Letter to be sent to all Liverpool residents asking ‘how would you like the city to be run?’
Liverpudlians will choose between three methods of governance - including if there should be a mayor.
Liverpool residents are to be asked their views about whether or not to have a directly elected mayor.
A letter is to be sent out to every household in the city about the future model of political leadership in Liverpool.
It has been proposed that each letter will have a secure link to an online portal to answer the question, ‘how would you like Liverpool City Council to be run?’.
Earlier this year a motion was passed by the council requesting a consultation about governance in Liverpool.
The three options for governance will be:-
· By a mayor who is directly elected by voters every four years
· By a leader who is an elected councillor, chosen by a vote of the other elected councillors
· By one or more committees made up of elected councillors
If approved by the council, any changes would take effect from the elections in May 2023.
It would be binding for five years unless a petition of 5% of electors is presented to council asking for a referendum to vote on whether to change governance model.
Mayor of Liverpool
Liverpool City Council started the mayoral system in 2012 and the city is currently run by a directly elected mayor voted every four years.
The city’s first mayor Joe Anderson was arrested in 2020 on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation.
Mr Anderson, who previously served as the council’s leader, denies any wrongdoing.
He was replaced by Joanne Anderson who recently took to Twitter on International Women’s Day to share her pride at being the first female elected leader for Liverpool.
Mayor Anderson has previously spoken about rebuilding the trust of the city and pledged to lobby to scrap the role of mayor in her election campaign.
Liverpool City Council said a digital information campaign in support of the governance consultation will also take place to raise awareness and encourage participation.
There will be instructions in multiple languages, to make it as accessible as possible and paper copies of the voting form will be available on request for those without internet access.
If the council’s cabinet gives approval on March 18, the consultation will start on March 28 and end on June 30.
The outcome of the consultation will be reported to full council which will make the final decision on whether to change governance arrangements.
A referendum on whether to change governance arrangements was ruled out on cost grounds as it is estimated it would have a price tag of £450,000 compared to £120,000 for the consultation.
Council ‘encourages everyone to take part’
Liverpool City Council’s city solicitor, Dan Fenwick, said: “The council wants to give as many people as possible the chance to have their say over the future governance of Liverpool City Council.
“A consultation is the only way that local people can express a preference for all three available governance models and we have made the process as clear and simple as we can.
“People’s views in the consultation will be reported back to the council, which will make the final decision on whether to keep the mayoralty or move to a different model of governance from May 2023.
“I look forward to hearing what residents have to say and encourage everyone to take part.”