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Government to appoint commissioners in Liverpool

The government is to appoint commissioners to help run Liverpool City Council for a minimum of three years.

Speaking today (24 March) in parliament, communities secretary Robert Jenrick said there had ‘been a serious breakdown of governance’ at the council.

Mr Jenrick said an inspection report into the council, which had been commissioned by the government ‘paints a deeply concerning picture of mismanagement, the breakdown of scrutiny and accountability, a dysfunctional culture putting the spending of public funds at risk and undermining the city’s economic development’.

He added there has been a ‘failure of proper and due process across planning and regeneration, including worrying lack of proper record keeping’.

‘Indeed, documentation had sometimes been created retrospectively, discarded in skips, or even destroyed,’ he told MPs.

Liverpool City Council has been under intense scrutiny since five men, including the-then mayor Joe Anderson were arrested in December.

The communities secretary said he is proposing to transfer of all executive functions associated with regeneration, highways and property management at the council to the commissioners if the local authority does not come up with sufficient plans to improve the situation.

The commissioners will be in place for a minimum of three years and report back to Mr Jenrick every six months on the progress being made.

In a statement, Liverpool City Council said an improvement plan will be published after the local elections.

‘This is a difficult day for our organisation and we take the report findings extremely seriously,’ said acting mayor, Cllr Wendy Simon and chief executive, Tony Reeves.

‘The inspector’s report has highlighted several failings, but there is a collective commitment from both councillors and officers to learn from these mistakes.

‘We would like to reassure all residents and businesses that we will take action to address all of the issues highlighted. We know we need to rebuild your trust.

‘At the same time, we will ensure we keep delivering essential services and offering a helping hand to the people of our city.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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