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Assembly Member questions rationale for £290,000 Welsh Government grant to Bridgend firm

The Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black has written to the Minister for Economy, Science, and Transport Edwina Hart to seek clarification over a £290,000 Welsh Government training grant to be paid to Bridgend-based ''We Fight Any Claim" for training their 226 call centre staff.

Mr Black said: "I fully support the objective of spending public money on effective training for staff. That is money well-spent. However, given the previous track record of this company, and its owners, I have written to Edwina Hart asking for reassurances that Welsh Government officials have fully scrutinised this grant funding.

"A debt brokerage firm previously run by the owners was stripped of its credit licence for 'deceitful and oppressive business practices' and taking fees from customers without their knowledge or consent. This ban from acting as a credit company came after a three-year investigation by the OFT. 'We Fight Any Claim' itself was in the media earlier this year for taking upfront fees from PPI claimants, though it has now ceased the practice.

"I have asked Mrs Hart what checks her officials made so as see that the training outputs and outcomes are appropriately agreed and measured. In addition, I have asked whether this training is to be delivered in-house, or by an independent organisation, and the target time for its delivery. There is also the question of how the training is to be validated, and its success measured.

"I have no reason to think anything is untoward about this grant but I think it is right that these questions are asked so as to provide appropriate assurances for the public."

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