FUTUREPLACES continues to wind down as most staff are transferred to BCP Council’s civic offices. 

Thirteen out of 19 staff members have moved to the town hall from other offices, including one from Exeter Park Road, Bournemouth.

It comes following the announcement to wind down the urban regeneration company earlier this year, and the resignation of chief operating officer Craig Beevers. 

There was controversy in September when claims were made that FuturePlaces had rented offices from a company, which former council leader Drew Mellor is listed as a director.

Bournemouth Echo: Bournemouth town hallBournemouth town hall (Image: Echo)

However, Mr Mellor has denied owning the Bourne Park building. 

Speaking at a full council meeting on Tuesday evening, Cllr Patrick Canavan said it is “really important to learn from lessons of the past”, referring to the alleged conflicts of interest and asked for an update.

Read more: Drew Mellor's company 'received taxpayers' money by renting offices'

Cllr Vikki Slade, leader of BCP Council, replied: “This is something that needs to be reviewed by the audit and governance committee, that is the appropriate route for all of those matters. 

“I’m hoping we can have that done in public, so we can have the appropriate scrutiny.” 

Read more: Hinton Road Investments received £27k from FuturePlaces

She added: “We are currently assessing those costs [of moving staff and winding down the company] but that has not become clear until we have been able to value all of the work in progress and the consulting and strategic planning work that has been completed but not yet charged for. 

“This is likely to take until December. 

Bournemouth Echo: Council leader Vikki SladeCouncil leader Vikki Slade (Image: BCP Council)

“The internal governance is being reviewed to ensure that we have a robust structure for oversights from development and delivery and risk management is in place which will include an independent advisory board for terms of reference and membership of which is being finalised.” 

Graham Farrant, chief executive of the council, has previously been asked if any action would be taken against the former leader. 

He said the circumstances and dates are being reviewed and it is being looked at if there should have been a “disclosable pecuniary interest and whether there is any action we need to take”. 

FuturePlaces is expected to be formally closed by the council in the first quarter of 2024, subject to approval. 

Cllr Slade has said the company is being wound down to give a “greater focus on the council’s priorities”.