Liverpool Liberal Democrats call-in Smithdown Lane Police Station Purchase

29 Feb 2024
Smithdown Lane Police Station

Liverpool Liberal Democrats call-in Smithdown Lane Police Station Purchase

The decision was taken by the Labour Cabinet behind closed doors as press and public were excluded from the meeting. There had been no pre-decision scrutiny by the Culture and Economy Committee.

Liverpool main opposition Lib Dem group have called-in the decision because of the lack of scrutiny. It’s not unusual for parts of Cabinet Papers to be exempt from public scrutiny, but full items typically aren’t. They’ve raised concerns over the appearance that the Labour leader is doing a favour to the Labour Police and Crime Commissioner by purchasing the site for an undisclosed figure. The Lib Dems have likened the closed-door deals to something reminiscent of the Anderson era.

Calling-in is the process by which members of the Council can request a decision made by the Cabinet Committee is referred to the relevant scrutiny committee for review of the decision. The Committee can either accept the decision, refer it back to the decision maker, or refer it to the full council meeting.

Leader of the Liverpool Lib Dems, Cllr Carl Cashman said:

“I’ve requested a call-in of Cabinet’s closed-door decision to purchase Smithdown Lane Police Station, because such a significant spend needs to see the light of day and have some proper scrutiny by members. There was no pre-decision scrutiny or public consultation – if it weren’t for an Echo article it would have passed nearly everyone by. 

“Now, I’ve seen how much that Liverpool Labour wants to pay the Labour Police and Crime Commissioner for the site, but I can’t tell you because Labour doesn’t think the press or the public should know how much they want to spend and what they want to do with taxpayers money.

“At a time when Labour is planning to sell of two leisure centres in our deprived communities, selling off the cruise terminal and we’re still mopping up messes from the Anderson era, it really begs the question is it prudent for the council to go around playing developer? If the track record is anything to go by the answer is no.”