The ‘3 Graces’ on Liverpool waterfront taken from the new Museum of Liverpool
The Liverpool Echo has the story – see link below –
Well, as being struck off has been flagged up for quite some years now, the actual removal of World Heritage status almost comes as no surprise. However, I don’t think this backwards step for Liverpool and indeed the whole City Region can be looked at as an isolated matter because for me the governance of Liverpool, which has been so criticised of late, must be a factor (if not a significant factor) in how the city has found itself on the naughty step.
Paul McCartney Concert at Anfield 2008
The heady days of the 2008 European Capital of Culture seem to be a lifetime away, yet it was only 13 years ago! My feeling is that the leadership of Liverpool City Council during recent years is at the heart of this matter. Inward investment is of course crucial for any major city but has Liverpool made the right choices at the right time and with the right investors? I suspect not and the recent governance report (Caller Report) on the City Council may well be a pointer to the failings.
Also, as a regular reader of Peter Kilfoyle’s blog – KILFOYLEONPOLITICS, which has been predicting for some years the mess Liverpool was getting into, has been and indeed still is a sobering experience for me. And I say that as someone who is not of the same politics as Kylfole yet realises that what he has been shouting from the rooftops for a very long time has been all but ignored until turning a blind eye and a deaf ear was no longer possible for the powers that be.
No, looking at the loss of World Heritage status in isolation will lead to the wrong conclusions in my view. Getting the prestigious award back needs to be part of solving the far wider troubles in which the City Council finds itself.
Liverpool Town Hall
The really surprising thing for me about the damming independent ‘Caller’ report into the workings of Liverpool City Council, is that if Labour’s leaders nationally had taken the time to read Peter Kilfoyle’s blog site Kilfoleonpolitics then they would have known long ago about much of this whole sorry mess. Of course, they may well have read it but decided to brush his concerns under the carpet? If they did it was a big error of judgement.
Here’s a link to Kilfoyleonpolitics:-
And here’s the Caller report:-
And finally here’s a link to the blogsite of Cllr. Richard Kemp the leader of the opposition on Liverpool City Council:-
Apart from no one seemingly taking any notice of Peter Kilfoyle the former Labour MP for Walton (and Kinnock’s man in Liverpool during the Militant era) where was the regional media in uncovering this growing fiasco?
OK, to put my comments in context I’m am of course an opponent of Labour as that party has always been too right-wing (yes you read that right) for this old Social Liberal of the left. On that basis, I’m hardly going to be seen as a reliable commentary source about a council-run by my political opponents and I guess that’s the problem Richard Kemp has run into too; the ‘well he would say that wouldn’t he’ response. The trouble is he was right just as Peter Kilfoyle has been. In other words, all this could have been unearthed a few years back but no one was listening or maybe was willing to listen.
Liverpool Town Hall
What to do with Liverpool City Council? A question many have asked for many a year as it seems to be one of those councils that lives and breathes crisis and pretty much has done throughout living memory.
Here’s former BBC North West journalist Jim Hancock’s take on things:-
Another blogger with plenty to say about Liverpool City Council is former Walton Labour MP and Neil Kinnock’s man in Liverpool during the Militant era, Peter Kilfoyle. His blog site is accessible via this link:-
Then there’s veteran Liverpool Lib Dem councillor Richard Kemp who has lived through pretty much every Liverpool City Council crisis from the inside since goodness knows when:-
If you follow these 3 blogs you’ll probably come to a reasonable perspective on how local government works or indeed does not work in Liverpool – enjoy……….
The Guardian has the story – see link above
The interesting part for me is Kilfoyle’s view on Joe Anderson the present Mayor of Liverpool who wanted to be Mayor of Merseyside but did not get selected by the Labour Party. The extract from the article below is telling:-
“Nothing personal against Joe Anderson as such. I don’t think he has been a very good mayor for the city. I think the city has had a lot of bread and circuses [as] I describe it. Like today the announcement of a bid, a bid for the Commonwealth Games. It is all very nice but of course it depends on an 80% grant from government and finding another 20% from somewhere. But when you look at the actual record, it is not about Joe as a person. It is about how the city has been run. And it is the second lowest authority in the country in terms of economic growth, according to the Office of National Statistics. There is only East Lincolnshire which has done worse, believe it or not. On Greater Merseyside, Liverpool is the only economy which has contracted. All the surrounding districts have expanded. So there is something going wrong here. And I worry that underneath all the glitter and glitz of things which happen in the city centre the wider issues of the city are being lost somewhere and, of course, if that was to be extended into the wider conurbation when we have a city region, it could be disastrous. Particularly coming up to 2017, next year, because Joe has said that the cash runs out. The official audit report on the city said that in 2018 the city will go broke. Now I am not somebody to gainsay the Office of National Statistics but it is worrying about the way in which the city is being run.”