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THE management of the Inverness Common Good Fund must be completely revamped to stop future mistakes, councillors have said.

Furious city councillors hit out at errors made during rent collection which saw the fund lose out on £29,000.

This was due to five industrial estate tenants being undercharged because direct debits had not been updated.

The oversight was revealed to councillors in an audit. It showed that a single tenant was allowed to save £8400 after being undercharged £400 a month for 21 months and the council had to repay £15,342 to one tenant who was overcharged.

Payment plans have now been set up to claw back the lost money.

The news comes less than two years after separate gaffes emerged over common good funds in Nairn and Inverness that left them more than £200,000 out of pocket.

Nairn Common Good Fund missed out on £147,000 in rent and a further £40,000 in interest after a mistake meant rent reviews of Parkdean holiday park at Lochloy were missed in 1999 and 2006.

And a further error by council officials meant rent totalling £18,000 was not collected from Clachnacuddin Football Club on behalf of Inverness Common Good Fund between 2004 and 2006.

At the time the council insisted that lessons had been learned from those failures – after taxpayers were left to foot the bill to compensate the accounts.

But Inverness Central councillor Donnie Kerr disagreed after hearing mistakes have been made again.

“We have a number of discrepancies in relation to billing for leases and various other things,” he said.

“It would appear we have learned nothing from the previous Clach fiasco where we were convinced it would be a good idea to give them a 50 per cent rent reduction.

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