A VETERAN campaigner, who has consistently opposed Leyburn Town Council's acquisition of Thornborough Hall, says a letter from the District Auditor exonerates him from allegations that his crusade has cost taxpayers thousands of pounds.

Bernard Borman opposed the purchase of the building because he is convinced it will prove a financial millstone for the town.

However, at town council meetings last year, members were told the authority faced a £3,000 bill as a result of an investigation by district auditor Terry Carter.

Complaints by unnamed residents were said to have prompted the inquiry, but Mr Borman says his campaign to have the deal halted meant the blame was laid at his door.

After seeking clarification from the district auditor's office in Leeds, he is convinced the response he received clears his name.

A letter from Mr Carter's replacement as district auditor, Mark Kirkham, says: "Given the large amount of money involved, the inherent riskiness of projects of this type and the interest in the issue among local residents, the then district auditor, Mr Carter, took the view that this was a transaction around which detailed audit work was necessary.

"Upon completion of the work, we billed the council for the cost incurred in accordance with standard Audit Commission practice.

"It is not for us to offer a view as to who was to blame for these costs being incurred."

Yesterday, Mr Borman said: "I think this makes it clear it was the district auditor who instigated the inquiry, and quite rightly so."

A spokeswoman for Leyburn Town Council confirmed the authority had seen a copy of the letter.

A formal response to Mr Borman's allegations will be made at the council's annual meeting at Thornborough Hall on Monday, April 28.