Karen Agbabiaka

BLOG: ‘As the council rebuilds, I’m looking forward to being part of this great team of dedicated staff’ – Interim highways chief on being part of Liverpool City Council

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Liverpool City Council has seen many developments recently, a key change is the changing face of the leadership team.

Karen Agbabiaka – the Interim Chief Highways Officer – explains why she has taken up this challenging role in Liverpool, away from her home in London.

Prior to joining Liverpool, I had read the ‘Best Value’ report and immediately recognised some of the issues and elements highlighted in the Transport and Highways division. Having dealt with similar issues throughout my career I immediately resonated with Liverpool, so when the opportunity came for me to join, I jumped at it. Liverpool is a wonderful city and the people are so welcoming, I really want to make a difference and I feel privileged to have the opportunity to be part of the improvement journey at Liverpool City Council.

Liverpool is a vibrant welcoming city and the council is a reflection of that. The council has acknowledged the findings of the report and is striving to put things right, working towards making Liverpool an exemplar city. The size of the challenge is vast, but doable, and the council has set realistic plans.

It’s only when I joined Liverpool that I actually grasped the meaning of the north and the south divide in terms of development, wealth and also legislation. The ‘Levelling Up’ agenda presents an opportunity for Liverpool to reset, tap into new central government funds and put our citizens at the heart of the improvements. Be it tackling inequalities or addressing the climate emergency. This new lens and ways of working requires a new approach to setting our policies and delivering our services, I’m really excited about the road and journey ahead.

Liverpool’s future is encouraging, there is pride in the city and a strong heritage. The council now needs to continue to ensure that there are economic benefits and reduced negative environmental impacts on its local community as well as providing first class services to residents, businesses, communities and the travelling public.

This is a time for real innovation, as the shape of our roads and high streets are rapidly changing, we must aim to adopt the green economy approach to establish a sustainable economy that lowers environmental impacts, utilises technology and digitisation.

As the council rebuilds, I’m looking forward to being part of this great team of dedicated staff delivering services that are fit for the future.

Liverpool Waterfront