A NEW panel is to investigate the apparent failures of a multi-million pound council scheme to tackle unemployment in Waltham Forest.

It emerged earlier this summer that companies hired to provide services under the flagship Worknet project fell well short of targets, often helping only a fraction of the people they had pledged to.

But the organisations often blamed the council for failing to provide adequate support for schemes.

Worknet involved contracts worth about £9million in total, but some companies only received a fraction of that due to poor performance.

Now the council's Overview and Scrutiny management committee has established a panel of three councillors who will examine what, if anything, went wrong.

It includes Conservative councillor John Moss, Labour's Cllr Saima Mahmood and Liberal Democrat Cllr Bob Sullivan.

Cllr Sullivan said: “All of this £9 million should have been used to put our residents back to work but so far we don’t know how much of this money actually made it into these back to work schemes or if any of them were successful.

“The council, the contractors and cabinet members all have tough questions to answer.

"We need to know if these contracts were successfully delivered, if they weren’t delivered then what went wrong, and why residents didn’t know about it sooner?”

The panel is expected to deliver its findings early next year.

The council has failed to comment on Worknet.