Police from Gloucestershire stated last Wednesday that there has been no incriminating criminal evidence against the retired local fire chief, Stewart Edgar. There have been allegations that the local fire chief then undercharged the Cheltenham racecourse in return for the usage of a hospitality box during the Cheltenham Festival.
A whistle-blower asserted to BBC that Mr. Edgar, retired fire chief officer of Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, bargained with a lower rate for the services they rendered in lieu of the usage of the racecourse’s hospitality box.
Edgar denied the said allegation to the BBC. He further added that he doesn’t consent to any ill-doings during his term.
The matter was raised by the Gloucestershire County Council, after an internal audit of the fire department, to the Gloucestershire Police.
However, further documentation was submitted last October 4, Friday, by the county council with regard to their internal audit of the fire department’s service. The document is now being assessed and as of the moment, it is not considered as evidence of criminality.
Aside from their main duty as a fire protector, the Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service has a legal duty to work as rescue providers to the Cheltenham racecourse. The fire department would provide eight staff, each covering ten-hour duty during the Cheltenham Festival. The racecourse was charged £10,950 for 2015 and £5,460 in 2016. However, in 2017 the racecourse was not charged. In Edgar’s last year as fire chief, the course was asked to pay £4,550. This year, the course was asked for £14,960 for the services rendered by the fire department. (data obtained by BBC freedom of information request)
The Cheltenham racecourse’ spokesperson vehemently denied any hospitality in lieu of the services rendered by the Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue or any person who works in the service. He further added that they still have to receive the invoice before they will pay for the services rendered by the fire department in 2017.