CIVIC chiefs have named the woman who will spearhead an inquiry into decision-making over Silver Hill.

Housing expert Claer Lloyd-Jones will lead an independent investigation into Winchester City Council's handling of the £165 million scheme, which culminated in an "unlawful" decision to keep revised plans from public tender.

Ms Lloyd-Jones is a former chief executive of the Social Housing Regulator and has held a range of senior posts on London and Brighton councils.

She is expected to report by early summer.

Cllr Frank Pearson, leader of Winchester City Council, said: “I have instigated this review so that we can learn lessons about our processes and decision-making and move forward.

“Claer Lloyd-Jones has a wealth of public sector experience and direct experience in running reviews of this kind.

"Importantly she has no connection with Winchester or Hampshire.

"She has complete discretion to run the review as she sees fit," he added.

Ms Lloyd-Jones was appointed by Cllr Pearson from a shortlist recommended by the Local Government Association.

It is unclear whether the report will be made public.

A city council spokesman said: "The starting point for the review is the city council’s 2014 decision to agree changes to the Silver Hill agreement following independent legal advice, but it will be for Ms Lloyd-Jones to determine the terms and scope of the review."

Last year Ms Lloyd-Jones issued two damning reports into Barnet Borough Council when she was called in to investigate a series of legal blunders. She also led a review of a controversial major works programme at Southwark Council.

She declined to comment when approached by the Hampshire Chronicle.