Millwall CPO latest: Lewisham Council to decide scope of independent inquiry

Admin (09 February, 2017)

Details of what the inquiry will cover are to be decided on by councillors on February 22

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The scope of an independent inquiry into a charity at the heart of the New Bermondsey development is to be decided on this month.

Lewisham Council pledged to conduct an external independent inquiry into Surrey Canal Sports Foundation, after it performed a dramatic U-turn on plans to compulsory purchase Millwall land.

Mayor Steve Bullock, along with Cllr Alan Hall, Lewisham’s chair of overview and scrutiny, called for an inquiry into the sports foundation – of which the mayor is a director – after allegations of £2million worth of false funding claims emerged.

Details of what the inquiry will cover and its scope are expected to be decided on by councillors at a full council meeting on February 22.

It is understood Millwall chief executive Steve Kavanagh was expected to meet Lewisham chief executive Barry Quirk today (Thursday) to seek assurances that plans to seize land around The Den will not be revisited.

It is not yet known who will head up or be involved in the independent inquiry, or when it will begin.

Lewisham Deptford Conservatives chair Ross Archer has called for the Department for Communities and Local Government to head up the inquiry to ensure it can be “fully trusted”.

“For this inquiry to be fully trusted by the club, the fans and the local community then the council can have no part in choosing who leads it,” he said in a letter to Lewisham’s mayor and cabinet.

“I strongly believe that you should request the Department for Communities and Local Government to head up this inquiry and for them to appoint their own inspectors.

“Quite frankly the allegations over the council’s handling of this matter are too serious for the council to be allowed to mark its own homework.”

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