Analysis Breaking

Liverpool council to release withheld report on cash company after ICO order. Find out what it’s about here

Right-wing councillor-run BICo took cash with no receipts for years and doled out cash that benefited councillors, their families and friends

Liverpool council is finally to release a report on its internal audit investigation into the activities of the Beautiful Ideas Company (BICo), four years after it was conducted – and only after the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) upheld a complaint by a local about the council’s failure to disclose its findings. The mayor has promised to address ‘wrongdoing’, but not specifically to publicly identify, let alone criminally pursue, any wrongdoers, instead choosing to push the idea that the issues are historic and not directly relevant to today’s regime.

But large parts of the concerns about BICo – run by right-wing Labour councillors to collect unreceipted cash from match-day car parks close to the city’s two Premier League football grounds, supposedly to be invested back into the community – were already made public after Skwawkbox revealed a Labour report by Cllr Barry Kushner. Kushner’s report found that:

  • the car parks had been run with no documentation of the amount of cash taken
  • BICo had doled out more than £160,000 to organisations with close links to the company’s directors and £190,000 to companies that were either not trading or barely staying afloat
  • sums included £20,000 to an organisation to provide a job for the daughter of one of the councillors
  • most of the recipients of the cash were not involved in activities with a social impact
  • the number of cars reported as parking in the car parks was significantly lower than the figure believed to be real

And more. For full details and analysis of BICo’s activities, read here and be informed of what was going on before the ‘new’ report is finally by a ‘Labour’ council that was withholding it.

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16 comments

    1. sums included £20,000 to an organisation to provide a job for the daughter of one of the councillors

      Not certain, but perhaps that comes under s.16 theft act, namely: obtaining pecuniary advantage by deception

      https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1968/60/section/16/enacted#:~:text=16Obtaining%20pecuniary%20advantage%20by,term%20not%20exceeding%20five%20years.

      (c) he is given the opportunity to earn remuneration or greater remuneration in an office or employment, or to win money by betting.

      Also, for:BICo had doled out more than £160,000 to organisations with close links to the company’s directors and £190,000 to companies that were either not trading or barely staying afloat

      And

      most of the recipients of the cash were not involved in activities with a social impact

      s.4 fraud act examples

      a trustee who dishonestly acts outside the terms of a trust deed in order to produce a gain or loss for himself or others

      And

      an employee who abuses his position in order to grant contracts or discounts to friends, relatives and associates;

      Surely applicable here? 🤔

      1. I think skwawky should ask fat jo anderson personally if the examples I gave should apply.

        She was a mate of keefs’ from her time at the CPS, IIRC. 😙🎶

  1. So, the mayor has promised to address the ‘wrongdoing’ identified by her own council’s Audit Report four years ago on Bright Ideas Co and the mayor’s own political ally, Cllr O’Byrne (and others), but only because the Information Commissioner’s Office told her she had to publish it.

    Something is very rotten in the state of Liverpool. No wonder so many former Labour councillors broke from the party in order to represent their communities better.

    1. Ok I’ve bookmarked that previous Skwawkbox article you link above.

      Will try to dig out a link to the leaked report.

  2. There’s a pdf download of the report but I’m not savvy enough to get the link to post. When I click on it it just downloads. 😕

  3. Toffee – If you right-click on the link it will give you the option to copy the link which you can then simply paste into your comment.

      1. Toffee – If you are using an Android phone – Instead of tapping the link as you normally would press and hold the link and a menu will pop up that gives you the option to save the link.

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