FACT boss Jo Philpott ousted after six-hour council grilling

Jo Philpott – the manager of three community transport operators (CTOs) – has resigned after a six-hour grilling by Cambridgeshire County Council’s audit committee on 31 July.

She ran three linked community transport organisations (CTOs) – Fenland Association for Community Transport (FACT), Huntingdonshire Association for Community Transport (HACT) and Ely & Soham Association for Community Transport (ESACT) – accused of operating “in clear breach” of the Section 19/22 regime [routeone, News, 25 July].

FACT Training Manager Steve Shannon has resigned as a trustee, and is the new Manager.

The committee’s examination of a 288-page, 82,000-word report, commissioned by Cambridgeshire County Council at a cost of £170,000, revealed a range of issues from grant applications to false membership figures.

But faced with the risk of all its county council contracts being cancelled, the trustees called an emergency meeting. 

“Trustees were left in no doubt that methods of operation needed to change,” said FACT vice chairman Cllr Owen in a statement.

Cllr Owen also revealed that the three CTOs would no longer share a single bank account – one source of amazement to councillors during the meeting.

Audit committee member Cllr John Williams said: “I have been waiting to hear – for the whole of today – from FACT an apology.

“But all I have got so far is like a bank – we’re too big to fail and you have to put up with us because you’ve got no-one else.”