Lib Dem Leader apologises to Keir Starmer

4 Oct 2023

Liverpool Liberal Democrat Leader Councillor Carl Cashman has sent a letter to Sir Keir Starmer apologising for the mess in “Litterpool” ahead of his party’s conference.

The Liberal Democrats are once again putting the state of the public realm in Liverpool back at the top of the agenda and not letting Labour escape scrutiny for what Cllr Cashman sees as a lack of leadership.

Before September’s full council meeting, the Liverpool Liberal Democrats launched their campaign to “Clean up Litterpool”. They accused the Labour administration of failing to get the basics right by letting the public realm fall in dire state. They are focusing on the three big issues in the public realm – overgrown weeds, rampant littering, and uncleared fly-tips.

Cllr Cashman paid tribute to the hard work of the fantastic community groups across the city who take an active role in tidying up the city. However, he was clear the Labour Administrations’ shortcomings should not be shouldered by volunteers, calling it another example of Labour failing to get the basics right.

The letter raises the recent revelation that in 2021/22, Liverpool City Council issued only one fixed penalty notice out over 19,000 reports of fly-tipping. Cllr Cashman put it to Sir Keir whether as a former prosecutor, he thinks that is praiseworthy like the local Labour Party does. Ultimately, the letter urges the Labour leader to speak to Council Leader Cllr Liam Robinson because “he may listen to you.”

Cllr Cashman said, “Party Conferences shine a light on their host cities as conference delegates, the press and business descend onto the city, it’s a perfect chance to show what a great place Liverpool is. But with ‘Litterpool’ dominating the headlines at the moment, it makes you think, what message are we sending to them? That as a city we’re happy for 5-foot-tall weeds, fly-tipping just sat there uncleared and rubbish littering every street, because I know I’m certainly not.

“The administration is woefully failing to meet the basic expectations that residents have. It shouldn’t be a contentious issue that weeds should be cleared, litter cleaned up and fly-tips removed but it feels like it is. I hope my letter to Sir Keir will encourage him to raise the issue with Cllr Robinson and so we put an end to ‘Litterpool’.”

Former Council Leader, Lord Mike Storey hit out at the administration’s failings saying that, “Labour is letting this happen, they run the council and they are capable of making the choices, providing the leadership, and entrusting the resources that Council Staff need to put an end to ‘Litterpool’. But for some reason they can’t even do that get the basics right – when the Liberal Democrats ran the council, we made sure that we looked after the public realm and kept the city clean. At the end of the day this is a political choice by Labour, so whenever you see an overflowing bin, dog muck in the middles of the pavement or have walk round a massive weed – remember to thank the Labour Party.”