Getting the public/private relationship right


The Parklands School in Liverpool which is costing us £4.3 million a year to keep empty is a prime example of what went wrong under Labour’s PFI back ‘Building Schools for the Future’ programme

The collapse of Carillion and the potential collapse of other large multi financed, multi-functional companies, has raised the level of public discussion about the relationship between the public and private sectors. Thank goodness for that as a revision of the relative power of the relationships is well overdue.

For 4 years at the turn of the century I was the Chair of 4Ps a local government owned consultancy which was responsible for helping councils use the concept of partnerships with the private sector to optimum advantage for service users and the finances of councils. Often that mean saying, “don’t do it”. But our advice was not always heeded because councils wanted to be ‘innovative’ and because the then Labour Government saw PFI as the way forward to tackle decades long under-investment in much of the nation’s infrastructure. We should never forget that more PFI contracts were signed per year under the Blair/Brown Governments than under any other Government.

Typical of this is Parklands School in Liverpool which has been empty for 4 years and still costs the Council £4.3 million a year in financing costs. The School was built under Labour’s ‘Building Schools for the Future’ programme and the preferred finance route for this was PFI funding. Something had to be done about the failing Speke Comprehensive and the Council resolved to build Parklands using PFI as it was the only possible route.  Mayor Anderson was kind enough to accept at the last Council that Liverpool has less PFI schools than any other core city. That is because the Lib Dems with Cllr Paul Clein as our Education Cabinet member found imaginative ways to use existing council assets to fund or part fund a huge development programme.

When the Coalition Government stopped the BSF programme an independent report found that it had wasted over £2 billion. That is before adding in the costs of PFI! That is why the Government called time on the whole of the BSF because all the money allocated to it had already been spent and more. In fact, there are now more than 15 ghost schools built under PFI which are similarly empty nationwide.

But it is the NHS where PFI was used most on major infrastructure projects like Hospitals. The Royal Liverpool Hospital was one of these. The design work and initial studies were done under the Labour Government on the basis of a PFI route and the Coalition Government, just 6 months after taking control felt obliged to follow this route.

Some people are saying that the Government should build its own hospitals and that councils should build their own schools ‘just as they used to’. That of course, is wrong. Governments have never built schools, hospitals, houses or roads. We have always paid the private sector to do this because local and central governments do not have the skills to project manage or build such works. In fact, we should always be wary of returning to the good old days and we can take the current Royal Liverpool Hospital as an example. That was provided no less than 13 years late and at a cost which was more than twice the original estimate even allowing for inflation over that period.

So, what went wrong is not so much the private sector building or providing things but the complex mechanisms that PFI uses to take transfer fund raising, risk and management to the private sector. If any Government at any level decides to do that the cost will rise because the private sector will do more and will expect a bigger return. If we look at those three elements in turn we can see that there is a better way, starting with initial funding:

  • Funding should either be by grant or by direct borrowing by the government. Governments do not financially fail. They can borrow money more cheaply than anyone else for that reason and do not want to make a further profit from that money.
  • If risk on things like overruns or unexpected site difficulties is transferred then we should expect to pay a little extra for that. You can consider this to be a form of insurance. BUT if we have paid extra for the risk then the private sector must cough up if the risk eventualises. A scandalous situation has occurred on the East Coast Main Line when the Government paid extra for risk but went it all went pear shaped the Government bailed out the private sector.
  • We should then manage things ourselves. The ongoing management and maintenance contracts seem to have two effects. Firstly, they take high profits out of the provision of these services and secondly, they de-unionise and exploit workforce vulnerabilities with poor conditions and pay levels.

These three things can and should be done.

If we do that we can return to creating build only contracts with the private sector. In turn those companies would spend more time investing in their building and construction capacities and capabilities because that is what we want them to be good at and where they can make reasonable profits by using that capability.

We will leave out the sharks and charlatans with which the high-end finance market is crawling. The spivs will lose out and the service providers will get lower costs. What’s not to like?!

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What Next for Sefton and Calderstones Parks?


The fight to save the Harthill section of Calderstones Park is not over. These are just some of the people who pledged action on 29th January to stop this land being developed by Redrow

Last night more than 250 concerned local residents from across South Liverpool poured into the All Hallows Church Hall to hear about the continuing campaign to save the Harthill section of Calderstones Park.

All 4 local Lib Dem councillors were there as were two of our 3 candidates for the May elections. Not one of the 5 Labour Councillors for the area or either of their 2 candidates bothered to attend. It would be an understatement to say that the audience were angry that no-one had turned up from Labour to defend the proposed development.

The council heard from a number of speakers including John Davies and Caroline Williams who set out the campaign to date and Robin Makin who set out the legal activity. Much of the action now moves into the legal area in three ways:

  1. The community has been given permission to proceed with a judicial review of the Council’s decision to move the model railway. This will take place in the summer;
  2. There will be a public enquiry into the application for a Village Green on part of the Harthill site. This too will take place in the summer.
  3. The community are now considering submitting a Judicial Review application into the whole development now that permission has been granted on 9th. January. If granted this will take place at approximately the same time as the other two which would mean that there would probably be deferred into the autumn.

When I spoke, I pointed out that all this should be unnecessary. The Council last week approved a development framework that acknowledged that all the land needed for housing for the next twenty years is available within existing brownfield sites. The Council claim that part of this land is ‘brownfield’ and that is true. Part of the land is the former depot but, of course, the depot was used to service the green space and the world famous orchid collection so could be considered as an adjunct to the green space of the Park. What is beyond doubt is that the Paddock used by Beechley is not brownfield. Until 1999 it was part of the Park and was only fenced in to provide a safer environment for horses and riders.

This is important because the Council cannot now reverse its planning consent – unless forced to by the JR process. They can however just refuse to sell the land. The council could decide tomorrow that it should not sell the land. It has not yet actually agreed to sell this land but only to agree to review this when all facts are known and dependent on a further report to Council. Come on Joe, do the decent thing and do what the community almost unanimously wants stop the Redrow development.

If he were to do that we could then have a sensible talk about all the land and its ongoing uses. I have always said, as have most of the community, that Beechley House and its immediate environs should be used for housing, especially for 2 bedroomed flats which are badly needed in the area so that people could move out of big under occupied houses but stay in the area. We can them look for grant support for Calder Kids; the Model Railway and the Riding for the Disabled to ensure their long-term viability.

