Thursday, December 20, 2007

Is Liverpool the worst run major city in Britain?

Please see this email sent by the Chair of "A Mayor for Liverpool Campaign"

A MESSAGE FROM LIAM FOGARTY (not the Labour candidate in K&F next year)

"Dear Friend,

We all love Liverpool. And we all passionately want Liverpool's year as European Capital of Culture to be a success.


Liverpool City Council is again synonymous with political infighting, incompetence and embarrassment.

As of today,

- its two most senior politicians , Cllrs Warren Bradley and Mike Storey, face a career-ending enquiry by the Standards Board

- its chief officer for Culture is quitting with a massive pay-off, two weeks before the start of Liverpool'08

- it's staring a £22m budget gap in the face, unable to meet the costs of being Capital of Culture

- its councillors' behaviour is condemned by independent auditors as worse than you'd find in Eastern Europe

2007 - Liverpool's 800th birthday year, remember - has been marred by avoidable fiascos, of which the Mathew Street debacle was the worst. The Council lurches from one crisis to another.

In 2008, Liverpool's creativity will be on show for the world to see and enjoy. There will be great art, great events and great performances here.

But the city's POLITICAL culture remains one of pettiness, incompetence and a chronic lack of vision.

Liverpool is crying out for real leadership so we can compete with more successful cities.

And if you need reminding why this campaign for an Elected Mayor really matters, take a look at…

2007, Liverpool's Year In Numbers:
22 million: Shortfall (in pounds) in Liverpool's budget for European Capital of Culture

100: Individual donation (in pounds) to be made by local firms to pay for Capital of Culture, as suggested by Council Leader Warren Bradley (12/06/07)

350,000: Estimated total (in pounds) in severance payments to be made to former '08 creative director Robyn Archer

200,000: Cost (in pounds) of abandoned '08 "concert of a lifetime" in Salthouse Dock

7- 8 million: Projected cost (in pounds) if the two-day concert event had gone ahead

100,000: Amount (in pounds) taken from Mathew Street Festival budget to pay for 800th birthday fireworks display

200,000: Number of visitors missing from the cancelled Mathew Street Festival

0: Amount (in pounds) spent on independent enquiry into Mathew Street

105: Number of days taken to publish internal Mathew Street report

0: Number of chief officers and senior councillors criticized in above report

150,000: Salary in pounds of Culture Company chief Jason Harborow

0: Number of other candidates when Mr Harborow was appointed as the Council's Executive Director, Cultural Services last April

0: Public statements made by Cllr Bradley in support of Mr Harborow since Mathew Street fiasco

200,000: Estimated severance pay-off for Mr Harborow , as he prepares to leave his post…
4,000: Estimated shortage in the number of Liverpool city centre parking spaces

17,000: Amount (in pounds sterling) spent installing a plastic shelter to protect council officers' cars from pigeon droppings

2: Audit Commission star rating (out of 4) for Liverpool City Council's overall performance. Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham received 3 stars. Knowsley & St Helens got 4.
1: Provisional Audit Commission star rating (out of 4) for Liverpool councillors' standards of behaviour and financial management (Daily Post 14/12/07)

20: Position (out of 20) of Liverpool in the UK's Sustainable Cities Index (21/10/07)

87: Percentage of Liverpool Echo readers who believe conventional politics has failed in Liverpool (14/09/07)

27: Percentage turnout in Liverpool city council elections, the lowest figure in Britain.

12: Percentage turnout in Liverpool's Central ward in local elections.

2: Party leaders now publicly in favour of having Elected Mayors (David Cameron and Nick Clegg)

Together, let's make 2008 the year we re-invent the way Liverpool is led and run.

Thank you for your support, have a Happy Christmas and a truly democratic New Year!"

For the avoidance of doubt, I dont support the concept of an elected mayor. And even if I did (which I dont), we would still have to have elected councillors as well. A point that Liam overlooks in my view in some of the above entries.

His argument suggests that local governance is ill served by the current structures, but what he has failed to understand is that local governance is in fact ill served by the Liberal Democrats

99% of the above criticisms can be laid at the door of the party in charge, not the fact that we dont have a mayor.

But that they are valid criticisms of our council I have no doubt and he is to be congratulated on compiling this helpful list.

Can you add any more "numbers" of your own?


Paula said...

What about 3 - the number of times this campaign has claimed it has the number of public signatures to force a referendum on whether to have an elected mayor.. still waiting to see the list!!!

steve "cutting the crap" faragher said...

More articles about the Pigeon Shit Gate, I know it's only £17000 but after if I out in for a grant to protect my crap covered car to the council imagine how far I would ahve got with that one.

my numbe would be
6 number of robotic falcons meant to scare pigeons away
100,000+ numerb of pigeons seen around city centre, if only pigeons could laugh!

steve "foi" faragher said...

18.3 million wage bill (just the wagebill)

3000 price of marquee hire for four corners launch

3500 cost of buffet for launch of four corners

5 number of main course you could choose from above buffet

35000 cost of refurbishing derelict flats for four corners exhibition

1000 number of people who visited exhibition (and launch) over the 5 days it was on

165 cost per head per visitor to 4 corners exhibition

30 size of jason harborrows smile when recieving his pay off

steve faragher said...

5 the number of years warren and mike are going to be barred from office

Old Dick-defender of the fish said...

One - the number of Carp in my Bath room-

for thise interested George my Carp will not be eaten on christmas as previously mentioned, I got fed up of Marek going on about what he was going to do wiht this fish for christmas that I have decided to release it tomorrow (friday) when MArek is out at Chess Club, if any one is interested I'll be at the round lake in Newsham PK wiht "Geoorge" ready to be returned to the wild from whence he came at about 2.30.
video to follow.

Anonymous said...

Liverpool may or may not be the worst run city in the country, I don't know. With little experience of elsewhere I could not say but living here it certainly feels that way. However, with the lack of a coherent message or vision for the future coming from elsewhere the city will continue to stagnate.

What is abundantly clear though, is that the Mayor for Liverpool campaign is one that appears to be heading nowhere. They complain that no one is engaged in the political process and point towards the low election turnout but this campaign, needing only 17,000 voters to sign up I believe, has not even achieved that. When you point the finger, three are always pointing back at you.

scouseboy said...

Roll on next May, hopefully we will see the demise of the Lib Dems, Bradley and Storey et al!!!

steve faragher said...

5 (£s) cost of findign out what is happening in 2008 via the broachure, they will be selling as fast as 2008 diaries in July