Dan Peters 17 December 2020

Liverpool to undergo best value inspection

Liverpool to undergo best value inspection image

Liverpool City Council will undergo an inspection of whether it is complying with its best value duty after the arrest of its mayor.

Local government secretary Robert Jenrick today decided to appoint Max Caller to get ‘direct, independent assurance’ the council is performing its duties.

The inspection will cover Liverpool’s planning, highways, regeneration and property management functions, and the ‘strength of associated audit and governance arrangements’.

Mayor Joe Anderson is currently on bail pending further police enquiries after he was arrested earlier this month on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation.

A police investigation into alleged bribery and corruption had widened in September, with the council’s director of regeneration and employment, Nick Kavanagh, understood to be one of five people arrested by detectives.

Mr Kavanagh was previously arrested last December on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and misconduct in public office.

In a written statement to Parliament, Mr Jenrick said: ‘Given the seriousness of the issues identified through the police investigation, and to support the council to continue to strengthen its governance, and deliver services for the people of the city, I would like to direct, independent assurance that the council is compliant with its best value duty.’

The council's acting mayor, Cllr Wendy Simon and chief executive Tony Reeves said: 'We look forward to working with government in a spirit of openness and collaboration.

'For the last 18 months, we have worked hard to strengthen our governance. We would like to reassure our residents that there will be no impact on the delivery of our services during this period.'

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