The community agreed to fight on but legal actions are expensive. We need you to dig deep into your pockets to find the initial £15,000 needed to fund the legal work. You can donate the money to LOGS at LOGS CIC, (Santander)Sort Code: 09 01 29 Account Number 12693124.


But the fight also goes on at Sefton Park Meadowlands. Not putting housing on it is good but does not answer the longer-term questions about who will use the land for what purpose. In an answer to a question that I asked at the last Council meeting, Mayor Anderson made clear that he is already in discussion with a charity, “a local organisation to grow food and help people recovering from addictions”.

We don’t believe that the future of the land should be a decision made by Mayor Anderson without full consultation with local people. We have too many examples of decisions being made for organisations with which Mr Anderson has a particular knowledge or interest. We believe that it should be park users and local residents who make the decisions. We cannot force the Mayor to properly consult so we are holding our own consultation.

The Lib Dem Lead Member for Mossley Hill, Alisha Lewis has launched a questionnaire which will ask your opinion about who should run the land and what it should be used for. One of the options is, of course, to keep it just the way that it is where it adds so much to the environment for residents, park users and passers-by. We will be delivering this consultation door to door in the immediate vicinity of the Park but you can access it here:

If you want to supply more information or talk to Alisha Lewis you can contact here at

Whether its Sefton Park, Calderstones Park or any other Park in Liverpool we believe that the Parks are yours – they belong to the people of Liverpool not the Mayor or the Council. We will fight to preserve and support them all. As our City gets more people those green lungs are going to be even more vital.



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Council Questions and Answers January 2018


As usual there were far more questions than answers at the Council meeting held last week.

Our only opportunity to question the Mayor is by putting down written questions to the Council meeting. Mayor Anderson is the only Leader of a democratic body in the UK who cannot be publicly challenged in a public forum. Our only other opportunity to partly question him is our ability to comment on the statement that he makes at the council meeting. Of course, if he has not mentioned an item that interests us we cannot comment on it!

I reprint here his answers in full. There si so much that I could have teased out of him if I had the right to ask supplementary questions as used to happen when the Lib Dems controlled the Council. I comment on his answers in red which highlights the further areas that I would have liked to follow up on.

Question 1

Would the Mayor please confirm that Mr Phil Halsall and Mr Ged Fitzgerald are council appointed directors of the Liverpool Arena Company. If this is the case would he inform the council why he considers this appropriate in the current legal circumstances? Do they receive any salary or expenses for these appointments?


Mr Halsall is not a director of Liverpool Arena and Convention Centre.

Ged Fitzgerald, as Chief Executive of the City Council, remains a member of the board.  Mr Fitzgerald last attended a meeting of the board on 22 March 2017. The Council’s Head of Investment, has been attending meetings in the capacity of alternate director, as appointed by this Council.

I confirm that there is no salary or expenses payable by the ACC Liverpool Group, or the city council, for Board Directors.

The questioner makes reference to the appropriateness of this in the current circumstances and I would remind him that the Chief Executive’s suspension is a neutral act, without prejudice.

The Mayor needs to bring back all items relating to the Governance of the Arena Company especially in light of the serious fire at the Car Park.

Question 2

Does the Mayor recall that at the last meeting he challenged Lib Dem councillors to meet him regarding the potential provision of social housing on the Harthill Road site? Does he further recall that we accepted this offer and will he provide details of when that meeting is likely to be convened?


Typical Lib Dems still don’t have any ideas, and when I agreed to meet I expected them to come forward with their thoughts.  I’m still waiting.

At the meeting we were asked if we would attend a meeting on this subject. I agreed that we would and I further said that we would be prepared to see social or any other type of housing on a small part of the site including Beechley House. We can have a meeting about this as a matter of urgency.


Given the hints made at the last council meeting by the Mayor that he would wish to see houses built by the Council’s new housing company built on Harthill Road and Sefton Park Meadowlands would he make urgent arrangements to meet councillors and residents from those areas to discuss his plans?


Typical Lib Dems still don’t have any ideas, and when I agreed to meet I expected them to come forward with their thoughts.  Plans for housing on Harthill so far have already been shown to local residents, at a consultation event held by Redrow inside Calder Kids, which desperately needs a new home.

On the Sefton Park Meadows I have made clear that I believe the site should be used as active Green Space to involve the local community, and have had interest from a local organisation to grow food and help people recovering from addictions.

Is Calder Kids a going concern? It has been removed from the Charity Register. Will he have discussion with the community about social housing?

Question 4

Would the Deputy Mayor please indicate:

  1. When the move by the Model Railway at Calderstones Park will take place given that the Planning Committee were informed in June that this would take place before Christmas?
  2. When the details of the move by Beechley Riding for the Disabled to Clark Gardens will take place given that the three-year licence to occupy from the Council to the RDA will run out in October?
  3. When the move to new premises for Calder Kids will take place?
  4. The expected costs to the Council’s Capital Programme of these three moves.


The Planning Committee’s decision to relocate the Miniature Railway is currently subject to a Judicial Review.  Therefore, the timescales of proposals to relocate these organisations cannot accurately be provided until the review is complete and the outcome of the review is known.  In addition, the final costs to the capital programme of any relocations cannot be provided until the outcome of the Judicial Review is known.

What are the indicative costings for the move of the 3 bodies? Has no work been done on this to check that all the proposals are likely to be financially viable? What will happen to the lease for the Riding for the Disabled which expires in October this year?

Question 4

Can the Mayor advise –

  1. How many staff have left the council since May 2010 subject to pay-offs and gagging (none-disclosure) orders?
  2. How many of these have been in the current financial year?
  3. How much has been paid in these pay-offs?
  4. Are any pay-offs with subsequent none-disclosure orders currently being processed within Liverpool Council?
  5. Given that the Leader of the Labour Party Mr Jeremy Corbyn has said that gagging orders are inappropriate for public bodies would he explain why this Council uses them and for what reasons?


Before I answer your questions, I think it’s useful that we take a little look back to when your Party was in control prior to May 2010.

The departures of three key officers spring to mind, those of Jason Harborow (£230,000), Sir David Henshaw (£340,000) and Phil Halsall (£500,000). The cost for these three Settlement Agreements alone was £1.07 million. Yes, that’s £1.07 million, for just three posts – between 2005 and 2010. I will also ask Officers to send you the actual full overall costs of all Settlement Agreements during your Groups previous Administration of 1998-2010, which will then make this figure even higher.

