A COUNCIL officer will stand trial charged with conspiracy to commit fraud, false accounting and abusing the public trust at Blaenavon’s Shared Resource Service (SRS).

Director of the SRS Farooq Dastgir, 51, of Coed Camlas, Pontypool, who is currently suspended from his role, appeared at Newport Crown Court alongside Gary Inchliffe, 51, of Beechcroft, Trelewis.

Both are charged with jointly conspiring to commit fraud by making a false representation between February 3 and September 14 last year and with false accounting.

It is alleged the pair conspired to dishonestly make a false representation that cabling work had been carried out by Camelot IT, South Wales, within SRS when it had not, thereby exposing SRS to the risk of loss. It is also alleged they created an invoice quotation and e-mail suggesting this cabling work had been carried out, thereby dishonestly intending to cause a loss to the SRS, Torfaen council, Monmouthshire council and Gwent Police.

The SRS at Victoria House, Blaenavon, was opened last year and was designed to be the IT nerve centre for Torfaen and Monmouthshire councils and Gwent Police.

Dastgir is also charged with three counts of abusing the public trust while working as a public officer for Torfaen council and with a charge of false accounting.

Not guilty pleas were entered to all the charges.

A further hearing will be heard next Friday, where a trial date will be set.