Senior Birmingham Council official in charge of overseeing city's school taxi drivers worked from same building as cab firm at centre of £11M over-pay probe during three years when it's annual profits rose 1,900% to £1.6M

A senior official at now-bankrupt Birmingham City Council worked for two years in the same tiny church community centre as a school transport firm that it was his job to regulate, MailOnline can reveal.

The rundown West Bromwich office was also used by contractor Green Destinations Ltd (GDL), which saw its business with the authority balloon over that same two-year period, before finding itself at the centre of an £11million overcharging probe.

On arrival, it was suggested to drivers that it might be more lucrative for them to work for GDL, conveniently based in the same building, competitors have claimed.

At least a dozen routes from small local cab firm Great Barr Cars were taken over by Green Destinations, who in most cases charged the council significantly more.

A previous MailOnline investigation showed Green Destinations was charging Birmingham City Council more than £210 to ferry one child just three miles to school and back, journeys a Hackney Carriage would charge less than £20 for.

From 2019 to 2022, GDL’s profits soared from a modest £80,000-a-year profit to more than £1.6million – a 1,900 per cent increase in just three years.

Shimano, who was promoted from compliance officer to manager at the Labour-run council’s children and young people’s travel service, worked at the same office as the major contractor – which is not in Birmingham but neighbouring authority Sandwell – from 2020 until at least early last year, the council have admitted.

The seven-room building, where still rent a room GDL, is a convenient two-minute walk from the home of Green Destinations owner Jameel Malik, 45, and is believed to be near the home of self-employed council worker Shimano.

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Source of data and images: dailymail

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