Since the demise of Joe Anderson, a number of people have challenged me to say why it would be different if I become the Mayor on May 6th. It will be very different because I will change the way that Liverpool is run to a system that is transparent, accountable and one that works in partnership with the people of Liverpool
Of course, polices are important. Over the next few months, we will be issuing a regular series of articles and blogs which say what our policies will be if we were to take control of he Council in May but good policies won’t flourish on barren ground. The major problem of the past decade is not so much the policies that were pursued although they were bad enough! It was the system which allowed all sorts of poor policies to flourish without checks, balances or scrutiny. Unless you change that Liverpool will not improve.
This is what the Liverpool Lib Dem team and I will do if elected as the Mayor and you can see the action will be comprehensive and swift.
Six to Fix. In the first 5 minutes of being elected I will:
- Change the name of the position I hold to that of Leader of the Council. This will not change the legal powers but will show the direction of travel that the Lib Dems want to take.
- Change the name of the Cabinet to Executive Board.
- Request the Head of Democratic Services to halve the salary currently being paid to the Mayor.
- Extend an offer to the other Party Leaders to meet with me to discuss how the Executive Board and Select Committees can be all-Party and purposeful rather than small minded and divisive.
- Request the Head of Democratic Services to revise the standing orders and programmes of the Council to take out all ‘mayoral’ programmes which will in future become programmes of the entire Council.
- Request the Head of Democratic Services to draw up and initiate a monthly two-hour session in which any citizen of Liverpool, organisation in Liverpool, business person in Liverpool can question and challenge me in public. (the details of how this will be done can only be decided later when we know what Covid rules are.
Six to Fix. Within 28 days of being elected I will:
- Establish a public record of all meetings I have in connection with my work which can be checked on the Council’s website. Ensure that a note is taken contemporaneously of all meetings should challenge to those meetings be made.
- Request the City Solicitor to draw up a stronger Councillor’s Code of Conduct to ensure that no councillor meets a developer or contactor in private without an officer being present and party to the discussions.
- Request the Chief Executive to establish a performance management system in which all Councillors will be able to track the Council’s performance against other Councils.
- Initiate a report on how the Council can enter into a meaningful discussion with the people of Liverpool about moving away from the Mayoral model to another system if that is the will of the people of the City.
- Initiate the development of a new public partnership between the Council, Business and community organisations which can publicly work together to develop the Liverpool Recovery Plan.
- Initiate a ‘programme of conversations’ with the people of Liverpool to ensure that the whole City is involved in developing and committed to a new, clean, green, well managed City in which we can prosper.
We Liberal Democrats don’t believe that we have all the answers to the complex problems which Liverpool faces because of its history, Brexit and Covid. Lots of people have lots of good ideas based on their own knowledge and experience that no political Party could ever have.
We Liberal Democrats do not believe that we alone can do everything to solve those problems. Liverpool is potentially in a dark place and it will take the actions of all of us to shine the light and make our City into the major, progressive forward-looking City we all know that we need to be.
The changes that we will make as indicated above will provide the fertile soil within which good policies can be nourished and grow to provide us with a good harvest for a City.
But just so that there is no misunderstanding. IF YOU ELECT ME AS MAYOR ON MAY 6th, I WILL BE THE LAST ELECTED MAYOR THAT LIVERPOOL WILL EVER HAVE.