Liverpool Labour sell the City short with pathetic response to the current political situation

Tonight’s Council Meetings will not be taking place in the Town but, apart from a small number of us who will be in a safe space in the Cunard, will be conducted virtually.. Cllr Makinson and I will be moving an amendment which should be supported by all Parties to recognise the problems of the Council and do something about them

Liberal Democrats will move an amendment to a motion by the acting Mayor at tonight’s Council Meeting describing it as a weedy and insignificant response from a Council in crisis.

The amendment suggests that the Council must recognise the difficult situation in which it finds itself with 15 arrests being made in 4 years of 14 people who are or have been staff of the Council associated with procurement or development activities of the Council or are politicians within the Council.

It says that the Council should recognise that this unenviable record means that Liverpool’s reputation has been the subject of huge adverse commentary and criticism in media globally, nationally and locally and that this criticism is in danger of damaging public and private investment in the City.

It goes on to suggest a series of actions which Lib Dems believe would improve Liverpool’s standing and the way that it does business. These include:

  • A review of all scrutiny processes
  • A review of all standing order and policy documents relating to development and contracting by an outside Party.
  • A ban on either politicians or officers holding one to one meetings with potential contractors or developers
  • Providing the public diary of all cabinet Members and keeping a contemporaneous record of all meetings held by a council officer
  • Mentoring support for all leading councillors and the political groups on the Council.

Cllr Kemp, who is the longest serving City Councillors says, “we have a very weak council and the way that Liverpool has failed to take up loads of free training and support from the Local Government Association and other bodies is one of the reasons for the weakness. As a Council we must learn from the best councils and up our game. To do that we need to make sure that Council procedures are strong and that they have been externally recognised as being strong. We can then move forward with Councillor training to build on a firm base of transparency and openness”.

Attached below is the amendment which will be moved as an addendum at the end of Cllr Simon’s motion.

Cllr Kemp can be contacted on 07885 626913

11. Fairness, Equality, Integrity and Transparency in Liverpool City Council by Councillor Wendy Simon

Amendment by Cllr Richard Kemp and Cllr Andrew Makinson

However, Council recognises the difficult situation in which it finds itself with 15 arrests being made in 4 years of 14 people who are or have been staff of the Council associated with procurement or development activities of the Council or are politicians within the Council.

It recognises that this unenviable record means that Liverpool’s reputation has been the subject of huge adverse commentary and criticism in media globally, nationally and locally and that this criticism is in danger of damaging public and private investment in the City.

It believes that words are not enough and that the Council agrees the following actions:

  1. To immediately secure external support to review all its procurement and contractual standing orders and its internal procedures related to the sale of land and the signing of contracts with the private sector.
  2. To review its Member and Officer codes of Conduct to make absolutely clear whatever the role being followed by the councillor or officer the restrictions on them in engaging with the private sector.
  3. That details of the diaries of The Mayor and Cabinet Members whilst on their official duties should be made available on the Council’s website.
  4. The immediate banning of any meetings or discussions by politicians with developers or potential investors in the City or suppliers of services to the Council or potential companies into which the Council might make an investment unless those meetings are properly established by the Council and supported by officers being present.
  5. That contemporaneous notes be made and recorded by officers of any such meeting held by the Mayor and members of the Cabinet and that these should be available for any enquiry made about the contacts and conversations that ensued.
  6. The development of protocols and training for Councillors to enable them to properly relate to planning applications and those that submit them within their wards.
  7. That  mentoring support be requested from the LGA for all leading members of the controlling group and opposition groups and their respective Parties to improve the levels of knowledge of Liverpool members which are often confined to knowledge only of how Liverpool does business, and opportunity be given to observe other councils in action and work with them on the development of good practice in the City.
  8. That the Centre for Scrutiny or a Peer Challenge Team of the LGA be asked to review the make up and terms of responsibility of the Council’s Select Committees and help the Council develop select committees as a place of responsible challenge and the developers of good policies and programmes for the Council. In particular to examine the role of the Audit & Governance Committee and Companies Committee in examining financial and audit work of the Council

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 Liverpool Labour sell the City short with pathetic response to the current political situation

  1. Henry Penshaw says:

    Just “in danger” of damaging investment??

    Richard, in 2010 Liverpool Labour inherited an absolute gift of a legacy to build on, in the form of ECoC and Liverpool One. That legacy has been destroyed rather than built on.

    The vast difference today between investment volumes in a much improved Manchester versus Liverpool – both public and private – demonstrate that they have been absolutely devastating to us already.

    Investment volumes in the future will absolutely be impacted, both in scale and quality. It is possible that our city will never fully recover.

  2. Henry Penshaw says:

    Quoting Liam T’s reporting of Simon’s response to the query about Anderson:

    “Wendy Simon says she can confirm that Mayor Anderson has taken no part in decision making or council business since his arrest”

    Her comments seem curiously limited. Does this include not providing quotes about the city to politicians? Importantly, has his access to email and staff contact been revoked?

    Given their past form (remember Josie’s emails?) and the need for council staff to feel secure raising concerns, this is no minor point.

    Should this be something that Max insists is answered properly?

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