Now turning to your latest questions. Firstly, we don’t use what you call ‘gagging orders’, not only as this isn’t a term used in Employment Law but also because it is inaccurate.

Settlement Agreement would be the proper terminology to use and it is a matter of good legal practice that Settlement Agreements include confidentiality clauses. When council employees enter into Settlement Agreements with the City Council they do so on the basis of their own independent advice from their lawyer as to the content of the Agreement so that the terms of the Agreement are completely consensual. Nobody is “gagged”.

Responses to your questions are –

  1. 27 employees have left through Settlement Agreements from May 2010 to date.
  2. 4 employees during the current financial year (2017/18).
  3. A total of £ 1,192,648.98. This works out as an average of £44,172 per employee under my Administration.
  4. No
  5. The Cabinet and Full Council set the policies of the Council.

Are the reasons for the staff leaving really consensual? Normally they are dismissals and the gagging order is place so that they don’t spill the beans on things they have seen. Is he absolutely certain that there are currently no discussion between our legal staff and solicitors for a current employee which will involve a payoff and a ‘gagging clause?”

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Labour Reject without a vote motions on traffic safety; curbing sexist language; rough sleepers; use of foreign languages; rough sleeping & City Magazine


Sometimes Liverpool Town Hall seems more like the Russian Duma (Parliament) than a centre for democratic debate!

Liverpool City Council has an arcane set of rules which basically put all the cards in the hands of the Labour Party when it comes to debates at the full meeting of the Council. There is, however, a provision that when all Parties agree on a motion it can be approved without debate.

We put forward the resolutions below in the hope that they would be accepted by the Council in that way. Why should we really debate curbing the use of sexist language or looking at accident prevention on main arterial roads such as Menlove and Mather Avenues? Couldn’t we agree them and get on with them?

No! Although the Lib Dems agreed 4 motions on an all-Party basis the Labour Party blocked every single Lib Dem resolution. They then voted against the motions when they were put to the meeting without debate en bloc.

Have a look at these motions and see what you think about them. Don’t you think that they should at least have been debated?

  1. Safety on Liverpool’s roads by Andrew Makinson, Mirna Juarez, Malcolm Kelly and Richard Kemp CBE

Council believes that it is more important to spend money on necessary road improvements for safety purposes on the main arterial roads in the City than on prestigious city centre schemes, such as the Strand proposals, which the majority of people consulted have rejected.

Given the number of collisions involving both vehicles and pedestrians Council therefore calls for a review of all main arterial roads starting with Mather Avenue and Menlove Avenue with particular attention to the multi-junctions at Mather and Greenhill Roads; Menlove and Green Lane; Menlove and Crompton’s Lane and Menlove and Druids Cross Road.

That such a review should take place immediately with a view to recommendations from that review being commenced in the financial year 2018/19.

  1. Languages – Liverpool’s Front Door to the World by Councillor Richard Kemp, CBE

Council believes that in a modern world class city there is a need to have more front-line staff such as train conductors; station staff; cab drivers; bus drivers and police officers able to speak to tourists and business visitors with a least a basic level of conversation in at least one foreign language.

Therefore, it requests the Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Events to convene a meeting of universities; colleges; schools language staff; Network Rail; Train operators; representatives of the taxi trade and major retailers with a view to the creation and implementation of basic foreign language courses in French; Spanish and Mandarin for front line staff.

  1. Homeless and rough sleepers by Councillor Mirna Juarez

That this Council thanks Mr. Lawrence Kenwright for his humanitarian gesture of opening up the empty Kingsway House to accommodate the homeless and rough sleepers. That this Council further acknowledges the hard work and commitment shown by his team and the volunteers they have recruited to help these vulnerable people in need. Some rough sleepers are in need of medical attention in many ways, many are in poor health. Without this refuge from the cold, many would have been at serious risk. Furthermore, that this council will review the empty buildings it owns to assess the feasibility of using them to accommodate the homeless and rough sleepers.

  1. City Magazine by Councillors Andrew Makinson, Richard Kemp, Mirna Juarez and Malcolm Kelly

This Council agrees with the statement made by Mayor Anderson to the Mayoral Scrutiny Committee on 4th July 2012 that, “Having our own magazine has become a luxury in these austere times.” Therefore, it deplores the decision in November to relaunch the City Magazine at a cost of £33,000 per edition, and the plans to distribute three editions per year costing £96,000. And that this decision to reverse a council budget decision was allowed to be taken under delegated powers, avoiding council scrutiny. Council calls upon Mayor Anderson to cease any further editions of the City Magazine from publication.

  1. Luxury car lease agreements by Councillors Andrew Makinson, Mirna Juarez, Malcolm Kelly and Richard Kemp

Council notes that the number of luxury cars being leased for senior officers has doubled since 2012, meanwhile the previously leased cars have been upgraded. At present Liverpool City Council is paying for the Chief Executive and three Executive Directors to benefit from the leases of:

  • A Jaguar XF Portfolio – lease commenced 4/8/16
  • BMW i3 Range Extender – lease commenced 14/11/14
  • Mercedes C250 CDi – lease commenced 3/3/15
  • BMW 320d – lease commenced 6/7/15

This is despite Mayor Anderson’s statement at the budget meeting on 8th March 2017 that, “This council is not paying for sports cars for directors.”

This council believes that the council’s limited resources should be spent on the “Many” and not the “Few”. Therefore the city’s council tax payers should not be forced to fund “luxury perks” for the top 1% highest paid.

Council therefore calls for the head of paid service to begin immediate consultation with the recipients of these four luxury cars, with a view to giving them the opportunity to take over responsibility for these leases, or returning these vehicles to their leasers at the earliest opportunity.

  1. The use of sexist language by Councillor Richard Kemp, CBE
  2. Council believes that the way we use language is important and that those of us in public office should set a high example to the rest of the Community. It believes that many women are put off politics because of the use of sexist language and chauvinistic behaviour. Council believes that politics can be an unwelcoming environment for women because of the use of sexist language and chauvinistic behaviour. Council regrets therefore, that Mayor Anderson used the term ‘Fishwife’ in response to questioning from Councillor Mirna Juarez at the last council meeting. It therefore resolves to ask the Women’s Equality Party and the Women’s Leadership Group to work with the Council to promote a seminar for all councillors and staff on the appropriate use of language and behaviour, including preferred pronoun training to create a fairer and more inclusive environment for women in public life.
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Rethinking funding for disadvantaged areas after Brexit


Although the EU is not a direct contributor to the NHS our exit from it will cause major problems for the social determinants of health as well as direct problems such as a shortage of trained staff

Last week the Health Foundation published a booklet about the effects of Health on Brexit. It consists of a series of essays one of which is from me. I attach mine below. If you want to look at the whole booklet you can find it here.

