Ward asks ELS to pay bills

7th November 1997 at 00:00
Derby Wilmorton College was in the area covered by Geoff Lennox, the ELS chief executive, when he was CEO of Derbyshire. Construction millionaire John Kirkland who provided the backing for ELS, sat on the board of Derby County football club alongside Stuart Webb, whose practices when chair of Derby Wilmorton were condemned in an FEFC report.

Relations with the ELS were not always cosy. In May 1995, Mr Ward wrote to Geoff Lennox about a matter which had caused him "very great difficulty".

He said he had been advised by his finance officer that bills scheduled to be paid by ELS were long outstanding. "This has caused us a number of serious problems and personal embarrassment to me. The relationship we have with all of the hotels we use for our regular convenience depends very much on our ability to pay promptly, then we usually get very good service. They are now threatening us with action over unpaid bills."

He adds that they are also under threat of legal action from Derby Wilmorton College for not paying Rachel Newman's (see later) secondment fee. "The delay has been caused by the fact that ELS has not reimbursed us.

"This cannot continue. I need a written assurance from you that these bills will be paid today or tomorrow. Please ensure that your finance officer resolves this directly with the CEF's finance officer..."

Rachel Newman was an assistant principal at Derby Wilmorton and was seconded to the CEF, which in turn seconded her to the ELS, where she got a permanent job. Mr Ward told The TES in 1995: "It is a pretty tenuous connection. We have not paid her a penny for working for ELS. The CEF cannot have commercial or financial links with companies that it recommends. As soon as it became obvious she was of more benefit to ELS than the CEF, we stepped in."

Derby Wilmorton College was located in the area covered by Geoff Lennox, the ELS chief executive, when he was chief education officer of Derbyshire. Construction millionaire John Kirkland who provided the financial backing for ELS, sat on the board of Derby County football club alongside Stuart Webb, whose practices when chair of Derby Wilmorton were condemned in an FEFC report.

Mr Webb owned Lonsdale Travel, a firm which numbered among its directors the late Robert Maxwell. Roger Ward was keen at one stage to see if Lonsdale could offer a service to his members.

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