Huntingdonshire District Council is soon to take part in a nationwide exercise, involving over 1,000 organisations, that will allow it to identify and prevent fraud. Since its launch in 1996, the council has taken part in the National Fraud Initiative exercise every time it has been run.

This year’s exercise is being organised by the Cabinet Office and the council will be sending personal data that it holds on its suppliers, insurance claimants, market traders, personal alcohol licence holders, taxi drivers and residents who hold parking permits, along with its own employees and elected members.

Results from the exercise will be made available to the council next January, when they will be reviewed and investigations carried out into any potential frauds or errors that have been flagged.

We will also be sending an extract from the electoral roll to the Cabinet Office in December, together with details of residents who pay Council Tax. This will enable us to identify people who may be incorrectly claiming Council Tax single person discount.

Cllr Jonathan Gray, Executive Councillor for Strategic Resources, said: "With the council’s finances continuing to come under significant pressure, it’s important that we make the best use of all the methods available to us to identify potential fraud and stop it occurring. When we took part in these exercises in 2014 we identified and recovered over £45,000 from fraud, and we will continue to pursue individuals who commit fraud against the council. We want to send out the message that fraudsters have no place to hide."