Why would my Mayoralty be different?

I will go out into the community and listen to and talk with local people

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I will go out into the community and listen to and talk with local people of all political persuasions

The leading politician of an area is always a very important figure in the local community and wider afield. People inside the community decide whether that person is a problem solver or a money waster; whether that person builds relationships or destroys them. In a wider sense the way that person conducts him or herself decides the way that the area is perceived. That in turn leads to investment decisions in both the public and private sectors. Those decisions lead to employment and other areas which impact on the daily life of all an area’s citizens.

That decision is even more important when you consider a Mayoralty. In a council where there is a Council Leader there are always checks and balances to control how a Leader behaves or what they do. With a Mayoralty those checks and balances disappear. The Mayor is unchallengeable except by the law. In too many Mayoral authorities an Emperor is born surrounded by courtiers who either fear the wrath of the Mayor or are seeking favours from him/her. That means the Mayor hears what they want to hear and that the scrutiny of the Mayor is perfunctory if performed at all.

It is up to you to decide what is happening in Liverpool today under the current Mayor. I am putting out my political ideas in my blog and in my manifesto. That can be found at www.richardkemp.org.uk. Here is my personal manifesto. I am defining how I would behave if you elect me as your Mayor on May 5th. These are the standards by which you would judge a Kemp Mayoralty:

  1. I will abolish the title of Elected Mayor! I believe that this is unnecessary and is part of the friction with the 5 other City Region councils which all have Council Leaders. I will return to the ‘title’ of Council Leader although of course I would have all the legal powers and responsibilities of the Elected Mayor. This particularly important when you recall that next year the addition of a Liverpool City Region Mayor would give us 3 Liverpool Mayors!
  2. I will reduce the salary for the role from £79,500 to £40,000 per year.
  3. I will make myself available to the people of Liverpool. Every month I will have a 2 hour open house in which any councillor, resident or business person can ask me any question about the work of the council or any other question relating to things that happen in the city. Every month I will spend 2 hours out in the community at a pre-advertised location and time being available to talk to people in that community.
  4. I will not seek or accept any sponsorship for myself or my Party from any organisation or company which has a contract; partnership or other relationship with the Council. I will accept no donation from anyone more than £250.
  5. I will not use taxpayer’s money to settle any person legal or other claims.
  6. I will seek to decentralise the council and work with any organisation or person who has positive ideas for the city and is prepared to do something about them.
  7. I will treat people with a different view point to my own, including members of other parties, with respect and still try to minimise difference with people with whom I cannot reach agreement.
  8. I will seek to maximise the transparency of everything that I and the council do. I will reduce the number of FOI requests by seeking to ensure that information is given quickly to requests about our work. Where, for any reason, information cannot be made available I will ensure that those seeking information are told why that information cannot be given.
  9. If I am going abroad on council or other local government business I will publish why I am going; who I am going for; who is paying for the trip and what I hope to achieve for Liverpool for my journey. Incidentally, I do believe that part of the work of the Leader is to be outside the City both nationally and internationally drumming up business and support for the city; its people and its businesses.
  10. I will always remember that I am not the representative of the Town Hall in the community but the representative of the community in the Town Hall. In all things I will set the needs of the City above the needs and requirements of my Party.

As a councillor of 33 years standing I have always tried to endorse these principles. I can be judged not only on my words for the future but my track record over those years. If you have any queries about anything here you can contact me as always at richardkemp68@yahoo.co.uk.

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About richardkemp

Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Liverpool. UK representative on UCLG Finance Committee, Executive Bureau and World Council. Deputy Chair and Lib Dem Spokesperon on the LGA Community Wellbeing Board. Married to the lovely Cllr Erica Kemp CBE with three children and three grandchildren.
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