“Any review of the external determinants of health shows there are three key factors that contribute to a person’s wellbeing, which in turn contributes to their health. These are a good job, good pay and a good home (in a good neighbourhood).

These factors have been well quantified but also seem somewhat logical. If you have a good job, go home to a nice house and have a few bob in your pocket you are far less likely to adopt unhealthy behaviours, less likely to suffer stress and anxiety, and more likely to be able to access mental health services when needed..

If logic is not sufficient, then these figures should help to illustrate the link between work, salary and health. Table 1 is a comparison of my ward – Church Ward – in Liverpool (one of the wealthiest) with others and the national average in 2015. This shows that it is far more complicated than a simplistic view of a north–south divide. There are big differences inside both ‘rich’ and ‘poor’ areas.

Table 1:

  Church Ward Liverpool average Liverpool worst performing ward National average
Income per household £43,065 £29,099 £21,135 £36,353
Worklessness 5.3% 15.3% 25.8% 9.2%
Population aged 16 and over with NVQ Level 4 or greater 44.8% 22.4% 9.9% 27.2%
Life expectancy at birth 83.7 years 78.5 years 70.8 years 80.8 years


How do EU funds make a difference to health?

The EU has invested in infrastructure in the past and the European Investment Bank still provides funding for health investment projects in the UK. However, in practice, the EU has nothing to do with day-to-day health funding in the UK. Overall, the EU has been and remains a relatively minor source of direct investment in health, but has invested extensively in factors affecting the wider determinants of health.

The EU gives no grants or support for housing, either public or private. What the EU has done for 3 decades is invest massively in poorer parts of the UK and throughout Europe to employment and training schemes. Between 2000 and 2006, there were six Objective 1 areas[1] in the UK that received funding through the EU Structural Funds programme. These were mostly the big conurbations such as Newcastle/Gateshead, South Yorkshire and, of course, Greater Liverpool, but also included one less affluent county – Cornwall. Employment creation provides the money to fund other key health determinants and reduces illness by giving people a central purpose to their lives. It helps to pull them out of poverty, which Table 1 shows is a determinant of health.

The people of Liverpool are more conscious of the need for job creation than many, but there are no regions in the UK where at least some areas or neighbourhoods have not been the recipient of one type of EU funding or another. These aren’t always the most obvious areas in terms of perceived need. As an example, sometimes the most scenic places like the Peak District and Lake District have been common recipients of specific EU funding programmes aimed at supporting hill-top farmers and their environments.

Employment and wealth figures did determine the need for funding though, and were so low in the UK’s six Objective 1 areas in comparison to the rest of Europe between 10 and 15 years that they were granted such status. This was the top priority level for grant giving and the money flowed in. It is based on having a gross domestic product (GDP) per head less than 75% of the EU’s average. In Liverpool, the funding from the programme was used for capital and revenue activities that have transformed the city’s centre.

Without the matched funding from the EU there would not have been a major refurbishment of Liverpool’s museums and galleries and also the creation of a new one. There would have been no new canal, no conference and exhibition centre, and no Liverpool ONE (the biggest new retail centre in Western Europe) and no growth of a myriad of hotels.

Above all, there would have been no European Capital of Culture in 2008, which turned around the image of the city and inspired confidence in other industries to surf in on the rising cultural tide to establish other businesses inside the Liverpool City Region. Although Liverpool no longer has Objective 1 status, it still has substantial amounts of funding coming into the City Region, and will have until the UK leaves the EU.

All that work and more has created jobs. Some of these jobs are not well paid (those in the service sector in hotels and bars, for example), but others are – giving employees disposable income and leading to a discernible spin-off of cash into other Liverpool businesses.

Risks if EU money is not replaced

Jobs, literally, can be the difference between life and death. EU programmes cannot deal with the total defects of the economy. But the fact is that the money from those programmes has been fundamental to regeneration programmes across the UK and will be extremely hard to replace.

Following the accession of many states to the EU since 2004, the amount of money available to regional funds in the UK has dropped considerably, but the EU still provides some chunky grants. Between 2013 and 2020 the two major European Funds – the European Social Fund (ESF)[2] and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)[3] – will have put almost £11bn into the economies of the poorest areas in the UK. The North West’s share of this is £1.1bn, and the Liverpool City Region’s share is about £150m.

But that is not all. This funding must be matched by the private or public sector. Currently, 30 major projects across both the public and private sectors in the Liverpool City Region are being financed by EU funding. Perhaps some of the ‘matching’ money will continue to flow without the European element. However, cross-government support will be needed to make sure equitable funding is made available across the UK, particularly in places where it isn’t at the moment (for example, transport spending per capita is four times higher in London and the South East than it is in the North West). Given the funding promises made to farmers, universities and other sectors in the UK, there simply will not be enough cash left for the wider uses to which EU money is currently put.

Priorities for the UK

The top three priorities in Liverpool (and similar cities) are jobs, jobs and jobs. Indirectly, a strong economy provides these regions with the taxes to pay for much needed services. Directly, and in the context of health and social care, a much-improved health environment. There are so many ways places like Liverpool will not expand as quickly without the continued membership of the EU. The city’s port is dependent on breaking up big loads crossing the oceans and being split there for onward delivery to mainland Europe. This may not happen if the UK is outside the customs union and single market. The country’s universities depend on Europe-wide cooperation in research. If the UK is outside the EU, the money may not flow in the same way and the country’s universities could be excluded from cross-border research programmes. These losses of opportunity could have a direct and adverse effect on all health indicators.

There is disparity between spending on cultural organisations in London and the South East, and those in the North West. This disparity also occurs in infrastructure, research and across many other sectors. The EU’s money has always been closely based on an objective assessment of need, whereas the UK government’s assessment under any political party has closer reflected political considerations. If EU funding is to be removed, it must be replaced using a transparent mechanism for ranking need and opportunity. The UK has a great opportunity to create national policies to address poverty, and perhaps to go even further by developing more aggressive policies to encourage the creation of wealth across the country, and with it improve the nation’s health.

