Joe Anderson's mayoral application to the Labour party

By David Bartlett on Feb 25, 12 07:36 AM in Labour

As we've reported today Liverpool council leader Joe Anderson is to be crowned Labour's candidate for mayor - after no one challenged him for the role.

Only formalities now stand in the way of Cllr Anderson being declared Labour's candidate.

He still has to be approved by the party's official selection committee, and there may be a vote to approve his selection. But he is now the Labour candidate in all but name (spending limits on campaigns don't kick in until candidates are officially selected).

Here is Joe Anderson's application to the Labour party for the mayoral selection:

Why you should be the candidate for the seat in question:

I am Liverpool through and through, Labour through and through, and have a strong track record of campaigning and winning for the city I love.

As Leader of the Labour Party in Liverpool, I took the leadership of our party in 2001 when we had just 18 councillors. Today, eleven years on, we have 63 councillors, and are firmly in control of Liverpool City Council, putting Labour values into action every single day.

Thanks to my leadership, Labour in Liverpool is now taken seriously again.
For the last 18 months I have been the Leader of Liverpool City Council. That role has been incredibly demanding, as we have been forced to implement £150million worth of Government cuts. However, I think we have done so in the fairest way possible, protecting the most vulnerable communities, whilst still doing what we can to create new jobs, build new houses, and rebuild old schools.

I have shown leadership where others would have capitulated. I have stuck to my principles and to my values despite the challenges we have faced. And I have a vision of Liverpool as a city full of opportunity and prosperity which is worth fighting for, and which is worth winning.

My vision for the city of Liverpool is one where all of its residents have a decent home and a good education. One where every family is able to work and earn a living, one where our city is regenerated and where we stride boldly into a bright future.

And, ultimately, my vision of Liverpool is one where our Labour values of fairness, equality and freedom become the underpinning principles that govern the daily lives of all of our residents.

Our city faces massive challenges. We are still the most deprived city in the country. We still face massive Government cuts. More people are being left unemployed, more families are losing their homes, and our schools still desperately need investment.
Meeting those challenges will require one thing above anything else: leadership.

And showing leadership is what I do best.

As Labour's mayoral candidate, and as the Mayor of Liverpool, I will show the leadership needed to keep Labour in power for generations to come, and to give Liverpool a better, brighter future.

What do we need to do to win this election:

To win this election, we need to make sure every family in the city hears our message.
We need to make sure the families in sub-standard housing, who are desperate for a home, hear our message - that we will build new houses.

We need to make sure teachers and parents in every crumbling school hear our message - that we will build more new schools.

We need to make sure the unemployed know that we will create jobs, we need to make sure that businesses in the city know we'll attract investment, and we need to make sure every Liverpool resident is promised a greener, brighter city to live in.

If I am selected as a candidate, I will take that message out to the whole city. I will knock on doors in every constituency in Liverpool, speaking to residents face to face about what we can do for their city. I will personally write to voters right across Liverpool, making sure they're clear not only what my promises to them are, but that they know whenever I've made a promise in the past, I've kept it. I will reach out to the people of Liverpool. I will ask them what they want for their city, and we will take on board their ideas.

Finally, I want my campaign to be a positive campaign. Despite the massive Government cuts we face, Liverpool has a bright future. We are an ambitious city, an innovative city, and an entrepreneurial city. I want to use my campaign not only to convince Liverpool that Labour is right for them, but to convince the world that Liverpool is the place to be. I want to use my campaign to highlight what is best about Liverpool, and to show that our city is leading the way.

Your Labour Party experience:

I have been a Labour Party member since 1980. I have campaigned regularly for the Labour Party ever since, on a wide range of issues.

I was first elected as the Labour Councillor for Abercromby Ward in 1998. I was elected Leader of the Labour Party in Liverpool in 2001.

In 2010, Labour took control of Liverpool City Council under my leadership.

Other life experience, including work and study:

I attended St Vincent's Primary School in Liverpool, where I have been a governor for 18 years. At the age of 16, I left school and joined the merchant navy.

In total, I spent 12 years working at sea, travelling all over the world.

I then went to study for a degree at Liverpool John Moores University, where I studied Social Work. I went on to study for a second degree at the University of Liverpool into Labour History.

