The chief executive of private sector lobby group Downtown in Business Frank McKenna, has called on Liverpool City Council to scrap the post of elected mayor for the city and revert back to a council leader model.
Reacting to the news that Joe Anderson is likely to be the Labour candidate for the constituency of Walton at the forthcoming General Election, Mr McKenna said:
“With Joe vacating the post, I see this as an opportunity for us to simplify governance arrangements locally. With the introduction of a regional mayor in May, the only reason for the continuation of a city mayor was to maintain a role for Joe Anderson, who has been a huge influence in winning devolution for the Liverpool city region.
“Now that Joe is likely to enter Westminster politics, I think it would be sensible for the local authority to review the existing arrangements and consider the option of scrapping the elected mayor position and reverting back to a council leader and cabinet model.
“I understand that the existing post has until 2019 to run. However, if the government can get around the fixed term parliament legislation, then surely we can propose common sense changes at a local and regional level that the government would support?”
On Joe Anderson’s decision, Mr McKenna said:
“Joe and I haven’t always seen eye- to- eye, but his commitment and passion for Liverpool could never be doubted. His engagement with business, particularly in the earlier stages of his leadership, was extremely positive; and his drive for devolution will be his lasting legacy, alongside the many regeneration projects that he brought to fruition during the past seven years. I am sure he will continue to be a powerful advocate for the city, albeit on a different stage.”
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