EXCLUSIVE: Mark Dowd faces call to resign from his own Labour colleagues
Merseytravel chairman Mark Dowd is now facing a sustained attack on his leadership - in the face of a resign now letter from eight of his own Labour colleagues.
The letter was delivered this afternoon to his office in the new HQ in Mann Island.
Click HERE for a previous post with all the relevant links, and here is the full letter:
We are writing following your statement to the press on Wednesday 23rd May. In your statement you dismiss the recent private and confidential report into governance at Merseytravel as "Anonymous Nonsense". It is surprising that you have chosen to state that the report was anonymously authored, because as you are aware it was written by Cllr Hanson in consultation with other members of the Labour Group on Merseytravel. Indeed the report is the culmination of a process initiated by the ITA to improve governance at Merseytravel; a process that has included thus far the review and reform of the Committee Structure, Allowances and Expenses and the Merseytravel Executive; all in order to try to make Merseytravel fit for purpose as a public authority in the 21st Century. Further to this whilst you choose to dismiss the issues contained within the report as "nonsense", it details a number of significant concerns about how power has been exercised and public money allocated and spent by the authority, at no time have you attempted to answer any of the issues raised in a detailed and coherent manner. Indeed it is with deep regret that we have felt the need to write this letter to you, however we feel that we have been left with no alterative as when we have previously attempted to discuss our concerns with you, you have chosen either to cancel requested meetings or truncate them to such an extent that any in depth discussion of these serious matters has been prevented.
Throughout this whole process our sole objective has been to ensure that the best possible transport network is delivered for the people, communities and economy of Merseyside. This is particularly prescient as the authority faces some of the most significant challenges of it's history over the next few years, challenges that include the potential devolution of transport powers and funding to the city region, the procurement of new rolling stock for the Merseyrail network as well as the significant challenge of the constrained financial situation across the public sector. In order to meet these challenges and deliver for Merseyside, Merseytravel needs dynamic and focused leadership. Unfortunately at no time have you articulated a clear, strategic and deliverable vision for transport across the City Region. Now, when leadership of the highest order is most required, you resort to dismissing valid criticism as nonsense - even when it comes from within your own party.
You have served for 20 years as Chair. The criticisms will not disappear whilst the challenges are increasing. If you do choose to stand for re-election as Chair, you should be aware that we will not be able to support you. In our view it is time for change. For the good of the organisation and the people of Merseyside and to avoid a protracted public row, it is our firm hope that you will do the right thing and stand aside.
Cllr Alan Dean
Cllr Liam Robinson
Cllr Joe Hanson
Cllr Marlene Quinn
Cllr Mary Rasmussen
Cllr Joanne Calvert
Cllr Pauline Walton
Cllr Andy Bowden