Commissioners appointed to oversee running of Liverpool council

Liverpool viewed from New Brighton (Peter Byrne/PA)
Liverpool viewed from New Brighton (Peter Byrne/PA) (PA Wire)
14:51pm, Thu 10 Jun 2021
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Commissioners who will oversee parts of Liverpool council after a damning inspection report have been appointed by the Government.

Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick announced the full package of interventions for the city council on Thursday.

The decision of the Government to intervene in the running of the Labour authority was first announced in March after a local government inspector, Max Caller, reported allegations of bullying, intimidation, “dubious” deals and “jobs for the boys”.

He was asked to carry out an inspection after then-mayor Joe Anderson was among a number of people arrested as part of a Merseyside Police fraud investigation.

Mr Anderson’s successor, Joanne Anderson, who is no relation, said the authority was “committed” to ensuring the improvements set out in response to the report.

A aerial view of the Strand in Liverpool (Peter Byrne/PA) (PA Wire)

Mr Jenrick said four commissioners would oversee the authority’s highways, regeneration and property management functions and improvement plan over the next three years.

Lead commissioner Mike Cunningham QPM, formerly chief executive of the College of Policing, said: “As someone who grew up in the Liverpool area I am honoured to have been appointed by the Secretary of State as lead commissioner for the Government’s intervention at Liverpool City Council.

“I will be part of a wider commissioner team that will support the council as it continues its improvement journey to better serve the people of Liverpool.

“I am looking forward to starting this important work which will include providing regular updates on progress to the Secretary of State.”

Working alongside Mr Cunningham will be Surrey County Council chief executive Joanna Killian, as local government improvement commissioner, Neil Gibson as highways commissioner and Deborah McLaughlin as regeneration commissioner.

Ms Anderson, who became the city’s first black female mayor when she was elected last month, said: “We are determined to deliver the changes required to deliver the best possible value for our residents.

“The entire organisation is committed to ensuring the improvements we have mapped out in response to the report are achieved.

“The commissioners will be here to support and guide us on our improvement journey and we are ready to work collaboratively with them, utilising their significant experience and skills.”

Mr Jenrick said changes would also include all-out elections every four years from 2023 and a move to one councillor per ward.

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