May 2010 Archives


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paulakeaveneychallenger.jpgFailed Liberal Democrat leadership challenger Paula Keaveney has revealed why she challenged Warren Bradley on her blog.

She tells her readers that it was a "reasonably good tempered" event when the party narrowly voted in favour of Cllr Bradley.

She writes:

"I decided to challenge not because I have it in for the Leader but because there are some things I thought we, as Lib Dems, needed to change."

Check Liverpool council's website and you will see Liberal Democrat leader Warren Bradley still listed as leader of the council.

Despite Labour having taken control of the council on May 7, the party will not be technically in charge until the local authority's annual general meeting on Tuesday - almost three weeks after polling day.

Keen eyed readers will have noticed that Cllr Bradley wasn't too happy to have to learn of chief executive Colin Hilton's retirement via the radio: "I am still council leader until May 25, and it is deplorable that I'm treated in such a way that I heard it first from the radio."

Now that Liverpool council's new leader Joe Anderson has announced his new cabinet attention will turn to who he will chose as his business representative.

The move very much reflects the new political arrangements in vogue now in both national and local government - and is a marker that his business-friendly words are to be matched by action.

The objective is to have someone at the heart of city government who can speak up for the needs of Liverpool business and help to forge a more effective partnership between the private and public sectors at a local level.

Defeated Liverpool Liberal Democrat leadership challenger Paula Keaveney tried to insist to me last night that the party is not divided.

Forget the fact she challenged Warren Bradley and only lost be three votes, forget that it was the second such challenge in as many years, forget even that the party had lost control of Liverpool council for the first time in 12 years to Labour.

Those things alone would be enough to suggest the the party is divided.

There are some other indicators of the divisions that now rack the official opposition in Liverpool.

Liverpool Liberal Democrat leader Warren Bradley and his loyal lieutenant Paul Twigger

Liverpool Liberal Democrat leader Warren Bradley has survived his second leadership challenge in as many years.

Cllr Bradley beat sole challenger Paula Keaveney by just three votes in a knife edge vote at the town hall.

He received 20 votes from Lib-Dem councillors compared to Cllr Keaveney's 17.

benchapman150.jpgHot on the heels of the general election last weekend I found myself on a plane to Shanghai - a world a way from British politics.

So fancy walking into a bar in Shanghai and bumping into former Wirral South MP Ben Chapman who announced his decision to stand down in the wake of the expenses scandal.

He's advising the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce on China as he was a diplomat in Beijing before entering politics.

He didn't want to talk politics though saying he was jet lagged.

colinhilton.jpgColin Hilton's decision to take early retirement is the right decision for Liverpool and for himself.

After Labour won control of the council little more than a week ago talk in the corridors of power quickly turned to speculation about how long Mr Hilton would remain.

Mr Hilton and Labour leader Joe Anderson have a checkered history, the chief executive having authorised a trawl of Cllr Anderson's phone records to name just one flare up.

It was telling that there was no quote from Cllr Anderson in the press release announcing Mr Hilton's decision.

Sci-fi Shanghai: a giant city

By David Bartlett on May 11, 10 02:28 AM in

Blade runner would not feel out of place in Shanghai, a city that feels positively sci-fi.

Look out across the horizon of this gigantic city and high-rise give way to high-rise after high-rise.

There are litererally hundreds of skyscrappers and it is breathtaking in scale. And there needs to be, this is one of the biggest cities in the world with a population of around 20m - more than 45 times that of Liverpool.

During the drive from the airport to downtown Shanghai our minibus did not touch terra firma until just before we arrived at the hotel, this is a two level city with a huge network of elevated highways.

As I write I'm sat in Schipol airport in Amsterdam on my way with the Liverpool press delegation to the World Expo in Shanghai.

I thought I should put my thoughts down about the election, having predicted a much worse result for Labour than what actually transpired.

Who would have thought the Nick Clegg bounce would translate to the Liberal Democrats actually getting less seats than the party started the election with?

In Merseyside the two big shocks were in Wirral South and Sefton Central.

Dale Street Associates

David Bartlett

David Bartlett

City editor of the Post and Echo covering politics, regeneration, and urban affairs.
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