I need your help in scrutinising the Council’s Companies

As a Councillor I often have great difficulty in getting information out of the Council. Getting information out
of the Council about our Council owned companies has been even more difficult. That’s why I’d like
your help in doing so.

As many of you are aware, from following my blogs and twitter account, I am getting increasingly concerned about the state of the Companies owned by the Council. The last accounts that I have been able to access are for the year April 2018 to March 2019. By now we should have had the accounts for the year ending March 2019 for scrutiny but they have not yet been prepared. The Council set up a Committee to scrutinise the council owned companies but it is long, long overdue to meet.

In the light of the Council not scrutinising these accounts properly I have tried to do so my-self. I have got some key questions outlined below but I lack both the time and the accounting expertise to do this properly.

My initial thoughts are:

Why haven’t the accounts for the year ending March 2019 being scrutinised by the Council? I am sure that the Council will, rightly, blame Covid for delays but this does not explain the failure to look at these accounts

Why haven’t the accounts for the year ending March 2020 been completed and scrutinised by the Council?

How is the External Auditor to the Council treating potential liabilities to the Council for the year ending March 2020 as it reviews the closing of the Council’s accounts for the year and issues an opinion on its accuracy?

Specifically, on the Arena Accounts I have asked the Chief Executive of the Arena two questions on two occasions.

On the 18/19 accounts you made a profit by transferring £4.2 million of admin costs to the Ultimate Parent Company. What were the costs transferred and what is the “Ultimate Parent Company?” Where can I find its accounts?

You submitted the 18/19 accounts on 25th September 2019 to Companies House. When will the 19/20 accounts go in?

I have yet to have the courtesy of an acknowledgement or a reply!

So now I am asking people to look at the last available accounts. Let me know what your impressions of these account because as a taxpayer you will be responsible for paying off any liabilities. Let me know what questions you think I should be asking. The links to the last available accounts are given below.

As a general point although you might think these requests strange it indicates the way that I think that the council should operate. It’s your money we spend and the Council needs to be far more transparent about how it treats these almost off-balance sheet companies.

Please contact me at Richard.kemp@liverpool.gov.uk

The Council’s Owned Companies are:


Liverpool Arena and Conference Centre: last filing, accounts up to 31/3/19 – next accounts due to be filed by 31/3/21

https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/05204033/filing-history

Liverpool Street Scene Ltd: last filing, accounts up to 31/3/19 – next accounts due to be filed by 30/3/21

https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/04161448/filing-history

School Improvements Ltd: last filing, accounts up to 31/3/19 – next accounts due to be filed by 31/3/21

https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/08867114/filing-history

Foundations: – accounts due to be filed by 31/3/21 

https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/11240116/filing-history

Liverpool Vision: last filing, accounts up to 30/9/19 – next accounts due to be filed by 30/6/21

https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/06580889/filing-history

Liverpool Markets: last filing, accounts up to 31/3/18 – (in administration)

https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/04633666/filing-history

Liverpool Science Park: last filing, accounts up to 31/3/19 (notice of accounting period extension to 30/9/20) – accounts due to be filed by 30/6/21

https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/04798049/filing-history

Sciontec: no accounts yet filed – accounts for period to 30/9/20 due to be filed by 30/6/21

https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/11570273/filing-history

LLP: last filing, accounts up to 31/3/19 – next accounts due to be filed by 27/3/21

https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/OC326504/filing-history

Glendale, last filing, accounts up to 31/3/18 – accounts overdue (in administration)

https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/05765738/filing-history

Airport property company, last filing, accounts up to 31/3/20

https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/09859599/filing-history

About richardkemp

Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Liverpool. Deputy Chair and Lib Dem Spokesperson on the LGA Community Wellbeing Board. Married to the lovely Cllr Erica Kemp CBE with three children and four grandchildren.
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