New and old buildings of the Liverpool waterfront at pierhead.

Powers returned to City Council

Liverpool City Council’s commissioners have published their fifth and final progress report, with this recommending that that intervention be ceased.

With the recommendation being that powers are returned to the city council; it has also been suggested that the commissioners are replaced by a Statutory Assurance and Improvement Board. In the report, the commissioners state that ‘substantial’ improvements have been made since the beginning of the intervention three years ago, with the council now being a ‘better led, resourced, and resilient’ organisation.

According to the leader of the council, this is down to a much more methodical and considered approach to the decision-making process, whilst also significantly increasing governance and scrutiny to ensure that services are capable of delivering value for money.

Liam Robinson quote

Councillor Liam Robinson, Leader of Liverpool City Council, commented:

“We never ever take the trust of the people of Liverpool for granted. I think we’ve been able to demonstrate over the last 12 months particularly that we’ve made some significant improvements as a council but I’m really focused, not just to keep improving as a council. But particularly to start giving even great focus to some of those bread-and-butter issues.

“Making sure the additional resources we’ve put into street cleaning and neighbourhood services start to show a tangible improvement. The fact that our improvement journey for children’s social services has gone in a good direction but there’s lots more we’ve got to do.

“The modernisation of adult social services that we’re committed to – making sure that delivers better and more personalised care for older people that use social services and then as well, focusing on how we continue to respond to the homelessness emergency in the city and working with really good housing association partners to build more new homes across the city and that’s before I even think about how we work with the private sector and some of the investment we’ve seen in the cruise-liner terminal and also places like Littlewoods, where really good, strong, credible private companies are taking a good strong second look at Liverpool and investing back in the city again.

“Some good progress, but so much more we’ve got to keep on doing.”

More work does need to be done to address some areas where progress hasn’t happened as quickly as in others, with this leading to the recommendation that further support is given to the council as it moves forward. This would come through the recommended board, giving the council oversight and assurance that improvement continues.

Speaking about the decision to recommend that intervention ends from June, Lead Commissioner at the city council, Mike Cunningham, said:

“I was always hopeful that, given the work that the council have been going… and anyone who has read our last report, will know that we were starting to feel much more optimistic about the progress the council has made – the optimism was well founded.

“There are still some areas in the council that has not yet made the progress we’d wat to see. Most notably property and asset management continues to be an area where we want to see more progress and I would envisage that the improvement board going forward will pay particular attention to that.

“The ultimate decision for this improvement board is not one for commissioners, it’s for the Secretary of State to decide and what he’s announcing today is that he’s minded to support that recommendation – subject to a very brief consultation process.”


Image credit: iStock


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