The future of the city council’s leadership structure is to be discussed at an extraordinary council meeting on Wednesday, as Liberal Democrat councillors called for a full consultation on the city’s governance following the arrest of mayor Joe Anderson in December.
A motion has been put by councillors Richard Kemp, Andrew Makinson, Malcolm Kelly, Mirna Juarez, Kris Brown, Liz Makinson, Carole Storey and Kay Davies, stating: “This council requests officers of the council to draw up and implement a consultation programme with the people of Liverpool on the system of governance that they would prefer from the three systems available in law.”
The proposed models are an elected mayor and cabinet; a council leader and cabinet; and a committee system.
Cllr Kemp, leader of Liverpool’s Lib Dems, told Place North West: “Liberal Democrats have always objected to the fact that no referendum was held before the council decided to impose an elected mayoral system on the people of the city.
Mindful that the next mayoral election is due in May this year, the councillors will ask that a report be presented to a special meeting of the council soon enough to halt the election process, should any consultation find in favour of a non-mayoral model.
Although the motion will require backing from LCC’s Labour majority if it is to succeed – and Labour currently has 72 of the council’s 90 seats – Wednesday will represent the first full council meeting since before the council was rocked by December’s high profile arrests including that of Anderson, who was later released on bail until February. He later stood down as mayor and has been expelled from the Labour Party meaning he cannot stand as mayor in the next election.
The first edition of Place North West’s sister publication The Subplot last week examined the prospects for Liverpool’s leadership in the wake of Anderson’s departure.
Place North West also reported last week that a deadline has been set for independent Government advisor Max Caller to report the findings of his study into Liverpool City Council’s procurement practices in property, highways and regeneration.