Liverpool Aerial October 2019

Liverpool’s mayoral model stays for now

Neil Tague

The Labour-run local authority last night voted to retain its current system of governance for the next mayoral cycle, committing instead to a referendum in 2023.

The decision means that the mayoral election scheduled for May this year will proceed as planned.

Liberal Democrats in the council had tabled a motion that an urgent consultation be held with the people of the city, offering three options: the current mayor and cabinet system, a council leader and cabinet system, and a committee model.

With Labour so dominant in the council – it holds 72 of 90 seats – the motion was always likely to fail, even with the council in such dire straits in governance terms that an independent inspector is currently reviewing its procurement activities. This follows the December arrests of figures including mayor Joe Anderson.

An amendment suggesting a city-wide referendum on the matter in 2023 was passed unanimously.

Cllr Richard Kemp, leader of the Lib Dems in the city, told Place North West: “The fact that Labour have kicked into the long grass consultation with the people of Liverpool over the question of having an elected mayor means that we are saddled with this unpopular, unwanted position until 2024.

“Now was the time to be build on this and a whole range of governance issues which have led to us being the only council in the country with Government inspectors.”

A second debate tabled by Kemp for what was LCC’s first full council meeting since the December arrests concerned the establishment of a taskforce to lead post-pandemic recovery and to develop a strategic investment framework for that recovery. This was passed with an amendment from Cllr Paul Brant that “the council continues its ongoing work”.

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I’m not sure how Cllr Kemp can say “we are saddled with this unpopular, unwanted position”. As clearly stated, Labour hold 72 of 90 seats. Labour (currently) support the Mayoral model, ergo the people of Liverpool support the Mayoral model. If they didn’t, and if they felt strongly enough about it, they would vote for candidates who opposed it.

By Anonymous

How sad. The image of our City is badly tarnished and yet our politicians do nothing to improve that image. To be the only Council in the UK being investigated by the Government for poor governance is a disgrace, and yet it proposes to do nothing is very very sad, to say the least

By Forward Thinker

Well that was Just about inevitable. I wonder does Steve Rotherham despair as much as the rest of us do? No wonder the Government don’t seem to consider the city when it comes to big investment projects and so much foreign investment goes elsewhere . I keep thinking Liverpool’s time will come but looks like It’s not going to change any time soon.

By Aigburther

Liverpool’s time is here, but some of the Labour politicians in the city are a disgrace and do us a great disservice. It is time the council was better balanced. The old systems are coming to an end and I hope people vote for forward thinking people next time. The central city needs a good shake-up, and they could have done that this time by underscoring a real change of governance model. Let our city region authorities take over strategic investment matters.

By Red Squirrel

Liverpool is one of those few areas where Labour could put a live monkey up for election and still win. People there just hate the other parties so much, they will just vote labour automatically irrespective of the actual policies and people up for power. The mayoral model is a farce as it leads to little public accountability. That is why Labour like it.

By Anonymous2

Anonymous2 makes some good points although not unique to Liverpool it does seem particularly prevalent. Liverpool’s may come one day but with such a great cultural shift needed in it’s difficult to see when.

By Wirralwanderer