Liverpool Mayoral Election Kicks Off
The Mayoral election campaign in Liverpool kicked off this week as Joe Anderson formally announced he would re-stand for the position. This followed previous announcements by Cllr Richard Kemp, Liberal Democrats, and Cllr Tom Crone, Green Party, who are both also standing in the contest.
Joe Anderson became Liverpool’s first elected mayor in 2012, with a staggering 57% of the vote and immediately set out five “mayoral priorities” that he asked to be judged on at the end of his term. These priorities were:
- 12 new schools to be built
- 20,000 new jobs to be created
- 5,000 new homes to be developed
- Supporting enterprise
- Creating a ‘sparkling city’
After four years, there is plenty for the current mayor to hang his hat on. Next year will see the 12th new school opening thanks to Joe Anderson’s administration, whilst he can also claim the city has become an entrepreneurial hub, after the popular International Festival for Business made its residence there. That said, it hasn’t been plain sailing for him or his Labour Group, and rivals to the mayoralty will be hoping to jump on some of Joe Anderson’s perceived failures.
Cllr Richard Kemp, a Liberal Democrat stalwart who has sat on Liverpool City Council for 30 years and who also ran for the mayoral position in 2012 has done just this. Claiming that Liverpool “deserves a change”, Cllr Kemp has pointed to the economic success of Manchester as proof that Liverpool is slipping behind its city rivals, as well as at health statistics that show Liverpool’s residents are dying 10 years earlier than the national average. To remedy this, Cllr Kemp has suggested that better links should be built between Liverpool City Council and the three universities that reside in the city with the creation of a “Doing Tank” that creates tangible, workable solutions to some of Liverpool’s economic and social problems.
Cllr Kemp has admitted he faces a hard battle to win the election. In 2012, he only won 6% of the vote, coming third, behind independent candidate Liam Fogarty. This result, it must be noted, did come at a time the Liberal Democrats were at their lowest in terms of popularity, with the party’s links to the coalition hurting many areas that used to hold such fertile ground for them, including Liverpool. Whether Cllr Kemp can claw this popularity back now the Lib Dems are free from their Conservative association remains to be seen.
Liverpool Green Party’s leader, Tom Crone, announced last year that he would fly the Green flag in May’s election. Promising to fight a campaign for local businesses and for the protection of green spaces, Cllr Crone is hoping that he can improve on the Party’s 5% showing it achieved in 2012. Since then the Green Party has strengthened locally, winning two further seats on the Council and officially becoming Liverpool’s second party, meaning there is a possibility that Cllr Crone could make a bigger showing than many expect in this election.
Liverpool’s mayoral election is scheduled for 5 May 2016, and we are expecting many twists and turns before then, as well as more candidates putting their hats into the ring. Whatever happens though, rest assured Remarkable will be watching and reporting back.
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