There has been an inspection, a so called best value inspection, into the running of Liverpool Council, and they have issued a report. They recommend, surprise, surprise that commissioners, who will look like … er them be appointed for three years to supervise an improvement plan. One of the recommendations, §11.3, I quote below, the Secretary of State should/shall/must,

Direct LCC to prepare and implement an Improvement Plan, to the satisfaction of the Commissioners with, as a minimum, the following components:

  1. In the first 12 months review and implement changes to the Council’s constitution which will
    1. Improve the ethical governance framework to best practice incorporating the LGA model code and a fully functioning Standards Committee.
    2. Constitute the Audit Committee as a stand-alone committee with a direct reporting line to Council and a right to have its recommendations considered by the Executive Mayor and Cabinet, with either an independent Chair or an Independent Technical Advisor.
    3. To re-establish Scrutiny activity in line with Statutory Guidance ensuring that Councillor leadership of the activity is on a cross party basis and with appropriate officer support.
    4. Introduce best practice Standing Orders and Regulations for contracts and property disposals.
    5. Review the scope, content and reporting of all delegated powers.
    6. Establish a specific code of conduct for all Members in connection with dealing with Planning and Licencing matters.
    7. Require mandatory training of members in key activities, including behaviours, before participation in Council activities other than full Council.
    8. Improve the content and updating of declarations of interests and gifts and hospitality, for both Members and Officers.

This is quite comprehensive, I wonder if any other organisations in the news could benefit from such an improvement plan.

I shall write something a bit more political later but I have to troll some Labour Party NEC members now.

Lessons from the Liverpool inspectors
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