Oh Dear What’s Happening to My Beloved Liverpool

On Thursday the appointments committee of Liverpool City Council meets to appoint a new Chief Executive after our last one was effectively and unceremoniously bundled out of the door.

The sad thing is that the appointment is proceeding although there clearly is not a credible short list for the post. Many senior people have told me how they laughed when the head-hunters rang them in an ever despairing battle to add credibility to the process. Many have told me why they did not put their name forward:

  • They believe its fixed
  • They believe that a strong chief executive is not required
  • They believe that decisions have already been taken to neutralise the Chief Executive
  • They have no faith in the new management system that has been dreamed up by Labour.

I don’t know which if any of these are true but I do know that many people who one might have hoped to join the short list did not even give it half a thought.

The last two points are extremely interesting and I suspect true. The new proposals for management are a real horlicks! They are:

  • Divisive
  • Lack coherence
  • Will ensure that politicians have inappropriate control over departments
  • Premature.

The Government is giving unprecedented power back to local councils. Public Health will return to us as well as wider responsibilities. Place Based (or community) budgeting is being started; externally appointed KPIs and mechanisms have been dumped and the Decentralisation and Localism Bill when announced on 17th November and implemented in July will give us unprecedented power to shape our communities and work with our residents. 

None of this appears to be relevant to Liverpool which seems to be reverting to old style municipal socialism.

Never mind – what goes round comes round. We’ve rescued Liverpool twice in the past and I have no doubt that at some time in the not too distant future the Seventh Cavalry will ride again to the rescue of our lovely, wonderful city.

About richardkemp

Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Liverpool. Deputy Chair and Lib Dem Spokesperson on the LGA Community Wellbeing Board. Married to the lovely Cllr Erica Kemp CBE with three children and four grandchildren.
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