[1] These were areas identified by the 2000–06 EU Objective 1 programme. The programme supported the development of regions that were significantly falling behind the rest of Europe.

[2] The ESF supports worker adaptation (for example, retraining of workers from declining industries), employment and integration.

[3] The EDRF finances direct aid to companies to create sustainable jobs, infrastructure development, financial instruments (for example, local development funds) and technical assistance.”

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Liverpool Council’s debts to reach Carillion levels if EFC deal goes ahead


How much does £1 billion look like if its cash? Probably a lot more than this! That’s what Liverpool Council’s debt level could be if we don’t check it.

Last week my colleague Cllr Makinson did some basic research into the Council’s debt levels. He found that if the Council invest in Everton our total borrowing will exceed £1 billion. Its already £634 million that’s £2,500 for every household in the City. The Council has already agreed a further £100,000,000 by 2020 and that’s still two years off so doubtless there will be other pressures that need funding.

Of course, the Council says that each investment it makes is sound and either saves money or makes money. It also says that each deal is scrutinised by our external auditors who are one of the Big 4 accountancy chains. Of course, that is exactly what the management of Carillion said and their books and deals were also looked over by a Big 4 accountancy practice?

Liverpool’s record is not great. On the day that details of the Everton deal were announced (there are let us not forget two different views of what that deal is one from the Mayor and none from Everton) a report went through the Council says that on just one project, the Parklife Project, the Council’s projected borrowing had gone up by 63% in just 9 months.

Parklife is also a football deal. This time with the FA. Over the course of the design and preparatory work the costs had gone up. The FA put no more money in as all the risk had been transferred to the Council so our borrowing shot up. This deal did not come to committee so that we could scrutinise it as the Council claimed it had to be dealt with as a matter of urgency some three years after the deal was first approved and 9 months after unreliable figures were put forward

The fact is that all borrowing has an element of risk. At the level of indebtedness projected one bad deal could trigger other needs to refinance deals and we could be talking about taking money as a first charge on our income. The result? Further cuts in our services.

There is no point in Corbyn lecturing the Tories on relationships with the private sector if his own mate in Liverpool Mayor Anderson is going around making deals against which we have no competence to research them and which do not share the risk equally amongst the potential partners.

We have been assured by the Mayor that we will have a full opportunity to review the prosed deal with EFC and we will take the opportunity to do so IF it is actually given to us.

In the meantime here is Cllr Makinson’s press release. All figures in this can be checked against the council’s own documents on the council’s own website

Liverpool City Council debt rocketing out of control – Press Release

Liverpool City Council’s debt has soared by 35% in less than 18 months – And that’s before any money is borrowed to finance Everton’s new stadium.

Research by the city’s Liberal Democrats reveal the Labour council has increased the city’s total debt levels by £164 Million, just in the 17 months between June 2016 and October 2017.

Liverpool’s total borrowing now stands at £634 Million as of 31st October. That’s equivalent to a £2,500 debt for every household in the city.

Future borrowing plans already committed will increase borrowing by a further £100 Million by 2020. And council borrowing is set to break the £1 Billion barrier if the council goes ahead with plans to finance Everton’s new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock.

Liberal Democrat councillors warn that the Labour council is laying the foundations for a future financial meltdown.

Their Deputy Leader in Liverpool, Councillor Andrew Makinson said, “We’ve not seen council borrowing on this scale since the 1980’s, when a Militant Labour council almost bankrupted our city with loans from Swiss and Japanese Banks. This is Carillion style borrowing and we must learn from the potential consequences of the Carillion disaster. When you borrow money it needs paying back. When you borrow money to lend it to someone else it involves risk”

“Until now, the council has been lucky to benefit from historically low interest rates. But council finance officers are now raising alarm bells that interest rates are set to rise over the next few years. These higher interest payments will result in there being even less money for basic council services.”

“All council’s need to borrow money from time to time, but this Labour council seems to have developed an unhealthy addiction to borrowing money for questionable schemes, and leaving our city’s children to pick up the future bill.”

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There is no need to put housing on Liverpool’s Green Spaces – Official!!


For 5+ years Lib Dems and campaign groups have said that there is no need to build on green spaces to provide homes. Now that the Council’s own figures prove this why haven’t the proposals for Sefton and Calderstones Park been removed?

Next Wednesday Liverpool City Council will be voting on one of our most important strategic documents – the Local Development Framework. Although this sounds a very dry and dusty document it is a very important one. It sets out land use in Liverpool for the next 20 years and will partly become largely effective from Wednesday although there is a long-drawn approval process which will lead to final approval hopefully by the end of the year or by the middle of 2019 at the latest.

The Lib Dems have made a preliminary review of the document (it is more than 1,000 pages long) and will be supporting its adoption next week. We don’t agree with absolutely everything in it and will take the opportunity during the statutory consultation process to deal with the fairly minor items of disagreement. Our concern for a long time has been that this document is badly overdue and badly needed. It should have been submitted in 2011. We are one of just 15 councils in the Country where the Government has had to threaten to intervene because of the lateness of our processes. The lateness of the approval has led to the council through its planning committee not being able to respond adequately when some planning applications, especially those about student accommodation and houses in multiple occupation come in.

We learned a staggering fact last night that there is planning approval for 26,000 units of accommodation which have yet to be built and that there is land available for another 9,000 units. This will create living accommodation for 50/60,000 people. This with the efforts that need to be made to fill the 9,000 empty properties in this city are enough to cope with population growth over the period of the LDF and beyond.

There are three key reasons why we will support the Framework:

  1. It accepts that for the foreseeable future there is no need to build on green spaces in the city to provide the anticipated housing growth. We have long argued this with the council not listening although the evidence was obvious.
  2. We will be able to control better the massive numbers of student accommodation in the City. We will be able to insist through the planning process that blocks built for student accommodation should be capable of being adapted to general needs accommodation if the student numbers dry up.
  3. It will enable us to control better the ‘Houses in Multiple Occupation’ that have caused major problems in the City.

To the minds of Lib Dems there are three big unanswered questions:

  1. If the Council now accepts the case made by us and every campaign group in the city, that green space land is not needed for housing why is the Council still intending to build on part of Calderstones Park and Sefton Park Meadowlands. We are now calling on the Mayor to drop these proposals in the light of the policy and evidence which he will introduce at Council.
  2. Will most of the 26,000 units of housing which have received planning consent actually be built? The fractional investment technique which has caused the debacle in China Town and other sites is largely discredited. Many of the 9,000 units which are currently empty are city centre apartments looking for purchasers either for owner occupation or for tenants as they have been built using the factional investment technique. The Council needs to work with those developers and land owners to make proposals which will better meet the needs of the objectives of the Council.

