Decisions about Liverpool issues should be decided by a committee system in which councillors debate issues in a representative system and in such a way that residents can understand the issues
There will be an Extraordinary Meeting of Liverpool City Council on 4th September to consider a motion from the City’s Liberal Democrat Group to begin the consultation required to abolish the position of Elected Mayor for Liverpool.
We have waited long enough for the City’s Labour Party to make up its mind on whether to abolish the position or not. We believe that the people of Liverpool should now decide whether we continue with the wasteful and divisive system of the Elected Mayoralty. They were denied a referendum in the first place and were not consulted in any meaningful sense in 2012 when the Council dodged a referendum by just 3 days. Of the 11 councils which conducted a referendum only one, Bristol, voted for a Mayoral position and there they are looking at removing the position.
In 2012 the Council had only two options allowed by law, a Mayor and Cabinet system and a Leader and Cabinet system. Since then a third option has been allowed which is the creation of a committee system in which the power of the centre is broken and decisions get taken by all councillors through specialist committees.
Our own preference is this third model because it allows all decisions to be debated properly within an all-Party system rather than being imposed in a way that cannot be contested by a one-Party Cabinet. This will mean proper scrutiny of all decisions in a place where Liverpool’s hard pressed taxpayers can really hear the arguments and make their own mind up about what is happening in their city.
But it is not primarily our decision. We hope that if we succeed at the Council meeting, we can then have a proper discussion with the people of Liverpool in time for us to stop an election for a City Mayor in 2020 which alone will save more than £250,000. It will also save approximately £500,000 in the annual running costs of the Mayor and his office.
Unless this step is taken Liverpool residents will turn up to vote in May next year and be given 4 ballot papers. One for the City Mayor; one for the City Region Mayor; one for the Elected Police Commissioner and one for their ward councillor. We should be spending money on services and not politician’s salaries.
The full requisition motion is attached here:
To Cllr Peter Brennan, Lord Mayor of Liverpool
Consultation with the People of Liverpool over the future of the Elected Mayoralty
We, the undersigned members of Liverpool City Council requisition an Extraordinary Meeting of Liverpool City Council to consider the report which has been commissioned from the Chief Executive by the Elected Mayor of Liverpool following an earlier request for an Extraordinary Meeting from the Liberal Democrat Group to review the options available to the Council in the way it governs itself namely:
- An Elected Mayor and Cabinet
- A Council Leader and Cabinet
- A committee system
And to call for a consultation process based on this report to discuss these options with a view to making decisions on future governance in such time as is necessary to preclude the election of an Elected Mayor next May should that be the desired outcome of the consultation.
Subject to the provisions of the Council’s standing orders the Extraordinary Meeting to be held between the 6th and 14th of September.
Signed by the 10 Lib Dem members of Liverpool City Council