A POLICE probe into corruption and fraud allegations at West Dunbartonshire Council (WDC) has been closed.

Police Scotland confirmed "no criminality" had been found in a second investigation into concerns raised by a whistleblower.

More than £9million went to roads and greenspace contracts without proper procurement rules. Senior offices didn't disclose personal relationships with contractors.

Councillors on the audit committee didn't see full details and a report on the findings of internal auditors was nearly entirely redacted.

Audit Scotland investigated and asked council bosses to reconsider disciplinary action, but WDC said no.

Read more: Former St Eunan's site to be transformed into community green space

Police previously looked at the situation and found no criminality, but took a second look earlier this year after Councillor Jim Bollan and a whistleblower raised further concerns.

A spokesman for Police Scotland confirmed: "Police Scotland can confirm that information passed to us has been assessed. Further enquiries have been carried out and no criminality has been established."

Cllr Bollan, who has been pushing for years for more scrutiny, transparency and accountability, said he was disappointed.

He said: "I would like to thank the police officers involved in investigating this case for their diligence and professionalism, values which have not been evident from the council establishment.

"While I am disappointed that the police are unable to press the case further, I am not completely surprised at this outcome.

"Even with what I believe to be quality evidence in a paper trail, it was always going to be difficult to get a case to court where you have to lead the 'best evidence'."

He added: "What this case has uncovered though is that in every department of the council, procurement and financial council rules and regulations have deliberately been broken on an industrial scale over a number of years costing the council taxpayer an incalculable amount of money according to Audit Scotland while the CEO and the senior management team knew this was happening and condoned it, making them complicit in my opinion.

"The SNP administration needs to deal with this situation urgently as the public will have no confidence in a council or a style of management that allows this wrongdoing to happen."

But the SNP hit back at Cllr Bollan's attack on staff, despite police finding no criminality.

Council leader Jonathan McColl said: "With the exception of the Community Party, all political parties and independent members of council, including the SNP administration, have dealt with this situation. We are working together to ensure that the issues identified do not arise again.

“My focus in this area as the SNP leader of the council, working with the chief executive and Labour’s convener of audit [Councillor John Mooney], is on ensuring that the recommendations from our own internal audit investigation and the independent investigation by Audit Scotland, are implemented.”

Labour's David McBride said there remained questions, even as he welcomed an end to the matter.

Read more: Councillors agree to disagree on ‘complex’ issue of assisted dying

He said: "This decision by Police Scotland doesn't go any way towards explaining the non-compliance with council policy by some senior officers, nor the length of time or the scope of the internal audit.

"However, I am pleased that to an extent, it draws a line under the matter and allows the council to progress with its action plan as identified by the auditors report.

"The Labour group of councillors expect the highest standards from all of our officers at all times and when they fail to live up to those standards, we would expect action from the senior management team.

"We set policy in good faith, often informed by professional officers of the council and our expectation is that senior council officers will always comply with both the spirit and the intent of the policies set by this council."

A spokeswoman for WDC welcomed the police conclusion and also rejected Cllr Bollan's comments.

She said: "We thank Police Scotland for swiftly concluding a case which we always believed lacked credibility. We consider this matter closed.

"We also reject Cllr Bollan’s sweeping and inaccurate claims regarding procurement.

"The facts have been openly shared with councillors and the public in published reviews by internal audit and Audit Scotland, and the council is currently making good progress on the improvement action plans which followed.”