Liverpool to impose leader-cabinet model

By Mark Conrad | 05 July 2022

Liverpool City Council’s ruling Labour group is expected to ignore a consultation and impose a leader-cabinet model to replace its tainted elected mayor’s post.

The council, which remains under intervention by Government-appointed commissioners, launched a consultation on its future governance following the 2020 arrest of the city’s powerful former directly-elected mayor Joe Anderson.

Liverpool’s consultation was blighted by a poor response rate, with just 4% of the city’s population voting.

Lib Dem group leader Richard Kemp said: ‘The process was so flawed there were only 11,519 valid responses out of the 330,000 electors.’

Some 41% of respondents favoured continuing with the mayoral system, 33% opted for the committee system and the least popular option was the leader-cabinet model (24%) used across Liverpool before 2012.

Despite this, a memo from the Labour group indicated it could plough ahead with its preferred option of restoring the leader-cabinet model.

The memo read: ‘We are committed to change, and want to see a leader and cabinet model introduced.

'This consultation was advisory but, given the response rate was equivalent to just 4% of the city’s population, we do not believe it offers a representative view of public opinion across the whole of Liverpool.’

Liverpool’s full council will vote on future governance arrangements later this month.

Separately, a senior source on Merseyside said they expected the Government to respond to the latest commissioner’s report on Liverpool by appointing further commissioners to oversee improvement.

The MJ reported last month that current commissioners did not feel the council was improving quickly enough and have suggested fresh reforms to local government secretary Michael Gove.

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