Government replies to request for details of the “pervasive and rotten culture”, and the “culture of intimidation”, within Liverpool City Council; fails to say what assessment it has made of which documents, if any, have been destroyed in any of the Council’s departments; and says it “hopes that it will not be necessary for the Commissioners to exercise these powers, but instead that their main role would centre on supporting the Council itself in making changes.”

Apr 9, 2021 | Uncategorized

Lord Greenhalgh, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL14552):

Question by Lord Alton of Liverpool:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government to provide details of (1) the “pervasive and rotten culture”, and (2) the “culture of intimidation”, within Liverpool City Council, described by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government in a statement on 24 March. (HL14552)

Tabled on: 24 March 2021

This question was grouped with the following question(s) for answer:

  1. To ask Her Majesty’s Government to provide details of what the report of the findings of the Best Value inspection into Liverpool City Council, published on 24 March, identified as a “secret cabal” operating within Liverpool City Council; what assessment they have made of which documents, if any, have been destroyed in any of the Council’s departments; and to provide details of the “serious breakdown of governance at the council” described by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on 24 March. (HL14553)
    Tabled on: 24 March 2021

Answer:
Lord Greenhalgh:

The Government fully accepts the findings of the independent Best Value Inspection Report subject to any representations Liverpool City Council may wish to make about the report. The report, produced by Max Caller CBE, is based on the documentation and personal testimony provided by councillors, officers, and members of the public to the independent inspectors. The full report can be viewed (attached) at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/liverpool-city-council-best-value-inspection-report

The following documents were submitted as part of the answer and are appended to this email:

  1. File name: 210329 Liverpool_Best_Value_inspection_report HL14552 and HL14553.pdf
    Description: Liverpool best value inspection report

Lord Greenhalgh, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL14551):

Question by Lord Alton of Liverpool:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what role they envisage for the commissioners overseeing elements of the (1) planning, (2) highways, and (3) regeneration departments of Liverpool City Council; what is their (a) purpose, and (b) objectives; and how long they expect the commissioners will be involved in the running of these departments of Liverpool City Council. (HL14551)

Tabled on: 24 March 2021

Answer:
Lord Greenhalgh:

The proposed intervention package for Liverpool City Council presented by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to Parliament on Wednesday 24 March includes the appointment of Commissioners for a minimum of three years and the transfer of all executive functions associated with regeneration, highways and property management at the Council to those Commissioners. The Secretary of State will take a final decision, following consideration of any representation received from the Council, after 24 May


The Secretary of State has expressed the hope that it will not be necessary for the Commissioners to exercise these powers, but instead that their main role would centre on supporting the Council itself in making changes. It is proposed that most decisions continue to be made by the Authority and the intention is that these powers should only be used as a last resort, should the Authority not satisfy the Commissioners in their improvement processes.

Date and time of answer: 09 Apr 2021 at 11:59.

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Lord Greenhalgh, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL14614):

Question by Lord Alton of Liverpool:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether tax payers in Liverpool will fund the cost of (1) the investigation led by Max Caller into activities at Liverpool City Council, and (2) commissioners for the investigation; how much the investigation is expected to cost; and how much money is alleged to have been overspent as a result of an alleged lack of oversight by that Council. (HL14614)

Tabled on: 25 March 2021

Answer:
Lord Greenhalgh:

Liverpool City Council funded the cost of the Best Value Inspection, in line with the requirements of the Local Government Act 1999. In the past, where Commissioners have been appointed under Best Value powers, the relevant Directions required the local authority to meet all reasonable fees and expenses associated with the Commissioners. This expectation is set out in section 5.6.2 of the Statutory intervention and inspection: a guide for local authorities (May 2020). The Secretary of State will take a final decision, following consideration of any representation received from the Council, after 24 May.

Date and time of answer: 09 Apr 2021 at 11:50.

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