Fuel theft leads to sacking

The Makerfield Way site where the fuel was audited
The Makerfield Way site where the fuel was audited

ONE Wigan Council employee has been sacked and another has agreed to quit after the theft of more than £1,000 worth of fuel from the town’s recycling centre.

The two men were based at the Ince depot and, after the syphoning scandal was uncovered, one agreed to leave his post and was ordered to pay £1,000 as a punishment/refund.

The other contested the accusation but, after a disciplinary hearing last Tuesday, he was dismissed.

The disappearance came to light during an audit of fuel usage at the Makerfield Way site when a significant difference between fuel ordered and miles driven was found.

After a thorough investigation, two employees were cited for the disappearance and were brought before bosses about their involvement.

The man who admitted taking the fuel was offered a deal whereby he resigned and agreed to pay £1,000 – an estimate of what was taken – and so avoid prosecution.

Following the disciplinary hearing Coun Jim Ellis, who was representing the sacked man, said there would be an appeal.

As a result of the incident, it is believed that Wigan Council has changed procedures.

And it insists now that fuel audits take place on a more regular basis so such large discrepancies cannot be repeated.

Steve Cassie, assistant director of trading at Wigan Council, said: “We cannot comment further as the investigation is on-going and it may prejudice the outcome.”

The authority would not confirm or deny that it had reported the man who had been sacked to police.