Tonight, Monday, 23rd January 2017, Lewisham Council’s non-executive councillors backed the London authority’s leading Labour Scrutiny Councillor Alan Hall in his call for an Independent Inquiry into the Surrey Canal Sports Foundation.
Councillor Alan Hall said the Foundation’s key role in securing support for the controversial New Bermondsey Development in Lewisham should be the subject of a thorough review of governance and due diligence along with independent verification of statements by Renewal – the offshore development company behind the scheme.
Councillor Alan Hall said: “Lewisham Councillors have backed my call for a full Independent Inquiry into the Compulsory Purchase Orders and other key matters surrounding the issue. Furthermore, given the nature and seriousness of longstanding concerns over the CPO, heightened by false funding claims, Lewisham’s Cabinet should now back our call-in and overturn their original decision to take Millwall’s land.”
- Surrey Canal Sports Foundation
The Guardian published an article on the Surrey Canal Sports Foundation. The article is here: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/jan/19/millwall-stadium-false-funding-claims-the-den
- Overview and Scrutiny Committee
The decision took place at tonight’s (Monday 23rd January) meeting of Lewisham Council’s full Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
- Text of Cllr Hall Letter to Lewisham Council’s Chief Executive Barry Quirk:
“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
London Borough of Lewisham
Cllr Alan Hall at Millwall FC