These proposals still have changes to go through and we would urge every community group; amenity group; Friends of Parks, conservation groups etc to go through the document with a fine-tooth comb and submit evidence within the consultation process to the Council. The Council has to tell the Planning Inspector who will publicly review the Framework what responses have been received and what he council’s response is to these reviews.

I now attach a very handy set of responses to the Questions that the Council is anticipating will be asked. Rest assured that I will be reading all 1,000+ pages and that the Lib Dems will be putting in our thoughts to this final stage of the process.

Local Plan Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Local Plan?

All councils (Local Planning Authorities) must prepare a local plan.  A local plan sets out local planning policies and identifies how land will be used, determining what will be built where. Typically local plans cover a 15 to 20 year period (the ‘plan period’).

A Local Plan must be legally compliant and found ‘sound’ (see below for further details).

How long will the Local Plan last?

The Local Plan covers a 15-20 year period.

Why do we need an up-to-date Local Plan?

The government requires all local authorities to have an up to date Local Plan.  Without an up-to-date Local Plan Local Authorities are at risk of speculative development proposals that may not help deliver the aims of the Council or be acceptable to local communities.  Failure to have an up-to-date plan would also risk government intervention, resulting in a loss of control of the planning and development process.

What does up to date mean?

There is no single meaning of up to date, however to be effective plans need to be kept up-to-date. Policies will age at different rates depending on local circumstances, and the City Council should review the relevance of the Local Plan at regular intervals to assess whether some or all of it may need updating. Government considers that most Local Plans are likely to require updating in whole or in part at least every 5 years.

The National Planning Policy Framework makes clear that relevant policies for the supply of housing should not be considered up-to-date if the authority cannot demonstrate a 5-year supply of deliverable housing sites.  New evidence may also come forward that should be taken into account and could require a review of Local Plan policy, The government identifies plan making activity by other authorities nearby as well as by Combined Authorities.

Why has the Council prepared a Submission Draft Local Plan?

In accordance with national planning policy and guidance the Council has prepared a Submission draft Local Plan for final consultation.  This enables individuals and organisations to make comments on whether the Local Plan has been correctly prepared and is ‘sound’.

Following this consultation, the Council will consider the comments, and if it believes that the local Plan is still ready for submission to the Secretary of State for the purposes of Examination in Public, will submit the Plan together with all relevant information including all the representations that have been received.  The independent Inspector appointed to examine the Liverpool Local Plan is required to consider all the representations.


What are the key stages involved in preparing a Local Plan for Liverpool?

Local Plan Stages Indicative Dates 
PREVIOUS STAGE: – Consultation on the Draft Local Plan – The City Council must consider the representations received at this stage and show how they have been taken into account in preparing the final version of the Local Plan September  – October 2016
THIS STAGE: Publication of the final version of the Local Plan & Invitation to make representations. The City Council must send the representations received at this stage to the independent inspector.    Jan/March 2018
NEXT STAGE: Submission and Independent Examination.  The Inspector must consider the representations made at the previous stage when examining the Local Plan. April – Dec 2018
FINAL STAGE: City Council adopts Local Plan and legal challenge period commences. Dec 2018/Jan 2019


Have views made on previous consultations been taken into account?

Yes, responses to previous consultations have been considered and along with other evidence and national policy, have informed the policies and site selections in the Local Plan.  Information about this was included in the January 19th Cabinet Report.

How will my views at this stage of the local plan be considered?

During the previous two consultation periods any comments made and/or issues identified were considered in the preparation of the subsequent stage of the Local plan.

At this stage the community is invited to share their views through the making of formal representations.  These representations will be submitted alongside the Local plan for independent examination.  The independent inspector appointed to undertake the examination will take all comments into account as part of his/her examination into the plan.

Can a petition be submitted?

Yes, a petition will be considered as a single representation and the number of signatories will be noted. Petitions should include a covering letter with a point of contact.

What does the Local Plan include?

The Local Plan sets out a long-term spatial vision, strategic priorities and policies for future development in the City up to 2033.  Additionally, it sets out:

  • Development management policies that will guide the delivery of development in the City and will be used to determine planning applications. These policies provide detailed advice to developers and others on the scale, design, accessibility, sustainability etc. of proposals;
  • Site allocations for residential, other land uses across the City, shown on a Policies Map; and
  • Designations where land is proposed to be safeguarded or where specific policies apply, such as for District and Local Centres, these are also shown on the Policies Map.

What do the policies cover?

The policies will cover various aspects, including

  • The City Centre
  • Employment Land and the Economy
  • Housing Provision
  • Shopping Centres and Community Facilities
  • Urban Design
  • Heritage
  • Green Infrastructure
  • Environmental Resources
  • Sustainable Transport and Accessibility
  • Infrastructure and Developer Contributions

Are planning applications refused if they conflict with Policies in the Local Plan?

The British planning system does not zone land uses which means that when a planning application is made the City Council first establishes whether its development plan policies are material to that application.  If so the decision to approve or refuse must be taken in accordance with the development plan unless there are material considerations that indicate otherwise.

The National Planning Policy Framework stresses where a proposal accords with an up-to-date development plan it should be approved without delay, as required by the presumption in favour of sustainable development at paragraph 14 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

Where the development plan is absent, silent or the relevant policies are out of date, paragraph 14 of the National Planning Policy Framework requires the application to be determined in accordance with the presumption in favour of sustainable development unless otherwise specified.

A material planning consideration is one which is relevant to making the planning decision in question.  The scope of what can constitute a material consideration is very wide and the courts often do not indicate what cannot be a material consideration.

Whether a particular consideration is material will depend on the circumstances of the case and is ultimately a decision for the courts. Provided it has regard to all material considerations, it is for the City Council to decide what weight is to be given to the material considerations in each case.

The National Planning Policy Framework also requires planning policies to be flexibly written so that if circumstances change the development needed in the City will not be held up.


Why do we need more houses and how many do we need?

We need more homes because both the population of Liverpool and the number of households in it is expected to grow.  It is essential that the City has enough homes to meet the needs of both new and existing households.

