News | 11/06/21

Government decision on Best Value interventions announced

The Government has announced the full package of interventions for Liverpool City Council, following the Best Value inspection earlier this year.

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, made the announcement in a written statement to the House of Commons.

The changes will see:

  • All-out elections every four years from 2023, with no elections held in 2022
  • The Mayoral election to be brought forward from 2024 to 2023 (dependent upon the outcome of a governance review over the future of the role)
  • A move to one councillor per ward, except where it is deemed essential to have more than one ward member

Four Commissioners who will oversee the authority’s highways, regeneration and property management functions and improvement plan over the next three years, have also been named.

They are:

  • Mike Cunningham QPM (Lead Commissioner) – involved in policing for more than 30 years, most recently as Chief Executive of the College of Policing from 2018 – 2020, the standards setting body for policing in England and Wales. Formerly one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Constabulary, inspecting forces in the north of England and Northern Ireland, and the national lead inspector for the development and implementation of inspections into police efficiency, legitimacy and leadership, and Chief Constable of Staffordshire Police.
  • Joanna Killian (Local Government Improvement Commissioner) – more than 30 years of experience in the public sector delivering transformational change and service improvement. Since March 2018 she has been Chief Executive of Surrey County Council. Prior to this, Ms Killian worked at KPMG and was also Chief Executive of Essex County Council for 9 years.
  • Neil Gibson (Highways Commissioner) – Former Executive Director of Transport, Economy and Environment for Buckinghamshire County Council, plus a role as Interim Chief Executive. A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation and former President of the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport.
  • Deborah McLaughlin (Regeneration Commissioner) – Extensive experience working in Regeneration and Housing for over 30 years across public and private sectors, including as Director of Housing at Manchester City Council, regional director for the North West at Homes England and Director of Capita’s real estate business. Also worked at the Audit Commission as a Best Value Inspector and auditor.

Robert Jenrick has asked the Commissioners to also have regard for:

  • The Council’s Boundary Commission submission
  • The Council’s governance referendum
  • The financial position of the Council
  • Broader service delivery related to the Council’s wider improvement journey

Mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson said: “We are determined to deliver the changes required to deliver the best possible value for our residents.

“The entire organisation is committed to ensuring the improvements we have mapped out in response to the report are achieved.

“The Commissioners will be here to support and guide us on our improvement journey and we are ready to work collaboratively with them, utilising their significant experience and skills.”

Mike Cunningham QPM, Lead Commissioner said: “As someone who grew up in the Liverpool area I am honoured to have been appointed by the Secretary of State as lead commissioner for the Government’s intervention at Liverpool City Council.

“I will be part of a wider commissioner team that will support the council as it continues its improvement journey to better serve the people of Liverpool.

“I am looking forward to starting this important work which will include providing regular updates on progress to the Secretary of State.”

Last month, a meeting of all city councillors approved an 18-page document responding to the Best Value Inspection, including a timetable for implementing various changes to how the authority conducts its business.

The Government’s full recommendations can be read here https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/inspection-into-the-governance-of-liverpool-city-council.