The leader of Liverpool’s largest opposition group has called on parties to sign up to a series of pledges to “root out the remaining problems of corruption, mismanagement and incompetence.”
With days to go until nominations close for candidates to put themselves forward to stand in May’s all-out Liverpool Council ballots, Richard Kemp, leader of the Liberal Democrat group, has said those seeking a seat in the Town Hall “must work together on behalf of the people.” Cllr Kemp has asked all parties to support five pledges relating to how they will conduct themselves after the election “to create the council that is needed to finally create a strong future for the city after a decade of waste and corruption.”
On May 4, 85 new councillors will be elected across 64 reshaped wards following recommendations borne out of the 2021 Caller Report. Cllr Kemp said: “Although there has been an improvement within the council that I have acknowledged, there is still a long way to go before Liverpool becomes a normal council.
“We need to move away from the normal political concept of control and opposition to create a Team Liverpool in which we work together on behalf of the people to root out. Clearly, up to election day it is right that we set out to the people of our city our differing views on how the city council and the city will progress.”
The veteran leader said his party would be fighting to maximise its “position and influence” within the council and would launch its manifesto after Easter. Labour set out its plans for the election in Kensington earlier this month, while the Liverpool Community Independents and Greens held theirs this week.
Cllr Kemp said he had written to the leaders of each group at the Cunard Building asking them to commit to “common sense proposals” moving forward. They include a pledge to “work together wherever possible to resolve outstanding issues of honesty, probity and governance.”
The Lib Dem chief has called on leaders to ensure all parties are involved in the scrutiny process around key decisions and represented on all outside bodies or committees within the council. Cllr Kemp, who currently represents Church ward, asked leaders to make sure they “provide leadership on the proper behaviour of all councillors in the city” and “debating in a civilised way and generally acting courteously at all times in our relationships with other councillors and with council staff.”
He added a final pledge to encourage councillors to participate in all training activities to increase the knowledge and skills of all members.
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