Angel Group Watch

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Probe into flats group

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EVENING CHRONICLE (Newcastle, UK)

A property firm is being investigated after claims of financial irregularities with contracts for housing asylum seekers in the North East. The allegations have been made against London-based Angel Group, which has properties in Newcastle. Page 41 Asylum firm faces probe THE JOURNAL (Newcastle, UK) August 5, 2005, Friday The firm earns millions annually through Government contracts for housing asylum seekers around the country. It has had contracts with the National Asylum Support Service [NASS] for five years, mainly in Yorkshire and the North East. The allegations, made in a national newspaper, allege Angel received cash from NASS for homes in Newcastle later found to be uninhabitable or for which it had no keys. It is alleged Angel claimed discounts on council tax to which it was not entitled in Newcastle and Leeds. Lawyers for the company and the owner have denied the allegations. Newcastle Council has launched an inquiry into the claims. A council spokesman said: “The Angel Group has a number of properties in Newcastle. “We are aware of the serious allegations made and are investigating the discounts claimed by the Angel Group and any further entitlement they may have.” Sir Jeremy Beecham, councillor for Benwell , has asked the council’s chief executive for an investigation. Sir Jeremy said: “The reports raise serious questions about financial matters, including council tax relief, as well as about the quality of homes for people in need.” A Home Office spokesman said: “We take these allegations very seriously. We are investigating claims made about the Angel Group and have commissioned the Audit and Assurance Unit, an independent body, to look into it. If we discover any evidence of wrongdoing we will refer the matter to the appropriate authorities, including the police if fraud is suspected.” The Angel Group had made an agreement with the NASS to provide 3,351 bed spaces nationwide. The allegations relate to a time before new contracts negotiations started. Julia Davey, Angel Group owner, said: “The allegations are rubbish and the invention of ex-employees who have an axe to grind with us. “During the NASS contract we have been subjected to hundreds of inspections, of which, in accordance with Home Office procedures, we have had no prior notice. We have received a satisfactory report in every single case.”

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Written by Concerned

August 4, 2005 at 10:49 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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