Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 1 - Wallasey Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Andrew Mossop  Principal Committee Officer

No. Item

Mark Delap

The Chair referred to the recent and sudden death of Mark Delap, Principal Committee Officer for this Committee and the Committee stood in silent tribute to Mark’s memory.


Members' Code of Conduct - Declarations of Interest

Members are asked to consider whether they have any disclosable pecuniary interests and/or any other relevant interest in connection with any item(s) on this agenda and, if so, to declare them and state the nature of the interest.


Members were asked to consider whether they had any disclosable pecuniary interests and/or any other relevant interest in connection with any item(s) on this agenda and, if so, to declare them and state what they were.


Councillor Patrick declared a personal interest by virtue of a friendship with Mr Hobro’s son.


Business Investment Grant (BIG) and Intensive Start Up Scheme (ISUS) Investigations pdf icon PDF 73 KB

This agenda pack contains the following documents –


BIG and ISUS Investigations

– Report of the Chief Executive (Pages 1 – 4)


Appendix 1  Internal Audit Draft BIG Report (Pages 5 – 26)


Appendix 2  Internal Audit Draft ISUS Report (Pages 27 – 44)


Appendix 3  Review of Internal Audit Reports (Pages 45 – 52)


Appendix 4  Grant Thornton ISUS Report

– Executive Summary (Pages 53 – 74)


Appendix 5  Grant Thornton ISUS Report

  – Full Report (Pages 75 – 450)

  Appendix 1 Enquiry Log (Pages 167 – 170)

  Appendix 2 ISUS Files Reviewed (Pages 171 – 234)

  Documents 1 – 17 (Pages 235 – 450)


Appendix 6  Letter from Merseyside Police (Pages 451 – 454)


Appendix 7  BIG Summary Report (Pages 455 – 462)


Appendix 8  ISUS Summary Report (Pages 463 – 470)


Appendix 9  Grant Thornton BIG Report

  – Full Report (Pages 471 – 586)

  Appendix 1 (Pages 533 – 534)

  Appendix 2 (Pages 535 – 536)

  Appendix 3 (Pages 537 – 538)

  Documents 1 – 12 (Pages 539 – 586)


Appendix 10 Grant Thornton BIG Report

– Executive Summary (Pages 587 – 604)


Appendix 11 Agreement between NWDA and Wirral Council

dated 17 September 2009 (Pages 605 – 616)


Appendix 12 Internal Audit Report Working Wirral Regeneration

dated 8 March 2010 (Pages 617 – 628)

Additional documents:


The Chair in introducing this item made a statement to the Committee as follows:


“The matter being considered tonight is important and has been ongoing since June 2011. There have been a lot of allegations made and issues and concerns raised since 2011.


A number of important steps have been taken and the Committee has received a considerable volume of papers to consider and digest. The papers have been redacted to protect businesses and companies against whom the allegations and concerns are made or directed. The names of officers and other individuals have also been redacted as appropriate.


It is important that the Committee recognises the need to ensure that names of businesses and companies, and commercially sensitive information is protected and that appropriate steps are taken to protect identities.


I accept that the Committee must satisfy itself of whatever line of enquiry it considers necessary to reach an informed decision, but that cannot be at the expense of exposing the Council to a risk of legal challenge and potential liability.


I would therefore remind everyone, including anyone addressing the Committee not to name businesses, companies, individuals or officers of the Council. Any issues involving officers should be addressed to the Council as officers act on behalf of the Council.”


Councillor Kelly sought some assurance as to the method of redactions in the documents before the Committee, noting in that some instances several lines of text or whole paragraphs had been redacted.


The Head of Legal and Member Services stated that a judgment had had to be made as to the levels of redaction but assured the Committee that they had been kept to a minimum level. Sometimes a number of lines of text had had to be redacted where it was felt that through reasonable enquiry someone would be able to piece together a name or organisation.


The purpose of the report was to share the outcomes from Grant Thornton’s reports into the Business Investment Grant (BIG) and Intensive Start-Up Support (ISUS) schemes with the Audit and Risk Management Committee. The report contained the initial draft reports produced by the former Chief Internal Auditor. The initial draft reports were attached at Appendices 1 and 2.


A review, requested by the Chief Executive, of the initial draft reports undertaken by the then Interim Director of Finance was attached at Appendix 3. This review recommended that an external firm of accountants or solicitors specialising in investigations for local authorities reviewed the evidence, allegations and investigations that had taken place in relation to both BIG and ISUS.   Following a tender process Grant Thornton were appointed to deliver this work. The ISUS reports, appendices and documents to accompany the reports were attached at Appendix 5, with the Executive Summary at Appendix 4. The BIG report was attached at Appendix 9, with the accompanying Executive Summary attached at Appendix 10.


Grant Thornton recommended that the Council consider referring the findings of its report into ISUS to the Police. As the provider was the same  ...  view the full minutes text for item 33.