Holding the Mayor and Labour to account

LpoolTH

We not only have debates in the Town Hall but also have an opportunity to ask written questions of the Mayor and Cabinet about city issues. As you can see they are not usually very helpful and its the none replies which are of most value.

One of the ways in which we, as opposition councillors, can hold the controlling Party to account is by asking questions in Council. It isn’t a very good way of doing it as we cannot guarantee an intelligent or even an honest reply and we cannot, as happens, Parliament, ask supplementary questions.

Below you can see most of the replies that we received yesterday. There is some good news in those replies such as it seems possible that work will start soon on Heaps Mill and in looking at new ways to run Calderstones Park.

But no reply at all on how much the Council has paid for consultants for the Bramley Moore Dock or their attempt to sell the Harthill Estate part of Calderstones Park. In particular we are not surprised that the Mayor has not replied to our question about the subsidy from the Council for 3 Labour Conferences.

We will return to these issues in the next few weeks and will keep you fully informed about them. In the meantime make of these replies what you can!!

To Cabinet Member for Leisure Services

By Councillor Andrew Makinson

Question Future Management of Calderstones Park

In June 2016 the Neighbourhood Services Select Committee established a ‘Task and Finish’ Group to review the future of the management of Calderstones Park.

To date that Group has met twice. Is it the intention of the Council to continue with the recommendations of the Green Spaces Review Group and look at the possibility of creating either one Trust for Liverpool or a series of parks-based trusts? What is the timescale for the general discussion on these issues to come to fruition? When is it the intention to call the next meeting of the Calderstones Group?

Answer The Calderstones Park Group was established with three key aims:

  1. Preservation of Calderstones Park as an asset of the Council with public access;
  2. The aspiration to reduce the Council’s maintenance and repair subsidy year on year.
  3. Protection of heritage, public access to the park and defined restrictions on what the park can be used for.

It is still the Councils intention to continue to explore these aims through the Calderstones Stakeholder Group, I have asked Streetscene Officers to arrange a meeting in the coming weeks to follow up on the agreed next steps around the group representation; aims and procurement options.

Exploratory work was carried out in response to the recommendations of the Strategic Green and Open Spaces Review about the creation of parks–based trusts, during 2016.

Following several months of work we elected not to pursue a parks-based trust but to focus on other financial opportunities within parks to help generate revenue to contribute towards their ongoing maintenance. We have some of the finest parks in the country, and we remain committed to making them an enjoyable and sustainable place for the people of Liverpool for many generations to come.

Question to the Mayor of Liverpool

By Councillor Andrew Makinson

Question Harthill Section of Harthill & Calderstones Park

Can the Mayor advise –

  1. How much has the Council spent to date on legal fees and other consultancy fees in connection with the sale of this part of the Park to Redrow?
  2. How much does it anticipate spending by the end of the two judicial reviews and the Village Green application?

Answer

The Lib Dems spend so much time misleading the public that I’m not surprised that some of the details in this question are wrong, if your only source of information is Lib Dem leaflets rather than the more correct and factual information put out by the council.

  1. As there is no proposal to sell any part of Calderstones Park, the Council has spent nothing on legal fees or other consultancy fees on doing so.
  2. There is only one judicial review, and an appeal. It is anticipated that there may be legal costs associated with the judicial review, but we do not know how much until the process is complete

Question to the Mayor of Liverpool

By Councillor Richard Kemp, CBE

Bramley Moore Dock

Question

How much has the Council spent to date on specialist consultancy fees and reports in connection with its proposal to provide capital finance or financial guarantees for the proposed involvement of the Council in the development at Bramley Moore Dock?

What is the anticipated business rate that will be received for the new stadium? What is the business rate received for the current stadium?

Answer

The consultancy fees associated with the EFC stadium are subject to the confidential, commercial heads of terms associated with the project. I have also made clear on many occasions that no deal will progress between EFC and LCC without a great deal of transparency and scrutiny so that the people of Liverpool can take comfort that the deal is a good one for the city. The current business rates from the Club are £1.1m. The new business rates will be subject to the Valuation Office appraisal which, in turn, will depend on the final capacity that EFC decide to construct. However, it is expected that the Business Rates from the stadium, alongside those from other businesses created by the new economic opportunities resulting from the development will amount to a significant additional contribution to the city’s revenue base. As you know, following your party’s time in Government it is necessary for us to generate as much additional income as possible to replace the government funding we have lost as a result of the coalition’s creation of austerity. That is why such Invest To Earn schemes are so important.

To Cabinet Member for Street Scene, Transport & Highways, Air Quality

By Councillor Richard Kemp, CBE Question

Contract with Kingdom

Question

Can the Cabinet Member advise

  1. How many FPNs were issued by Kingdom for littering and dog fouling in the period 1 st July to 31st August; and
  2. How many successful prosecutions for fly tipping have been made in that period?

