Police conclude investigation into allegations Council deliberately manipulated air quality data


A police investigation into allegations that Cheshire East Council deliberately manipulated air quality data has been completed.

In 2017, Cheshire East Council reported concerns to Cheshire Constabulary relating to alleged deliberate manipulation of air quality data.

An external investigation into the Council's air quality monitoring procedures earlier in 2017 found that serious errors were made as a "result of deliberate and systematic manipulation of data", which may have affected some planning decisions in the South of the Borough.

The investigation also revealed that the Council failed to ensure that adequate processes, procedures and systems were in place to manage this data effectively.

Cheshire East Council monitors nitrogen dioxide levels at approximately 100 sites throughout the borough.

However, an external investigation found that serious errors were made in the Council's air quality data for 2012, 2013 and 2014 which may have impacted on Air Quality Assessments undertaken as part of the process of considering planning applications, particularly in Nantwich, Congleton, Crewe, Holmes Chapel, Sandbach and Macclesfield.

In August 2017, Cheshire Police investigated whether any crimes have been committed in relation to the Council's false air pollution figures and confirmed there were sufficient grounds to warrant a formal investigation.

Today a spokesperson for Cheshire Police said "Detectives have conducted a thorough investigation, however no further action will be taken by the police at this time in respect of this matter.

"It has now been referred back to the council for their consideration. Should any new information come to light, a further review may be undertaken."

Cheshire East Council


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Nick Jones
Thursday 24th December 2020 at 4:59 pm
KIcked in the long grass with everything else..not a timely response.. another Lyme Green moment for CEC.
John Harries
Thursday 31st December 2020 at 5:33 pm
Cannot agree with Nick Jones......
It's been thoroughly investigated by Cheshire Police - they've been hard at it for 30 months!
If you wish to judge how the investigation was conducted just consider the language used in one conclusion; it stated "...human error was 'unlikely to be responsible". Don't know what other readers think but I could have written it thus
'..the falsification of figures [by Council Officials] was deliberate' - now that is much clearer isn't it?
Not to worry, another conclusion stated that "an official enquiry would be justified" so Cheshire Police not finding evidence of 'criminal activity' have turned it over to - Cheshire East Council - to decide if indeed an official enquiry should be convened.
Well now we are getting somewhere aren't we? To be even handed, it is now a considerably changed CEC but it's really all a waste of time (and our money) to take it further - so on we go with potentially bent, self 'regulating' public servants - and remember, we actually pay them!!
On a more serious note, it's sobering to think that last week was the first official death in the UK (of a child) due to covert air pollution......
Tony Haluradivth
Friday 1st January 2021 at 10:06 am
We live in scary times of endemic corruption and I fear there are many out there who will gratefully hide behind the rushed and increasing draconian emergency laws to their own advantage. Honesty and integrity are becoming rare commodities .
Watch your backs out there folks and do not allow yourselves to become docile and gullible, start questioning things which do not feel right, we are being fed misinformation each day and the NHS management is now at War with it's GPs. Divide and Rule is the game, I am no longer scared of the virus I am more concerned about the Corrupt and Authoritarians. My message of uplift is that we are a huge extended family and not one of us has had Covid (knowingly) . Mrs H and I (heading close to 90) have a big circle of friends and none of us are dead from Covid . Perhaps we are lucky as we do not live in a densely populated area and walk a lot. "We have nothing to Fear but Fear itself". as FDR wisely said
Kathryn Blackburn
Friday 1st January 2021 at 1:22 pm
1000 up ticks from me Tony. Happy New Year.
Tony Haluradivth
Friday 1st January 2021 at 10:38 pm
Happy NY to you too Kathryn
Whatch out for this Klaus man and his pervasive ideas ;)
Pete Taylor
Friday 1st January 2021 at 10:57 pm
Once upon a time there was a nutter on your bus about once every year, or so..... these days; I'm happy to walk.
Tony Haluradivth
Saturday 2nd January 2021 at 5:38 pm
Takes one to know one eh! Pete? Aree you implying that we are "nutters" because we lament the demise of honesty and integrity these days? Some public servants display precious little shame or humility when they get up to no good and merely move on to other Councils. We inherited a gent in CEC from one of the London councils a few years back and he was suspended , put on generous "Gardening Leave" and left under a foul smelling cloud only to move to another Council. It is a disgraceful "revolving door" of ineptitude and corruption. Suarez was his name I believe and he was much covered on these pages