Following a report in The Guardian I have taken the unusual step of writing formally to the Chief Executive of the London Borough of Lewisham, Barry Quirk CBE.
The full text of my letter is here:
Surrey Canal Sports Foundation
Earlier today, The Guardian published an article on the Surrey Canal Sports Foundation. The article is here:
I am writing to request that you arrange a full and independent investigation of all the matters raised within this article.
This includes but is not limited to:
- Has the Council been misled by the Surrey Canal Sports Foundation?
- Has the Council carried out ‘due diligence’ on the Surrey Canal Sports Foundation?
- Does the Surrey Canal Sports Foundation have good governance?
- Are the other partnership monies for example, Onside Youth Zone real?
- The operation and delivery of public sports facilities by the Surrey Canal Sports Foundation are key to the Section 106 planning permission and the approval of a Compulsory Purchase Order. How do the revelations in the article and the questions raised affect these two public processes?
Furthermore, the Overview & Scrutiny Business Panel raised serious concerns about the pledge of money by the Council to the Surrey Canal Sports Foundation for example see 8th July 2014 minutes and referral to the Cabinet and these concerns were dismissed on advice from Council officials. On the evidence so far it appears that the Scrutiny Business Panel members were lied to. I hope that this is not the case. Lewisham’s scrutiny councillors have raised the issue of governance and due diligence throughout the whole period of the Council’s involvement with Renewal and I am greatly alarmed by this current situation.
So in conclusion, I request a full and independent review of governance and due diligence with verification of all Renewal’s statements be provided to our Non Executive Committee and look forward to your prompt reply.
Councillor Alan Hall
Chair, Overview & Scrutiny Committee