Liverpool – Are the days of City’s ‘Spare Mayor’ numbered?

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-44793164

The BBC has the story on its web site – see link above

Since the election of a Liverpool City Region Mayor in 2017 there’s been talk about whether Liverpool City needs an elected Mayor as well. You could say that the City now has 3 Mayors, 2 directly elected and 1 ceremonial, that’s one too many for some folk and it’s the City’s elected Mayoral post that is being put froward for abolition to help save money for the cash strapped council.

Can’t say that I have ever supported any elected Mayor anywhere, in my view these posts concentrate too much power in the hands of one person and their imposition on local government (by David Cameron) has been both costly and unnecessary. So in my view Liverpool City Council should take the plunge and abolish its own elected Mayoral post.

Devolution frustrations as seen by Jim Hancock and Richard Kemp

jimhancock.co.uk/devolution-frustrations/

The article is on Jim’s blog site accessed via the link above

I remember Jim, as others will, from his BBC North West Regional News days and respect his views. I’m sure he and other devolution skeptics (and I include myself here) are right to think that government is not that keen on the process of devolving power to the regions of England, except that is when it suits them to be able to blame the regions for whatever the troubles of the day are.

It might seem odd me being a Liberal, having been brought up on a diet of power needing to be exercised at the lowest possible level of government, but I opposed the devolution deal for the Liverpool City Region. I opposed it as it was a second if not third rate deal that was hardly worth having. My views have not changed.

Yes we now have a City Region Mayor but for me that post, whomever holds it, is a bit like the Police and Crime Commissioner one in that no one really thinks either will bring any positive change to Merseyside.

What has also concerned me since first hearing that government wanted a city region mayor for Merseyside is that it would make the sub-region more Liverpool centric with the towns and communities surrounding Liverpool always playing second fiddle. I’ve seen little to change that point of view either. Bringing more power and influence to Liverpool is often at the expense of its surrounding communities.

Devolution as presently practiced in England is indeed half hearted and deeply flawed.

And later on the same day that I published this posting I found that Cllr. Richard Kemp was on a similar theme:-

richardkemp.wordpress.com/2018/03/16/the-north-wests-two-metro-mayors-add-little-to-the-development-of-liverpool-and-manchester-city-regions/

Where to now for Labour and the left on Merseyside and the UK?

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/liverpool-lib-dem-leader-warns-11931539

The Liverpool Echo has a story (written just before the announcement that Corbyn had won) which quotes my Lib Dem colleague Cllr. Richard Kemp – see link above.

Trouble is that the Labour membership was not able to vote for a credible alternative candidate to Corbyn as there was no such candidate on the ballot paper; general opinion was that Smith was a poor lightweight in a heavyweight battle.

Even odder, from my perspective, are the comments of Mayor Anderson who to many in Liverpool is a part the problem rather than a part of the solution to the City’s problems! He may well not want to drag Liverpool Labour back to the politics of the 1980’s but he is just one person who sounds to me more and more like a dictator.

The left of British politics is in a mess and Richard Kemp is right that it gives the Tories free reign to do as they please. But you know, in my view, much of what is happening now goes back at least to Blair and his right wing government.

Liverpool – Mayoral election – Richard Kemp’s manifesto

www.richardkemp.org.uk/manifesto

Well the good people of Liverpool have an opportunity to rid themselves of Joe Anderson on May 5th and Cllr. Richard Kemp has published his manifesto offering a new and positive start for this proud City. Please click the link above to read about Richard’s priorities for the City.

key_kemp_jacket

Probably the most important thing about this particular mayoral election is that a new Mayor is elected as in my view Joe Anderson has not done Liverpool any favours during his tenure.

Frankly, Liverpool Labour Party should have bitten the bullet and picked a new candidate to fly their flag.

I am more than happy to say that I feel Richard would make an excellent Mayor of Liverpool.

Richard Kemp – Because Liverpool Deserves Better

Joe Anderson – Latest on his £89,000 legal bill that was paid by Liverpool City Council

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/minister-government-wont-pay-joe-10067450

The echo has the latest in this saga – see link above.

It’s pushing it for Liverpool City Council to pay the bill for Joe’s employment tribunal never mind asking national tax payers to chip in. This tribunal and the costs of it should have been shouldered by Joe and his trade union in my opinion.

Joe Anderson – Elected Mayor of Liverpool – This really is in the unbelievable category!

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/calls-liverpool-mayor-joe-anderson-10005630#ICID=FB-Liv-main

Joe Anderson

Joe Anderson

The Liverpool Echo has the story – see link above

As a former trade union officer it is clear to me that Joe’s trade union should have shouldered the burden of fighting any tribunal case. What on earth has it to do with his present employer the City of Liverpool? Did his union decline to fight the case? If so why? This is what my fellow Lib Dem Councillor Richard Kemp thinks:-

Richard Kemp

Liverpool City Lib Dem leader Cllr Richard Kemp has reacted angrily and says Mayor Anderson should pay the money back.

He said: “This is an absolute scandal. There is absolutely no justification in using council money to satisfy a private problem of an individual politician. Even if there was, the figures don’t add up. The dispute was about £4,000 per year. It would take 22 years to get the money back even if Anderson had won.

“If I asked every single elector in Liverpool what the £89,000 should be spent on, not one would say the Mayor’s private legal fees. This would pay for a year for 18 of the lollipop ladies that the council has laid off or moderate care costs for 20 elderly people at a time when our social services are being eviscerated by government cuts.

“Mayor Anderson should now do the decent thing and pay the money back.”