Mark Bousfield

Liverpool moves to fill Kavanagh void 

Dan Whelan

The city council has selected Mark Bousfield to lead its development department in the wake of the previous regeneration director’s dismissal and publication of Max Caller’s damaging report in March. 

Nick Kavanagh’s contract with the council was terminated earlier this year after he was twice arrested and released without charge in connection with a police corruption probe.

The same week, Government advisor Caller’s report into the running of Liverpool City Council was published, highlighting failures of governance and evidence of a “dysfunctional culture” at the authority.

As the city council embarks on a new era, it has appointed Bousfield to lead on city centre development for the next 12 months as interim director while the senior leadership team is restructured. 

The restructure is open to consultation and is scheduled to go to the Mayor and cabinet for approval in early autumn. Bousfield’s role will be reviewed upon completion of the restructure. 

Bousfield has spent the last six months with the city council in an advisory capacity on secondment from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, where he has been director of commercial development and investment since 2018. 

Going forward, he will lead on major city centre development projects and oversee the implementation of Liverpool’s local plan, due to be consulted on this summer. 

He will also lead a team that is overseeing a multibillion-pound stimulus programme, which includes the ongoing development of the city’s Knowledge Quarter. 

Bousfield said: “We’ve got a lot of hard work ahead of us delivering some key projects; tackling the issues raised by the Best Value inspection and rebuilding the trust of the public, our partners, developers and investors. 

“I am confident that, together with the many hard-working and talented colleagues across the council, we will continue to make good progress.”   

Chief executive Tony Reeves, said: “In the short space of time Mark has been with us, he has proved what a talented and experienced leader he is. 

“He is a fantastic addition to the team and I have no doubt that he will continue to make great strides in transforming our approach to development, strengthening relations with developers and investors, boosting the city’s economy, and helping to bring new jobs and opportunities, for the benefit of all who live, work and visit Liverpool.” 

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Excellent appointment. Time to look forward with renewed ambition and vision for our great city.

By Mark Lawler

Good appointment should give the private sector confidence

By George

A good move. He’s a top operator and understands development, viability issues etc.

With any luck he’ll start pushing things forward and breaking through the council’s self-imposed fear of making a decision.

By Sceptical

Sounds like a visionary who can bring confidence back to the city, he needs to get some major projects on site like the cruise terminal, Littlewoods film studios and Pall Mall offices.
I would also like to see someone guiding the planning of the city in terms of housing design that is worthy of a major city and stop these inappropriate suburban type houses being built and re-visit the tall terraced housing of the past but with rear town gardens, while our major roads need to be lined with 3,4, and 5 storey blocks, thus retaining the feel of a bustling city .

By Anonymous

He’s going to need all the support he can get if he’s to make even the slightest dent on the city’s long standing issues . I’m not hopeful, so many false starts but wish him well.

By anonymous

Fantastic , Liverpool is a fantastic city and it’s looking good , the vibe is high, culture is second to none , Liverpool Waters is looking good , the only direction for Liverpool is up !!!!!
I have visited many cities around the UK and believe me we have a city to be proud of .

By Liverbird

Given the backdrop, whether he and his boss succeed will be a test for the robustness and stability of the British state as much as Liverpool’s potential.

If they fail then others will have succeeded. It is clear that effective holes in the country’s economic security have been exploited. If those persist, or are allowed to result in structural economic damage, that will not go unnoticed.

The government might not be bothered about Liverpool, but they will be bothered about that. So I’m rather hopeful that serious effort will be put into turning things around (whether certain characters in government want to or not!)

By Jeff