Liverpool’s Liberal Democrats have tabled a requisition calling a special meeting of the Council on March 3rd to discuss, once again, whether or not to abolish the Elected Mayoral system in Liverpool.
Liberal Democrat Leader Cllr Richard Kemp said, “We cannot leave this important issue to a Labour Party making more twists and turns than a Formula One driver going round a chicane covered circuit at high speed.
”Liverpool Labour Party are making fools of themselves and even more importantly, our City. Liberal Democrats have always believed that the Elected Mayoralty is wrong. We opposed its introduction and have already tried to remove it on 5 occasions since 2012, the latest being on 20th January this year when Labour kicked our motion into the long grass. Ironically, the reason that they claim to have rejected our motion was that there was not enough time for consultation. Now instead of the 2 months that our motion would have provided they are either allowing for two weeks or possibly none at all.
“We have always tried to make change legally! This is not a matter which should be decided by politicians alone. The law is quite clear that there needs to be consultation before changes are made. This is not only the law but the moral position that politicians should accept.”
The U-turn which may be made by Labour at its meeting today raises three important legal questions. The issues are:
1. Can the Council consider either by way of a Council requisition or the suspension of standing orders a motion which is entirely unconnected with an item on the agenda, with no supporting reports and for which the normal 5 days working notice has not been given.
2. Can the Council decide without consultation to change its method of governance.
3. If consultation is required can it be reasonably and legally done in time for a final decision before the notice of elections are published on 25th March.
The motion to council reads:
Requisition for an Extraordinary Meeting of Liverpool City Council to Cllr Anna Rothery, Lord Mayor of Liverpool
That the Lord Mayor be requested to call an Extraordinary Meeting of the Council on 3rd March to consider a motion on changing the governance system within the Council.
Cllrs Richard Kemp CBE; Andrew Makinson, Liz Makinson, Kay Davies, Kris Brown, Barbara Mace, Malcolm Kelly, Mirna Juarez, Alan Tormey, Carole Storey.
Changing the Governance System in Liverpool
Council notes that on 20th January Council accepted a Labour amendment which specifically stopped consultation with the people of Liverpool about its mayoral model of governance in time to stop the election of an Elected Mayor on May 6th. should that have been the result of the consultation.
However, notwithstanding this decision Council resolves to overturn it and either:
1. Proceed immediately to move to an alternative system of governance which involves an enhanced committee system in which all councillors can participate; or
2. Consult with the people of Liverpool on the four options of governance available and report back to an Extraordinary Meeting of the Council on 24th March to receive the results of the consultation with the people of Liverpool and make a recommendation on the method of governance to be followed.
Proposed by Cllr Richard Kemp CBE
Seconded by Cllr Andrew Makinson
Supported by Cllrs Liz Makinson, Kay Davies, Kris Brown, Barbara Mace, Malcolm Kelly, Mirna Juarez, Alan Tormey, Carole Storey.