In 1992 I began work as a social worker in Sefton, and then went on to work at Chesterfield High School. I worked at the school as a social inclusion manager, helping young people get on and learn.

Describe the particular skills you have to lead an organisation, and your experience of doing so:

As Leader of Liverpool City Council, I have had to show the leadership necessary to deliver massive Government cuts of £150million to a budget of just £400million. In doing so at times we have faced criticism and opposition from opposing political parties and groupings and sections of the media. But at all times I have shown leadership: I have made sure our decisions have been explained thoroughly and well, I have never shirked an opportunity to go through our decisions with people, and I think we have won the argument in the city for our core policy of not setting an illegal budget.

I have also led the Labour Party in Liverpool for eleven years. When I took the leadership, we had just 18 City Councillors. Labour was deeply mistrusted in Liverpool, and a party still reeling from its recent history had to be reunited.

I came out leading and I came out fighting. Labour in Liverpool began to fight back, to regain seats throughout the city, and gradually, as we made the case for a fairer, more equal, more open city, the people of Liverpool began to listen to us once again.

In 2010 we took control of the City Council. Today, in 2012, we have grown to a Labour Group of 63 out of 90 councillors. At the 2011 elections, Labour won 26 out of 30 seats, taking 63% of the city wide vote.

At the 2012 elections, we will take even more seats on the council. And, I think we will elect the first Mayor of Liverpool.

Give some examples of your communication skills:

Communication is a two way process and I believe you have to listen and be able to understand each individual and/or group you deal with whether that be a community group or business forum.

As a qualified Social Worker and Counsellor I have always had good communication skills.

However they have been enhanced by my experience and role as a Councillor for 14 years and Leader of the Labour Group, and Leader of Liverpool City Council for the last twenty months. I have addressed small groups and extremely large group and feel comfortable in doing so.

When you are passionate and believe strongly in something then communicating that message becomes much easier. Examples of my communication skills would include speaking at dozens of major conferences speaking to TV and radio, talking to bereaved parents of children, explaining why community groups why their budgets need to be reduced, and explaining to the public how we have made sure their priorities are our priorities.

Describe the particular skills you have which will help you as an elected representative (for example, in problem solving):

Life experience is not necessarily described as a skill but it is only through having gone through life, facing the challenges it has put before you, that you can pick up the skills needed to cope and to understand issues and to find solutions to problems.. I believe I am an excellent communicator at all levels as described above. I have an understanding of the different needs required to be a good leader.

I have very good understanding of Liverpool's needs based on the journey I have been on for years. Few people share my passion and optimism for this city's future. I want people to share my belief that Liverpool's best days lie ahead, and to share my determination and desire to make a real difference. I have often said I did not enter politics to be someone but to do something. That is as true today as it has always been - and in Liverpool there are many things left to do.

Give examples of Interpersonal, teamwork & liaison skills:

I have a Cabinet Model of Government at the moment which makes decisions collectively. I also make sure that Cabinet Members can make decisions. I have introduced as Leader of my Group more responsibility for back bench members to be involved in decisions and have made the process more open and accountable.

I have helped solve many, many disputes between the Council and the private sector saving hundreds of thousands in legal fees> I have also been able to build a very positive relationship with the Trade Unions at the Council. Relations with Liverpool's trade unions are better than they have ever been before thanks to our inclusive approach, and the extent to which the Joint Trade Union Committee (JTUC) have been able to participate in Budget discussions affecting their member's futures.

Apart from the skills and experience described above, please give any examples of other knowledge and/or skills which will assist you as a candidate:

The skills I have mentioned above are supported by my experience as Leader of the main opposition for eight years, leading my Group from 18 members to 63 members. They are also supported by my experience of the last 20 months as Leader of the City Council, dealing with an unprecedented £150 million of cuts. This experience will assist me as a candidate because I do not believe there is much I need to know about running the city of Liverpool, especially in difficult financial times. However I believe my ability to understand and take opportunities quickly together with my own passion and my ability to motivate others is a skill that is going to be much in need as we meet the challenges that are ahead of us.

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David Bartlett

David Bartlett

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