Joanne Anderson

Joanne Anderson's tenure as mayor will now end at the May 2023 elections.

Liverpool axes mayoral model

The city council has voted to return to a leader and cabinet method of governance from May 2023, despite a consultation suggesting public preference for a mayor.

Liverpool’s full council met yesterday to consider a potential change to the city’s governance, in a week when LCC has again hit the headlines through the resignation of chief executive Tony Reeves.

A report for members provided a summary of the public consultation exercise as a factor to be considered in making a decision on which one of three models should be adopted: the leader & cabinet structure, a committee model, or the existing mayor & cabinet structure, which has been in place for 10 years.

Under the widely used leader & cabinet model, the leader is elected (and can be removed by) full council and picks a cabinet of between two and nine members, a selection that need not be politically balanced.

The mayoral model is essentially the same, apart from the major difference that the mayor is directly elected by the public every four years.

A third option, the committee model, more commonly used before 2001, sees committee decisions are ratified by, or overtuned by, full council. The committee must be politically balanced.

LCC’s consultation, which ran between March and June this year, garnered 11,519 valid responses. Of these, 40.9% voted for mayor & cabinet, 32.9% for committee model, and 23.6% for leader & cabinet.

According to the report prepared for full council, the cost of the consultation rose to around £134,000, over the estimated budget of £120,000. The largest single expense was lettering each household in the city, at around £60,000.

LCC’s controlling Labour group tabled a motion that the city should return to the leader & cabinet model, provoking an amendment from opponents. Following some heated debate, the amendment was defeated and the Labour motion carried, broadly along political lines, with around 50 Labour votes carrying the day in each case.

Cllr Steve Radford, a Liberal, questioned “the logic of having a consultation, and then opting for the least popular option on a poor turnout is, I think taking the mickey out of the electorate -and I’m being conservative with my language”.

On the other side of the debate, Cllr Nick Small argued that although he’d supported the introduction of a mayoral system in 2012, the situation had been changed with the introduction of a city region-wide metro mayor from 2017 onwards.

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Great news

By Anonymous

Hardly a surprise, this was never going to work in Liverpool.

By Anonymous

The majority vote was against the mayoral model. Now we have an LCR Mayor, most people agree that having a city one confuses things.

Setting out three options in the consultation was a bad idea though.

By Mayority rule

I would argue that 56.5% voting for options other than a mayoral system (or to be more accurate more people voted for options that didn’t include the mayoral system, 59.1%, than the mayoral system, 40.9%) doesn’t lead to the conclusion that the public preference supports one.

Or to be more accurate more people voted for options that didn’t include the mayoral system, 59.1%, that the mayoral system, 40.9%.

By John Mac

Consultation that’s tokenistic; poor financial planning; lack of strategic vision from the outset. Again and again Liverpool Council get it wrong. Reputation in tatters.

By Anonymous

Doesn`t matter what model is chosen the electorate vote in the same mediocre lot, meanwhile the vast majority abstain as the choices are so woeful, as the saying goes its like re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic, unless something extraordinary happens and Liverpool wakes up from this political nightmare.

By Anonymous

Seemed really a bit stupid having both a Liverpool City mayor and Liverpool City Region mayor, especially when the city region one is the more important

By Jo

This needs to happen in Salford

By Scott

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