Just to remind you that this man is the Leader of the Labour Party in Liverpool. Every vote cast tomorrow for a Labour candidate is effectively a vote for Joe Anderson!
Over the past few weeks many people have told me that it’s time for change in Liverpool. Repeatedly two things have been mentioned. Who Joe Anderson is and what he does!
You may think that I am obsessing over Joe Anderson but it’s his own fault. Most Labour Leaders opposed the idea of an elected mayoralty in 2012. One of the key reasons being that everything focuses on a Mayor in a way that it does not focus on a council leader. In a mayoral situation the only person with power to appoint, reward and favour is the Mayor. So, they create courts and courtiers. A Council Leader has to be far more inclusive both with his Group and with the Council as a whole.
Most ‘leaders’ of any sort can understand how to behave but Mayor Anderson does not. Consider two recent tweets. In the first he said, of a Liverpool resident, “If wit were s**t you’d be constipated”. In another he pretends to be burning brown envelopes whilst living in a Redrow Home. These are not the public utterances of a mature political leader.
In yesterday’s Echo Mayor Anderson’s policy proposals were copied from a Tweet! Mine were taken from a manifesto and I wrote the ideas up for the Echo as I assume did Cllrs Radford and Crone. When I enquired of the Echo why they did not go to Anderson as they did to me the answer appeared to be that Anderson is no longer speaking to them. He has taken offence at the article they did showing the fact that a report critical of the EFC deal at Bramley Moore Dock has been suppressed.
The Echo and all other media are entitled and indeed supposed to criticise those of us in public office. I don’t like what they say about me sometimes BUT I never act like a 7 year-old in a school playground and take my ball home!
Whilst we are talking about thin skinned politicians let’s look at the letter sent by the City Solicitor to Lawrence Kenwright after he described either the Council or Cllr Ann O’Byrne as being sloppy in a tweet. Good grief I’ve been described as far worse on many occasions. There are two key facts in this matter. The council has failed to collect £950,000 for the sale of the land in China Town and then spent £100,000 on a court case which was laughed out of court by a judge. If Cllr O’Byrne is not being sloppy then who is because someone should take responsibility for this travesty of council activity!
So, let’s look at just some of the policies which the Mayor is forgetting to remind us about in his desire to promote an ice rink in Kensington as a major plank in his policy offer!
- There has been no real discussion about the merits of the EFC deal. The Mayor says that there will be full scrutiny but has also basically said that EFC can have the money. I believe that the Council needs to discuss two things in principle before looking at a deal. Firstly, why is one of the World’s richest men not borrowing the money himself. The idea that they council can borrow money at a much cheaper rate than Everton’s owner is simply not true. Secondly, is this the sort of investment that the council should make? £500,000,000 is a lot of cash to borrow. It would take council borrowing up to about £1,450,000,000. That’s a lot of noughts for a Council – far more than the pressure under which Carilion recently buckled.
- Should we proceed with traffic changes at Lime Street and the Strand which are causing havoc to proposed bus routes and times and will cause havoc to drivers? 72% of those consulted opposed the plans. The money would be better spent on our potholes; bus and cycle lanes and the improvement of dangerous junctions throughout the City.
- Have we finally sorted out the problems at St John’s Market? No-one has taken responsibility for the fiasco which saw an inexperienced architect in to design a scheme without talking to the traders and customers. I understand it is still making a loss.
- Why do we have and Elected Mayor? Any possible need for it has gone with the creation of an elected Mayor for the City Region. Abolishing the position and reducing he staff of the council at a senior level and getting rid of hangers-on would save the Council £600,000 which would eb betters used on front line services.
- Why is the Mayor intent on selling off part of Calderstones Park when it is clear that any profit made by the deal will be minimal and the land would be lost for ever?
- Why do we have a system of governance in which it is impossible for councillors or the public to fully scrutinise Council actions and council spending?
I could go on but now is not a time for talk but a time for action. YOUR ACTION!!! What are you going to do tomorrow? Vote for Joe’s team or my Lib Dem team. Don’t be under any doubt that every vote cast in this election for a Labour Candidate is a vote for Joe Anderson. He is the Boss and anyone who has been to a council meeting knows the iron grip which is exercised over every Labour Councillor.
Or you can vote Green or Independent Liberal. They have a chance of winning between them in just 3 wards
Or you can vote for my Lib Dem team. We cannot take control of the Council tomorrow but we can take enough seats to strengthen our hand in holding this Mayor and this Liverpool Labour Party to account. Every councillor we get and every vote we are lent by you will reduce the one-party state that is Liverpool and begin the task of cleansing the city of the poor reputation and policies which the Mayor has brought to our Town Hall.
Voting only takes 10 minutes or so. Our city’s needs are too important for you to stay at home. The full team of Lib Dem candidates and Lib Dem polices can be found at www.liverlibdems.org.uk.
Please take the time to give us your support tomorrow.
Thank you for your time in reading this
Cllr Richard Kemp CBE,
Leader, Liverpool Liberal Democrats