January 2012 Archives

herbert_town_hall.jpgThere has been a bit of a snooty reaction in some quarters to the fact flamboyant stylist is planning to run for mayor (as revealed in today's ECHO).

Does a man who admits he has not voted for 20 years deserve your vote? Or maybe because he has not voted in 20 years he is more in tune with the average disaffected voter.

Either way, we should welcome a bit of pizzazz in the race for Liverpool's first mayor. Characters like Herbert will help engage potential voters who may otherwise not be interested.

The Liverpool Labour party has endorsed leader Joe Anderson's push for a directly elected mayor.

Last night about 200 party members gathered to hear the details of the £130m deal.

Labour councillors will be given a free vote in the historic council meeting next Tuesday, and are likely to give it unanimous support.

The agenda for the meeting has been published, it can be viewed HERE.

So Liverpool's Labour Party has suddenly decided that they want an elected Mayor.

I've spent a few days thinking about this issue. Much to the horror of some of my fellow Liberal Democrats I have always been somewhat open to the idea of elected Mayors. I think the arguments are finely balanced and worth thinking about and considering carefully.

Labour in Liverpool don't believe in thought and deliberation though. Sooner than wait for a referendum in May so that the people of Liverpool could have their say they have jumped the gun and put the choice into the hands of just 90 councillors. None of those councillors were elected on the basis of a manifesto pledge to introduce an elected Mayor. This is entirely a backroom deal. This is the sort of thing that gets politicians a bad name.

An elected mayor could be a great thing for Liverpool.

David Bartlett, the headmaster of this school of philosophers, will be sure to keep the world up to date on the runners and riders in the race between now and May.

Whoever it is though has a remarkable opportunity - they will be not only an ambassador for this city, but also wield real power.

This is a place not short on civic pride, but it's also a place not short of detractors.

The mayor must be cheerleader-in-chief for Liverpool, and should be aware they'll be watched like a hawk to ensure they deliver for city.

The speculation is over, today we confirm that Joe Anderson is set to ditch the mayoral referendum and move straight to a mayoral election in May.

It's an audacious move backed up with £130m of extra spending and some extra powers from government for the new mayor.

But it works on a number of levels for Cllr Anderson and the Labour party.

Sure there are a couple of hurdles to get over first - the government has to officially sign off the package, two thirds of the council has to approve the council's constitution so it is run by a mayor, and Cllr Anderson needs to get selected as the Labour candidate.

Liverpool Waters graphic.jpgWith Peel's Liverpool Waters scheme back in the news this week, we decided to get this infographic drawn up to show the huge scale of the £5.5bn project.

As you can see it dwarfs Liverpool One in scale, and a football pitch is miniscule in comparison.

Welcome back Jane Kennedy to frontline politics in Merseyside.

Today she confirmed the rumours that she was considering running for the job of police and crime commissioner for Merseyside.

The Labour party will start the process of shortlisting their candidate next month, and Mrs Kennedy is the first out of the block.

I was out for a drink recently when I became intrigued by a conversation just out of my view. The person speaking was loud - and rather full of himself in my opinion - and so caught my attention.

My ears pricked up like a bloodhound at a weekend of hunting near the playing fields of Eton at the words 'All these dolites (sic) driving around in their BMWs while I'm working...' .

I heard a murmur of approval at his indignancy and I wish with all my might I'd made the effort to get off my backside and check out who the orator actually was.

recessiona.jpgWith today's growth figures of just 0.2 per cent, its clear that we are now staring over the cliff into recession.

The Government needs to pull back immediately.

Dale Street Associates

David Bartlett

David Bartlett

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