Lewisham Lib Dems welcome that fact that Lewisham council has finally announced an ‘internal inquiry’ into the decision-making around the Millwall land grab but want to be sure this will not be a whitewash behind closed doors.
This announcement of an inquiry only comes after a number of revelations have been reported in The Guardian newspaper. As a direct result, both the Charity Commission and Sport England have announced their own investigations into various aspects of this process.
We are concerned that this ‘internal inquiry’ should not be conducted in secret, behind closed doors and while the discredited deal is still on the table.
Therefore we call on Lewisham Council to:
- Ensure that the Millwall CPO is scrapped while this inquiry takes place and no new regeneration plan for this land is hatched without full and open consultation.
- Conduct the inquiry quickly, in public and is independent from the council with an external Chair appointed to lead it.
- Include the results of other bodies’ investigations within the inquiry’s evidence and conclusions.
- Publish the results in full and any evidence of wrongdoing that should be uncovered is reported to all relevant authorities.
- Include in the inquiry’s recommendations methods for improving the council’s decision-making processes, including not having decisions made by so few politicians.
Bobby Dean, Lewisham Deptford parliamentary spokesman for the Lib Dems, commented:
“We and the local community have already blown the whistle on this dodgy deal, now this inquiry must be allowed to get to the bottom of what our council’s been doing. It should’ve been game-over for this landgrab long ago, so there can be a regeneration plan that involves local people and Millwall.”