Posts in Liverpool City Council
Liverpool council has announced this afternoon that it has brought in a PR consultant, after failing to find anyone good enough to do the job full time.
Former head of PR at Coventry council Mark Fletcher-Brown will be paid £650-a-day for a total of 75 days work. He started at the end of March and will remain with the council until September.
On a pro-rata basis If Mr Fletcher-Brown were to work for the council five days a week for a year (260 days) he would pocket £169,000. As it is he will make £48, 750 for his 75 days.
Liverpool council describe him as a "leading communicator", who has worked with more than 75 public sector organisations. He describes himself as "commsmeister" on his Twitter profile. He is director of Reputation. You can also read more about Mr Fletcher-Brown on his Linkedin page.
It wouldn't be a year on Liverpool council without another defection.
Rosie Jolly is the latest to jump ship from the Liberal Democrats to Labour. It was hardly a surprise and indeed I predicted it in March.
It's always fun to see the emails that are sent between the defector and the party they are leaving, here they are:
It's easily done - hitting reply all on an email.
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson appears to be the latest to fall foul of this.
A bit of background first. Last year there was a row (storm in a tea cup) over weeds growing in Liverpool, some were as tall as 6ft tall apparently.
Last year's changeable weather and a mistiming of weed spraying was apparently the cause.
Today cabinet member for neighbourhoods Cllr Steve Munby emailed all councillors to give them a schedule for this year's weed spraying.
Then the mayor replied:
NO SECRET was ever made of the fact that, with Liverpool council having to cope with crippling cuts, there was a chance that the place could start looking a bit shabby.
After all, with almost every aspect of town hall services having to be cut back to accommodate government deficit reduction requirements, there just wouldn't be as much money available to keep the place looking spick and span.
But, while the avenues and alleyways of Liverpool centre have started to look a bit grotty in recent months, the businesses of the city have, Mr Brocklebank hears, decided to take matters into their own hands in a Big Society-esque move that would make old David Cameron proud.
WHILE Joe Anderson was (allegedly) invested with a range of new powers when the city adopted the Mayoral model, control over tax avoidance, the ability to jail bankers and to save the world from environmental ruin were not amongst them.
However, Mr Brocklebank fears that some within this borough are under a very different impression, or so it would seem at least from last week's cabinet meeting.
A number of protesters against plans to sell off a patch of land near Sefton Park braved the snow and sleet (more than some cabinet members were able to do, however) to attend the meeting and air their displeasure at the council's plans.
Mayor Joe duly allowed them to come in out of the cold, lay down their placards and make their case for the opposition.
Party politics in Liverpool has been a bit quiet for some time now, but things are starting to stir in the South of the city
Last week Liberal Democrat councillors submitted a request for an extraordinary meeting - the first for nine years - to discuss what they branded "an attack on leisure and recreation space".
It comes after cabinet members last week agreed to declare a wedge of land next to Sefton Park "surplus to requirements" and offer it up for sale to developers.
Mayor Joe Anderson believes the quite small piece of land was unimportant, considering the 240-acre park next to it. "We desperately need capital revenue to invest in the park, the road around the park and elsewhere."
Protestors clash with police outside Liverpool town hall
For most people the talking points from tonight's Liverpool council meeting will be all the services that were cut.
But for observers of the Liverpool political scene there were a few interesting moments this evening.
First off was the non-attendance of Sharon Green. Not really news in some ways after we exposed her 30% attendance record in 2012. She sent her apologies, perhaps her record in 2013 is not going to be any better than last year
Liverpool council sets next year's budget tonight, I'll be at the town hall liveblogging the meeting.
The meeting starts at 5pm, and the blog will start at 4.45pm.
It is a question that has been regularly asked, does Liverpool council still need 90 councillors?
Indeed I posed the question just a few days after Joe Anderson was elected Mayor in May, and also back in 2009 as a mechanism of increasing pay for councillors without taking more from the public purse.
So I'm pleased to be reporting today that Mayor Anderson is setting up an independent review to look into the issue of whether the city still needs 90 councillors, whether there should be elections every four years (instead of three in every for years), councillors' allowances, and ward boundaries.
For once, Joe Anderson had positive words to say yesterday about Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. Pickles' announcement that he will not be calling in the Liverpool Waters development scheme for public inquiry was welcomed by Liverpool's directly-elected mayor as "fantastic news for Liverpool". In addition to transforming acres of semi-derelict dockland, the development proposals, submitted by the Peel Group, are predicted to create 20,000 new jobs.
If ever there were an area in need of 20,000 jobs, it is north Liverpool. In Kirkdale, 48% of the 7,751 households in the ward have no adult in employment. In three neighbouring wards, all with similar numbers of households, the proportion with no employed adult is similar: 57% in Everton, 46% in Anfield and 45% in County. Worklessness in these neighbourhoods has been at this level for decades, following mass job loss in north Liverpool's docks and related manufacturing activity from the 1960s onwards (20,000 new jobs would be equivalent to about half the decline in the total number of Dock workers in Liverpool since 1945).