To identify how many homes are needed over the whole plan-period (2013 – 2033) the City Council is currently required to produce a Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA). The SHMA calculates:

  • The Full Objectively Assessed Need (FOAN) for, and
  • The size and type of homes required.

If it does not do this the Local Plan cannot be taken forward and used to guide future development. The SHMA, following an update in December 2017 has identified an overall housing requirement of just under 35,000 new homes between 2013 and 2033.  This is a net figure excluding any homes lost to demolition or conversion.

Through a combination of completed homes since 2013, outstanding planning permissions and the proposed site allocations, and allowance for unexpected housing completions (windfall sites) it has been possible to meet this requirement through the use of sites which are brownfield.

What is a five-year supply of housing land and why is it important?

The five year figure is calculated by dividing the total number of homes the City needs during the Local Plan period (34,780) by the number of years in the plan–period (20) to give the annual requirement (1,739), multiplying that by 5 (8,695) and then applying the 5% or 20% buffer (9,130 – 10,434). The 20% buffer has to be added if there has been persistent under-delivery of homes in the City compared with the annual requirement of 1,739, otherwise 5% is applied.

Under- delivery (which is also known as ‘Backlog’) is the difference between the number of homes actually built in any one year and the annual requirement for that year. If there is a backlog this number must be added to the annual requirement for the following five years on a rolling basis. Liverpool does not have a ‘backlog’

If however Liverpool does not have a five years supply of land for house building and particularly if it had built up a backlog Developers would argue that any site should be built on.

Our assessment of 5 year supply at April 2017 is that City Council has a have a five year supply of 16,678 homes expected to be completed within five years.  This compares with the 5 year requirement of 9,130 (Annual requirement 1,729 x 5 years plus a 5% buffer) or in other words is a surplus of 83%.  However it must be stressed that this calculation must be kept up to date at least annually and will be subject to change.  If the surplus falls below 20% the City Council may need to consider a local plan review to ensure there is enough housing land to meet the City’s needs.

How much land is required to provide the housing which is needed?

Through a combination of completed homes since 2013, outstanding planning permissions which are still to be built, windfalls and the proposed site allocations in the Local Plan it has been possible to meet this requirement through the use of sites which are brownfield.  There are 23 allocated sites which are expected to produce some 2,320 new homes.

Where are the people going to come from to occupy this new housing?

The SHMA shows that Liverpool experiences a relatively high proportion of people/households moving into the City to live and that new households are also likely to form from within the existing population.  These trends are expected to continue and so lead to the need for more homes.

What type of housing needs to be provided?

The SHMA (2016) update December 2018 recommends as a range, the following dwelling size mix for market and affordable housing, on a city wide basis for the period 2013-2033:

Mix of Affordable and Market Homes

  1-bed 2-bed 3-bed 4+ bed
Market 0-5% 25-30% 45-50% 20-25%
Low-cost home ownership 15-20% 40-45% 30-35% 5-10%
Affordable housing (rented) 20-25% 35-40% 30-35% 5-10%

Based on the evidence, it is expected that the focus of new market housing provision will be on two- and three-bed properties. Continued demand for family housing can be expected from newly forming households. There may also be some demand for medium-sized properties (2- and 3-beds) from older households downsizing and looking to release equity in existing homes, but still retain flexibility for friends and family to come and stay.

When will new housing be built?

The new homes will be built over the Local Plan period – with different types of development completing at different rates.  For example an apartment scheme will build all the units at once while a lower density estate of detached, semi-detached or terraced homes will be completed more slowly.  Larger schemes may take several years to complete.

How does the Local Plan deal with the issue of there being too many homes in multiple occupation (HMOs) in some parts of the City?

The Local Plan contains a new policy to help deal with this issue. This policy provides a basis for refusing applications for change of use as small HMOs in specifically identified areas, which already currently have more than 10% HMO dwellings within the area.  This is achieved by withdrawing permitted development rights, via an Article 4 Direction and is a separate procedure to the Local Plan. The process of identifying these areas forms part of the evidence base which supports the Local Plan.  It is possible that at the Examination stage the independent Inspector may not allow the new policy to be included in the Local Plan or require modification of the policy.

What is the Local Plan doing about Affordable Housing?

The Local Plan will provide for a range of housing to meet housing needs, identified by the SHMA (2016) and will continue to support a range of initiatives to deliver affordable housing, including the Affordable Homes Programme and Council-led programmes and partnerships. The Local Plan also proposes a new policy requirement for viable sites, containing 10 or more dwellings, of the dwellings provided 20% should be affordable, either social / affordable rent or shared ownership.

What is the Local Plan doing to deliver more jobs?

To deliver more jobs the Local Plan makes provision for a supply of employment land to attract inward investment and to support existing businesses. Economic forecasts suggest the opportunity to create between 22,960 and 54,080 jobs over the Plan period.  To assess the need for and supply of employment land the Council commissioned evidence based studies to inform the Local Plan, including the Employment Land Study 2017 (ELS).  The ELS identified that the potential supply of land for industrial/business purposes is sufficient but that the balance is tight.  The Study therefore recommended that there should be a presumption against redevelopment of industrial/business land for other purposes.  In light of this, the Local Plan also includes policies which seek to protect employment land primarily for industrial/business purposes unless key criteria can be met to justify any such release.  The approach aims to achieve a balance between the different requirements of national planning policy where there is a requirement to provide sufficient land to meet employment land needs (and therefore provide opportunities for jobs to be delivered) while at the same time avoiding the long-term protection of sites identified for employment uses where there is no reasonable prospect of a site being used for such purposes.


What is employment land?

Employment land is land used by business activities which operate from office or industrial premises.


What is the need for additional employment land and how will this be met?

In addition to providing Liverpool with enough homes, the Local Plan is required to meet the need for a range of other land uses based on a robust and up to date evidence base.

To assess the City’s need for and supply of employment land the Council commissioned evidence based studies (including the Employment Land Study 2017 (ELS)) to inform the Local Plan.  The findings result in an overall requirement for 149.5 hectares of land for industrial and business purposes to meet the needs of the City and those arising from the planned development of the City Region’s SuperPort, over the plan period.

Where will these proposed new employment land and jobs be created?

The ELS identifies that the majority of the requirement will be met through industrial/business development which has already been completed or has planning permission. The remaining requirement (56.2 ha) will be met through the provision of land which has been designated or allocated for industrial/business purposes in the Local Plan (as shown in Schedule 7 and on the Policies Map(s)) which total just over 60 hectares.


