Posts in Liverpool Mayor
A CITY which has the lowest rates of car ownership in the UK and is striving to become the Green Capital of Europe is not, some might think, the most necessary or most logical place to scrap bus lanes.
Nonetheless, Mayor Joe Anderson has decided to pander to the petrol heads and suspend the 24 bus lanes.
He has decided that they're not working and not really increasing the number of people using public transport, so he's decided to do what any brave, visionary leader does when faced with a challenge - quit while he's behind.
Despite a reputation for political radicalism, Merseyside is also associated with low levels of political participation. In 2001, just 34% of electors in Liverpool Riverside turned out to vote, the lowest constituency turnout at a general election since 1918. The 2012 Police and Crime Commissioner elections saw Merseyside record the third lowest turnout in 41 policy force areas; just 12.7% of the county's registered electors voted.
A new report published this week by local think-tank ExUrbe explores whether such figures suggest Merseysiders are disengaged from politics generally. The report is based on a survey of 500 residents of 'Greater Liverpool' carried out in May 2013 at eight sites across the city region with the help of three Liverpool University politics students.
As if often the way with Liverpool council, I end up being included in email discussions which I then share with Dale St Associates readers.
As reported today by my colleague Marc Waddington the Victorian map (below) is being used by campaigners wanting to stop the sale of Sefton Park Meadows. They say the meadows fall within the boundaries of the park and therefore should not be built on.
Cue the start of an email conversation between ex-Lib Dem councillor Jan Clein, who represented the Greenbank ward which covers part of Sefton Park) and Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson:
On Friday a petition of 7,000+ signatures was handed to a council cabinet meeting urging a re-think over the plan to sell the land for housing.
On Friday he said on Twitter: "@liverpoolgreens handed me petition today, ironic that signatures collected inside Sefton Park not from people using Park Avenue land.
"Petition collected by campaigners trying to stop sale of Park Avenue, flawed as people duped by claim that land was in Park."
Yesterday he tweeted pictures of the meadows featuring his grandson, in a couple of poses to prove his point about the meadows not being widely used.
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:
Of 354 answers, 49% (175 people) thought the mayor was doing a good job, 35% (123) did not agree that he was, and 16% (56) did not know or said it was too early.
The poll was conducted on the streets of the city by 74 students last week, and although not guaranteed to be totally representative is a decent snap shot of the state of the mayor's popularity.
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.
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson is not taking the Conservative attack on his "wasteful spending" sitting down.
At the weekend he issued THIS 1,400-word document on his website.
Foreign travel features in a big way in the Conservative missive.
Today The Mayor has written to Tory attack dog Brandon Lewis to "get his permission" for two further trips: one to Brussels tomorrow, and another to Abu Dhabi and Doha next month.
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.