WARRINGTON North MP Helen Jones has labelled LiveWire as an 'incompetent organisation' after seeing a 'damning' report over the Great Sankey Neighbourhood Hub development project.

The 'astonished' Labour politician claims documents handed to her show the multi-million pound scheme was under construction without the firm involved having signed a contract with LiveWire.

She said: "This report is a damning indictment of LiveWire and clearly shows it is an incompetent organisation.

"No one should ever allow work on a project to begin without having a valid contract in place and the audit and the escalating costs of the development show that they are incapable of managing a project properly.

"The estimated costs have almost doubled in two years.

"I am asked why I am raising this issue when the project is not in my constituency. There are three reasons.

"Firstly, the council have stated that the project will serve the whole of west Warrington, which includes Westbrook and parts of Old Hall and Chapelford which are in my constituency.

"Secondly, this incompetent organisation runs services across Warrington and, as we saw with the libraries debacle, their incompetence impacts on my constituents.

"Thirdly, people in Warrington North are paying for LiveWire's failure.

"The council originally agreed to fund this project to the tune of £8.2 million. That has now risen to £14.7 million.

"The price of extra borrowing to fund this will be paid by my constituents.

"It also means that less money is available for projects elsewhere in the borough."

The MP also believes 'there is a real issue about spending public money but not being accountable when things go wrong'.

She added: "Now the council has had to take over this project it is clear that LiveWire is incapable of doing its job and whether it will be able to repay these funds through a commercial rent must be in doubt.

"Still, no one on the board, or in LiveWire's senior management, has taken responsibility for these gross failures and resigned.

"People can sack their councillor or their MP if they disagree with what they've done but the LiveWire board sails on regardless.

"I shall be seeking an opportunity to raise this issue in Parliament."

A LiveWire spokesman said: "All partners involved in the project were satisfied that adequate contractual arrangements were in place prior to the commencement of any building works."

The council did not wish to comment.