What is the Local Plan doing to support local shopping areas?

The Local Plan includes policies which support the vitality and viability of centres by directing new investment into those centres e.g. supermarkets. The policies, which must follow national planning policy, seek to ensure that local residents in the City have day to day access to local shops and services. Development proposed outside centres will be required to demonstrate that there are no sites capable of accommodating the proposal in a centre and that there will be no adverse impacts on centres.

How much Retail and Leisure floorspace will be required?

The Retail and Leisure Needs study (2016 as updated 2017) has not identified the need for the provision of sites for retail or leisure needs in the Local Plan. The study estimates that there will be a surplus of convenience shopping floorspace until 2033 and comparison goods floorspace until 2025. At 2025 it is only the City Centre that has capacity for comparison goods.

What is the difference between convenience and comparison shopping?

Convenience shopping is mainly food and groceries while comparison goods include items such as clothing, furniture, carpets and electrical goods.

How does the Local Plan deal with the issue that there are too many hot food takeaways?

The Local Plan contains new policy to help deal with this issue – Policy SP4 Food and Drink Uses and Hot Food Take-Aways. This policy seeks to do 3 things:

  • Protect the vitality and viability of centres by setting thresholds for the number of hot food takeaways within District and Local Centres. Whilst these uses can fill vacant units, may add to the diversity of uses, and offer a popular facility for local communities, it is important that such uses do not harm the character of a centre or cause nuisance to local residents. These uses can undermine the retail function and general attractiveness of a centre and can lead to dead frontages during the daytime.
  • Contribute to addressing health issues in the City by proposing to restrict opening hours of new hot food takeaway proposals within 400m of a secondary school
  • Protect residential amenity by seeking to ensure that such uses for do not generate unacceptable levels of noise, vibrations, odours, traffic disturbance (including from both customers and delivery vehicles) and litter. The Policy sets a number of criteria which all proposals should be assessed against that deals with these issues

Policies CC8 “Non A1 uses in the City Centre MRA” and CC22 “Food and Drink Uses and Hot Food Takeaways in the City Centre and MRA” address the issue of hot food takeaways in the City Centre. These policies seek to protect the retail function of the Main Retail Area (MRA) and residential amenity.

What about Infrastructure – are there any gaps?


The Local Plan is supported by an assessment of infrastructure requirements across the City and the plan period.  This is called the Infrastructure Delivery Programme (IDP).  The IDP is required amongst other things to identify whether there are any key infrastructure constraints in the first five years of the Local Plan period.

The overall conclusion of the work undertaken for this IDP is that there are no significant shortfalls in infrastructure provision which will prevent delivery of existing and Local Plan growth proposals in the short term (5 years).

In the post 5 years period there are indications that some key areas of infrastructure will need to be invested in these include electricity transmission, education and health facilities and telecommunications (including broadband/digital connectivity).

The Local Plan includes new policies on Infrastructure and Developer contributions which will be applied in combination with the IDP to address these matters especially where infrastructure providers own investment programmes may not be doing so.

What is the National Planning Policy Framework?

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) is produced by the government and is the basis for all planning policy and requires Local Authorities to identify locations for a five year supply of housing land. Where Local Authorities cannot do this, the Local Plan can be considered to be out of date, and the NPPF contains a presumption in favour of proposals that are considered to be sustainable development.

What is the Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA)?

The HRA assesses the likely impact of the policies and sites allocated in the Local Plan on important Natura 2000 sites (Sites of internationally recognised importance). The HRA identifies whether there will be any negative impacts on these sites and/or on protected species of plants or wildlife and whether those impacts can be mitigated against or whether alternative approaches should be taken.

What is a Sustainability Appraisal?

A Sustainability Appraisal is an assessment of the social, environmental and economic impacts of a plan. It forms part of the evidence base that the plan rests on and should demonstrate whether the plan is the most appropriate, when assessed against reasonable alternatives.

What does legally compliant mean?

A plan is legally compliant when it has been prepared in accordance with the Local Development Scheme and Statement of Community Involvement, has been subject to a Sustainability Appraisal and meets all other requirements set out in national legislation relating to planning including the procedural requirements of publicity, engagement and consultation.

The plan should also be compliant with the ‘Duty to Cooperate’ which requires local planning authorities to constructively engage with neighbouring local planning authorities and other designated bodies over a strategic cross-boundary matters.

What is the Local Development Scheme?

The Local Development Scheme sets out the Development Plan Documents that Liverpool City Council is proposing to produce as its Local Plan. The Scheme involves a timetable for the preparation of each document for the Plan, as well as, describing the Local Plan Documents that will be produced. The Local Development Scheme aims to help the community to understand the development plan process and how to get involved.

What is the Statement of Community Involvement?

The Statement of Community Involvement is a document which sets out how the community will be consulted on the Local Plan. It also includes consultation arrangements for planning applications.

What is the ‘Duty to Cooperate’?

The Duty to Co-operate was first set out in the Localism Act 2011 following the abolition of regional planning. Local planning authorities legally must engage helpfully and actively with other nearby Councils and relevant organisations to ensure that Local Plans are prepared.

What is a Sustainability Appraisal?

A Sustainability Appraisal is a statutory requirement of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. It is used to ensure that the Local Plan promotes sustainable development in Liverpool. The Sustainability Appraisal process involves assessing the social, economic, and environmental effects of the Local Plan.


What does ‘sound’ mean?

A Local Plan is found sound when it is:

  • Positively prepared: meeting objectively assessed development and infrastructure requirements;
  • Justified: based on credible evidence resulting in the most appropriate strategy when considered against other reasonable alternatives;
  • Effective: the plan is deliverable, flexible and can be monitored; and
  • Consistent with national policy: departures from national planning policy must be justified.

ves where these exist.


Where can I find out more about the Local Plan?


Telephone: 0151 233 3021


By Post:

Liverpool City Council


Submission Draft Local Plan Consultation

Development Plans Team

Planning and Building Control

Municipal Buildings, Dale Street, Liverpool L2 2DH

What happens next?

Following Submission by the end of March 2018, from April until December the Independent Examination of the Local Plan will take place.  Any representations made at the publication stage are considered by the Inspector. The City Council will then adopt the Local Plan and the legal challenge period will commence from December until January of 2019.


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