Council fails to correct wrong accounts

Last summer, using a Freedom of Information request, The Leveller® obtained full accounts for Elleston Services Limited. The company is a subsidiary of South Somerset District Council (SSDC). It has only filed one set of accounts, to 31 March 2020. And, it will surprise our readers to know, they are wrong.

We pointed this out last summer when the accounts were filed at Companies House. All the numbers in the filed accounts are expressed in £. Which would be fine if it were not for the fact that they should have been in £’000s. This is a pretty embarrassing howler. One which we have pointed out to both SSDC and Companies House. The former have done precisely nothing to put things right. More surprisingly, Companies House have taken no interest either.

Other errors in the accounts include a failure to disclose the ultimate holding company. And a failure to state why the company is a going concern despite showing net liabilities of £29,000.

These days Companies House, the guardian of filed accounts are pretty much happy for any rubbish to be filed. They simply don’t take action. Even when it is pointed out to them. The bottom line appears to be, as long as accounts are filed, accuracy and completeness are someone else’s problem.

Since the accounts were filed, directors Pestell, Cooper and Seal have all resigned. That leaves G N Cole, J Divall and D N Norris. They remain on the hook for filing wrong accounts. And indeed for taking no action when it was pointed out the accounts were wrong.

These three directors may also be liable for late filing penalties. Directors can be fined for not preparing and filing accounts within 9 months of the company year end. The last year end was 31 March 2021 and as of today (5 February) no accounts have been filed.

You can read the full set of accounts for Elleston Services Limited below above the accounts that were filed at Companies House:

7 comments

  • I complained to Companies House about the incorrect accounts and received a response to say that the directors could voluntarily file correct accounts. It seems that the people running the place are too lazy to do anything about it. As long as accounts are filed, no one cares whether or not they are grossly misleading and incorrect. I ended up writing to the minister and received the usual useless response. No wonder the UK is a money-laundering paradise.

    I had the same issues with the Yeovil Constituency LibDems’s accounts when I questioned some very odd accounting entries with the staff at the Electoral Commission, so I am not entirely surprised, but it is frightening when you think how much public money these people are responsible for.

    I don’t know how they get away with it and there is a lot more questionable activity which has been brushed off. It is strange how developers who flout the planning rules and make excuses about not paying or making agreed s106 contributions get away with it. It’s time the Fraud Squad descended to sort it out.

  • If accounts are not file do Companies House remove/dissolve the company by default

  • Christine Barrett

    This is disgusting. Why has nothing been done

  • Remember Enron, Wirecard, Carillion…the list goes on. Me ,bullshit, and salary always came first. Remember the work of the auditors. By comparison this lot are chicken feed , but the same principle applies…lets get away with what we can, because we can …..and after all ,it is always someone else”s money,

  • I don’t think that the amounts of money are chicken feed. For example, developers and their advisers have made serious money out of some of the very contentious planning decisions and SSDC has spent tens of millions of pounds on dodgy investments which we council taxpayers will end up funding.

    It is also not just about money. Villages and rural areas, which are what attract tourists to Somerset, have been irretrievably spoilt by inappropriate development, the town centres are a complete mess and even the much-vaunted Chard regeneration is being chopped back because SSDC did not budget properly. All the additional housing has put huge pressure on public services with overflowing schools, inadequate medical services with areas of the district now subjected to flooding because of inadequate planning for additional run off. There is no planning enforcement, so planning conditions and requirements are flouted as a matter of routine because there is no supervision. The culture of anything goes seems to pervade the Council. I think it unlikely that Clare Pestell is the only example – she is just the one who was found out.

    Finally, this cavalier disregard for the requirements of the law is another example of how SSDC’s leadership seem to think that the law applies to other people and not to them. It is incredibly disheartening for the general public, most of whom pay their taxes and abide by the rules, to see even public authorities abusing their efforts.

  • Christopher Noble

    I wonder where they get the idea that this can be done with impunity and, furthermore, that they will get away with it? Hmmmm……

Leave a Reply