By Tony Winterburn • 21 March 2021 • 7:32
Government Considers Taking Control Of Liverpool City Council Over Corruption Allegations. image: Pixabay
Government Considers Taking Control Of Liverpool City Council Over Corruption Allegations.
The government is seriously considering taking control of Liverpool City Council following the arrest of mayor Joe Anderson over allegations of corruption. The day-to-day operations of Liverpool’s council could soon be run by commissioners and continue for several years following an investigation launched in December and overseen by local government inspector Max Caller.
Joe Anderson has continually protested his innocence following his arrest in December and said he would consider standing as an independent candidate for Mayor of Liverpool.
In a bombshell interview with the Daily Telegraph the Elected Mayor of Liverpool – who has stepped away from his role following his arrest – also revealed that his lawyers have launched a judicial review in the High Court against Merseyside Police’s Chief Constable, arguing that the arrest was “unnecessary and therefore unlawful.”
It is the first interview the 63-year-old has given since he was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation late last year.
Communities secretary Robert Jenrick is expected to make a decision “shortly” on whether to use his powers to intervene in the running of the local authority. It comes after the minister ordered an inspection of the council to determine whether it was complying with its legal “best value duty”.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government confirmed to The Independent that Mr Jenrick had received the inspection report, which had been due by 31 March- Jenrick said he had ordered the inspection to get “direct, independent assurance that the council is compliant with its best value duty”.
Under this duty, local authorities must “consider overall value, including economic, environmental and social value, when reviewing service provision”. The inspection was carried out by Max Caller, a consultant who has done similar reports on Northamptonshire and Tower Hamlets councils.
Mr Caller has briefed local MPs about the findings of his probe, which will be made public this week.
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