been received.

“As a result of these irregularities being uncovered, the council had to repay £309,000 to the Wales European Funding Office (WEFO) and take steps to rewrite the CPGS procedure manual to close loopholes in order to minimise the opportunities for fraud,” states Cllr Stoddart’s background report for a notice of motion discussed at an audit committee meeting on Tuesday.

After much fighting - and facing false accusations from fellow councillors of lying - Cllr Stoddart’s evidence was reported to police following a formal review in 2014.

“It’s five years since I first took an interest in this matter. It’s three and three quarter years since I handed a dossier to police but nothing has materialised.

“It’s a fairly quite straightforward case, I can’t understand why it’s taken so long,” said Cllr Stoddart.

He added that his was “suspicious” about the delay as he felt there had been “two maybe three instances where the police and this council have conspired to pervert the course of justice”.

The matter has been the subject of a police investigation with the council’s Audit Committee being told last May that the case was likely to end up in court.

It is currently with the complex case unit at the Crown Prosecution Service but no arrests have been made.

But with still no update on the case Pembrokeshire County Council’s audit committee resolved to submit a formal complaint to Dyfed-Powys Police.

A notice of motion by Cllr Stoddart read: “This authority resolves to complain to the Police Complaints Commission regarding the length of time taken by Dyfed-Powys Police to conclude investigations into the irregularities in the Pembroke Dock Commercial Properties Grants Scheme, which the council reported to the police in April 2014.”

This was approved by the audit committee, with an amendment made to the watchdog body, now called the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

A recommendation from officers that the chief executive Ian Westley speaks again to the Chief Constable because the “council does enjoy a good relationship with Dyfed-Powys Police” requesting an update was deemed inappropriate and not approved.

“”That’s not how things are done, things should be done properly,” said Cllr Stoddart.

It was hoped that there would be an update available by March’s full council meeting.