News reports suggest the government may be about to step in and use commissioners to take over Liverpool council, which has been at the centre of a storm about landlord licensing.
Last year, at the height of the pandemic, the city’s Labour council put forward a licensing proposal to cover 80 per cent of its private rental properties - that would mean licensing for some 45,000 properties.
This follows a stand off at the end of 2019 and in early 2020 where the government refused to sanction an even larger licensing proposal put forward by the council. The impasse led to a position where, for some months, there was no licensing at all.
Now Sky News and the Daily Telegraph say the government is poised to send in commissioners - this is not linked to the licensing debate, but is connected with a long-standing and outspoken supporter of licensing in Liverpool, former mayor Joe Anderson.
In December Anderson was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation. He remains on police bail, insists the allegations are baseless, and says he is suing Merseyside Police for wrongful arrest.
Sky says Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has confirmed he has received a report from local government inspectors investigating financial irregularities in the awarding of building contracts in the city.
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