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.

Liverpool – Cameron & Anderson – the best of chums? – But surprisingly there is a Tory/Lab pact history on Merseyside

My recent posting where I talked about working with Labour councillor Steve Kermode to address some issues in Maghull provoked comment and I was pointed to the article below run by the Liverpool Echo. Does the Echo article confirm my view that politicians across the political divides can and should cooperate?

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/cameron-praises-liverpool-mayor-fighting-8065021

In many ways this is an interesting article and I always look at such writing from the perspective of why was it written? What was the motivation behind it? Why did the politicians involved make such statements?

It may have been an attempt to embarrass Joe Anderson as you would think he would be uncomfortable being congratulated by a Tory Prime Minister.

Alternatively, it could of course havevbeen an attempt to massage Joe Anderson’s ego.

Joe Anderson – locally, like Cameron – nationally, is seemingly rather unpopular at present because of the Cunard Building fiasco, the selling off of green space in Liverpool and I am told the relationship between Anderson and some local journalists has become rather rocky in recent times.

Cameron, of course, wants his policy of elected City/Metro Mayors to be a success so he feels he has to back people like Joe Anderson no matter how much he dislikes their policies and record.

My own view is that Joe Anderson has sadly and inadvertently been highlighting the concerns that many of us hold about putting a great deal of power in the hands of one person. Maybe Cameron can see that too but his priority seems to be to impose elected City/Metro Mayors on all English Cities/City Regions no matter what.

So my answer to the question in the first paragraph of this posting is no, this Echo article does not confirm my view about the value of politicians cooperating. My working with Steve Kermode is I think a genuine attempt on both our parts to address a local matter jointly. Cameron and Joe Anderson are simply flung together in a rather uncomfortable way to promote elected City/Metro Mayors; Joe likes being one and seemingly carves such power over the whole of Merseyside, Cameron seemingly wants anyone to have such power.

We should all be highly sceptical of this Anderson/Cameron agenda as it is illiberal and yes I do include here the small minority of Liberals who have flirted with support for elected City/Metro Mayors.

But there is another odd and very much Merseyside angle to this matter. It is not so long ago when Labour relied very much on the Conservatives to keep them in power on Merseytravel (the transport authority for Merseyside). What’s more there was a failed attempt to run Sefton Council via a Conservative/Labour pact in 2008. It may only have lasted a couple of months but here on Merseyside Labour and Conservatives backing each other up is not new at all!

Devolution of powers to City Regions with Metro Mayors – The Manchester deal is rubbish

A powerful response to the so called devolution of powers to English cities is covered in Iain Brodie Browne’s latest blog posting at:-

Iain Brodie-Browne

birkdalefocus.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/foisting-mayors-on-reluctant-northern.html

Communities like Southport, Formby, Maghull, Aintree, Crosby, Lydiate etc. would be run for the benefit of Liverpool City. Much of Sefton Borough’s boundary is with West Lancashire and City Region deals, should one be replicated in the Liverpool City Region, will put more bricks in the wall between Sefton and West Lancs. Stop this nonsense now.

Mm, Labour as decentralisers – this would be huge leap of faith in my book

Labour would transfer £30bn of funding from central to local government to “begin reversing a century of centralisation”, Ed Miliband has said. Discussing the plans, Mr Miliband said that they were not about “big spending” but rather “big reform”. Meanwhile, Ed Balls added that the party had “big ideas” about devolution of powers, long-term infrastructure spending and manufacturing. He said Labour wanted to introduce “more devolution of power to our cities and our county regions, more devolution of housing spending, job spend, skills and business support”.

As carried by Yorkshire Post, newspaper and BBC News

This is one of those situations where I hope an opposition party really does mean what it says but history would urge great caution because Labour are by their very socialist nature centralisers of power. But even if the leopard really is contemplating changing its spots will Labour do it via the appalling route of City Region all-powerful Mayors. If so then all we will have is power being decentralised from Westminster only for it be re-centralised at a sub-regional level in the hands of one person.

With thanks to the LGiU for the lead to this story.

Leahy: Britain undersells its regional cities

Sir Terry Leahy explains in the Telegraph why he believes that the UK’s regional cities are being undersold and remain hidden in London’s shadow. He says that if we are to rebalance the economy then we need to get better at articulating our strengths and demonstrating the unique opportunities of doing business in British cities. He adds that most of the UK’s regional cities are well equipped with talent and capital but what are the missing is the boldness and belief to unlock potential and capitalise on the growth opportunity.

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 2 (27th May)

– But Liverpool undermines itself

Well yes, but in Liverpool/Merseyside the big problem is appalling political leadership with Labour Council Leaders at war with each other as to whom is going to be the local top dog. I saw it first hand when I was Leader of Sefton Council – then it was all about trying to unseat the Labour Chairman of Merseytravel. Now it’s a damaging row about which Labour Council Leader/Elected Mayor is going to be top dog. It’s gone on for years on Merseyside and Labour’s factionalism has been to the obvious gain of Greater Manchester just down the East Lancs Road/M62.

With thanks to the LGiU