Liverpool City Council faces significant challenge, Michael Gove warns

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Liverpool City Council was criticised for its failures in a report earlier this year

A backlog of planning applications is constraining development in Liverpool, the housing secretary has warned.

Michael Gove said the council faced a "significant challenge ahead of them" to provide the services that residents in the city deserve.

It comes after the government sent in commissioners to oversee parts of its operations after inspectors found a "serious breakdown of governance".

Liverpool City Council have been approached for comment.

The authority has been under scrutiny since police began investigating allegations of fraud, bribery, corruption and misconduct in public office linked to building and development contracts in the city.

Four commissioners, appointed by the government to oversee certain departments at the council, submitted their first report to the Mr Gove, the Secretary for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, last month.

In a statement, Mr Gove said he was pleased to "hear about the steps the council have taken to expose and stop wrong-doing".

"It is vital for Liverpool's transformation that a clear line is drawn between the council of the past and the council of the future," he added.

"The commissioners recognise the hard work, ambition, and determination of the mayor and her cabinet, as well as the corporate leadership team."

But he said the council was at the "beginning of a long improvement journey and has a great deal to do in the next three years".

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