Answer

I am happy to let the Councillor know that despite the efforts of his party in Government to completely defund councils like Liverpool, we are making good on the pledge to have a cleaner and greener city – something for residents and visitors alike to enjoy.

Environmental crimes need to be tackled head-on and we need a real and sustained discussion on how we can all do our part. It isn’t enough that the Council cleans up messes and dumping – we have to prevent them in the first place. Education and behaviour change is important, especially when it is clear that it is only a very small number of people who are ruining their environment and communities for the rest.

Lib Dem sanctioned, Government-led and enforced austerity has meant that since 2011 the streetscene budget has been reduced by £19m resulting in the loss of 91 staff. The Glendales Team that manages our parks has lost an additional 93 staff in the same period. In that context, in 2017/18 the Council spent £9.5million on street cleansing, equivalent to £20 per resident.

Before the Kingdom contract was entered into just 277 fixed penalty notices (FPNs) were issued to those littering, fouling and dumping in our streets. Up to 30th June 2018 33,629 fixed penalty notices were issued by Kingdom for littering and 93 fixed penalty notices were issued for dog fouling by Kingdom and in addition a further 4 cases for the more serious offence of fly tipping were successfully prosecuted. 1343 FPNs were issued for littering from 1st July 2018- 31st August 2018. 46 FPNs for dog fouling over the same period Page 4 Agenda Item 4 Demonstrating the extreme difficulty in bringing prosecutions against fly tippers and dumping, there were no successful prosecutions for those crimes between 1st July 2018 – 31st August 2018

Question to the Mayor of Liverpool

By Councillor Mirna Juarez

Heaps Mill

Question

Can the Mayor say what steps are the Council taking to use its powers to ensure that Heaps Mill, an important listed building, is properly maintained?

Answer

We are advised that works will start in the near future, and we are monitoring the site closely, together with the owners to ensure that the structural integrity does not deteriorate. Recent investigations, overseen by Inhabits Structural Engineer, have confirmed that there is no sign of settlement or foundation movement in the Mill, and there is little risk to the building in this regard at the current time.

The City Council will continue to monitor the condition of the site in the intervening period. This is in line with our extremely strong track record in preserving our heritage buildings leading to Heritage England praising us for our success at removing buildings from the ‘At Risk’ register. If only Lib Dems could praise the efforts of officers and partners at preserving our heritage instead of talking the city down, that fact might be better known

Question to the Mayor of Liverpool

By Councillor Richard Kemp, CBE

Partnership with REDROW

Question Can the Mayor say –

How much has been achieved through the partnership with Redrow in respect of: i) Land sales? ii) Section 106 agreements?

How much would have been achieved if there had been no partnership and land disposals had been by tender on each site in respect of: i) Land Sales? ii) Section 106 agreements?

Answer

In terms of land sales the amount is £4,700,475 (excluding any overage payments where the final scheme costs are still to be calculated). £176,000 has been raised in section 106 payments. As all land sales have been certified as being best consideration then the same amount or higher has been achieved through the partnership. The financial position is the same for s106 payments. With regards to the total amount received by the Council from Redrow in respect of S106 agreements, the total received is £593,311.00. The sum achieved would be the same should Redrow not have been a partner, as the same policy requirements apply to all developers.

But what we clearly see is the Lib Dems’ determination to mislead the public. The appointment of Redrow as our strategic partner was the result of a full and transparent tendering process to find a developer who can work with the city to create new homes, both for sale and as a result of the profits for families that require more support with affordable housing. It is to the city’s disappointment that the Lib Dems cannot say anything positive about our track record of 8,000 new homes and the transformed lives of those who live in them.

Question to the Mayor of Liverpool

By Councillor Andrew Makinson Question

Support from the Council for Labour Conferences

Can the Mayor advise what has been the total level of financial support, subsidy or subvention given by Liverpool City Council to each of the last 3 Labour conferences held in the city?

Answer

The Arena’s business plan includes whatever scope exists to provide support for conferences and events that can be attracted to the city. Labour Party conference is the largest political conference in Europe and as a result has a significant economic impact on the city, including providing demand for hotels, especially during the important mid-week period. I pay credit to the excellent staff at the arena who deliver an excellent service to every conference or event, hence its growing success as a destination and a key asset for the city. The Arena will judge each potential conference on its individual merits for support and I’m sure when the Liberal Democrats conference is held in Liverpool it uses the same criteria. But will probably offer less support because there are so many less visitors, and as a result less demand, leading to a much lower economic benefit for the city. Much like their party in Government.

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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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2 Responses to Holding the Mayor and Labour to account

  1. Paul says:

    Half truths again Richard

  2. johnplot says:

    Liars, damned liars and politicians

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