Football Licensing Authority axed in quango cull

Image caption,
The Football Licensing Authority oversees safety at football grounds

The Football Licensing Authority (FLA), set up in the wake of the Hillsborough disaster when 96 Liverpool football fans died, is to be scrapped.

The body, which oversees safety at football grounds, is one of 192 quangos being axed by the government to cut costs and improve accountability.

MP for Liverpool Walton Steve Rotheram has tabled a Commons motion urging ministers to reconsider the move.

He said the authority had done an important job for safety in sport.

The motion has been backed by a dozen MPs, including George Howarth (Knowsley), Joe Benton (Bootle), Dave Watts (St Helens South) and Alison McGovern (Wirral South).

The Human Tissue Authority, established after the scandal at Liverpool's Alder Hey Hospital, will also be axed.

Speaking in the Commons, Labour MP for Knowsley, George Howarth, condemned the news.

He said: "Some of these bodies were set up almost as debts of honour, and I particularly mention the Football Licensing Authority and the Human Tissue Authority, which were set up respectively after the Hillsborough stadium disaster and the scandal that took place at Alder Hey Hospital.

"Does the minister accept that a lot of those who have been affected by those events will be aghast that that debt of honour has now been reneged upon by this government?"

Quangos - "quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisations" - are arm's-length bodies funded by Whitehall departments but not run by them.

They are advisory bodies, consumer watchdogs or organisations carrying out public services.

The government reviewed 901 bodies - 679 quangos and 222 other statutory groups.

Others being abolished entirely are the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales, the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee and Cycling England.

Ninety-six Liverpool fans were crushed to death on 15 April 1989 at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough stadium.

Hundreds more were injured when a crush developed in the Leppings Lane end of the stadium during an FA Cup semi-final match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

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