‘Shock’ over multi-million collapse of Liverpool markets company

A collapsed firm which handled contracts for Liverpool City Council owes the local authority millions of pounds.

Liverpool Markets Limited, (LML), which ran council markets across the city, went into liquidation in May 2019. A report by FRP Advisory Limited LLP liquidators has now revealed that LML owes the council £3,469,896.00.

Companies House information records that the company was formed in 2003 and Liverpool council took control of the company in 2016, buying all the shares. The December 2015 accounts showed a deficit of £965,330.

READ MORE:Fury seethes in dramatic confrontation with council over multi-million pound energy disaster

This deficit rose to £2,398,077 in March 2017. Latest figures released earlier this month show LML owes the council £3,469,896.00.

Colin Laphan, chairman of the Liverpool Markets Traders Association, said he did not understand how debt had risen to such levels before the lockdown period.

He said: “When we found out that this business had failed, we were shocked. We were assured that this business was going to drive all markets forward, bringing huge investments and bringing change to all our livelihoods.

“Given Liverpool’s solid earnings in all markets before the lockdown, we are completely at a loss as to how this debt has accumulated so quickly. It has left a rather sour taste.”

LML ran well-known markets such as St John’s in the city center and Great Homer Street in Everton.

Richard Kemp, leader of the Liverpool Liberal Democrats, said: “The spectacular collapse of the Liverpool Markets Company is one of the reasons the council is carrying out a review of our remaining local authority companies.

“The loss of £3m is only part of a much larger sum which I believe has been absorbed as a cost by the council due to the council’s failures to properly control its own affairs. .

“When some politicians complained about government cuts, they conveniently forgot to mention the cuts we were being made to pay for their own council’s incompetence.

“The council has just completed a review of our functioning of the markets and the Liberal Democrat Group has made many suggestions as to how the functioning of the markets could lead to more business for local businesses and better use of some of our facilities such as parks.

“We await the resulting report and will seek to quickly put in place measures so that the markets are not a loss but a positive contribution both to the economy of our city and to the coffers of the municipality.

“The council must now focus on delivering its services in a business-like manner that delivers good services at a good price for the people of our beleaguered city.”

A spokesperson for Liverpool City Council said: ‘We have been aware of the collapse of Liverpool Markets Limited for some time and as a result we are developing an ambitious and strategic direction for the supply of markets. from the city.

“Last year we launched a public consultation to give people a say in our markets, and this feedback is part of a brand new strategy that will work as a catalyst for their revival. A report will be presented to the cabinet in July, when details will be made public.

Gladys T. Hensley