As I’ve listened to the discussions about the future of the City Council following the Caller Report I have been struck by how many people know what they are against. They are against the mayoralty, corruption, waste, incompetence, dodgy deals. And quite right too. I have been struck, however, by how little detail people are putting into their responses about what they will do about their concerns.
Plenty of platitudes about launching a fight against bad practices and doing good things but there is very little substance. Of course, we are all against bad things and in favour of good things but that isn’t enough.
Yesterday, I launched the Liverpool Lib Dem manifesto for this year’s local elections on May 6th. I described the manifesto, “Liberal Democrats Demand Better” as a blueprint to take Liverpool from a mess and a muddle to a bright post-Covid, post-Brexit future.
When launching it I said, “Since the Caller Report was published it has been abundantly clear that Liverpool’s need is a Lib Dem lead. Our 5,000+ word manifesto is the distillation of detailed proposals that will cover all aspects of how the Council works and what the Council should be doing. This manifesto was not produced as a response to the Caller Report. It has been many months in the making and has involved a number of meetings including one to which all our members were invited in mid-February.
It does answer many of the Caller issues because we were aware of the problems but were unable to get to the bottom of them because we did not have the powers of ‘interrogation and search’ that an official Government Inspection has. Even now we know that many other issues are being looked at by another investigation team with even more powers the Police both local and national who are delving deep into the City’s activities.
It is because we are both experienced and prepared that we can hit the ground running from May 7th because we have the knowledge and experience to know what is required now. That’s the quick start that our City so badly needs.
Lib Dem priorities include;
- Proposals to change the political machinery of the council
- Changes to the levels of accountability of officers
- Increased transparency throughout the Council
- Creating a cleaner, greener city to take us out of the post-Covid and post-Brexit era.
- Greater support for teachers and their pupils.
- New ideas about the changes required to our City Centre and District Centres
- Creating a fairer and more equal City for all faiths, races and genders
But there is much more in our proposals than these. All the sections of the manifesto have a name after them who would be pleased to give more details on their particular bit. Just contact them by email at first name.last firstname.lastname@example.org.”
It will be interesting to see if the 6 other candidates for the mayoralty and 200 candidates for the council etc produce a manifesto in anything like this detail. For the past three elections in the City we were the only ones to produce a manifesto and say what we actually wanted to do. Even though an opposition party we have used those manifesto pledges to put motions to Council and Committees to try and move the agenda forward in a meaningful and liberal way
This is a radical set of proposals that meet both the short-term needs of the Caller Report and the long-term needs to reshape the economy of Liverpool. Our Lib Dem team has a great mix of experienced councillors and enthusiastic newcomers. The road ahead for Liverpool will be long and complicated. However, we can start the processes to recover the position of our council and City very quickly. In particular we can show the World that our sad past decade has been thrown off and that a new dawn has broken for our City.
The Liverpool Liberal Democrats manifesto, “Liberal Democrats Demand Better” can be seen and downloaded at this link. https://www.liverlibdems.org.uk/manifesto_for_liverpool. There’s also a videoon the website there from me and some leading members of my team explaining some of the key points.
Of course, you can always send your comments to me at Richard.email@example.com.