LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND. Mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson at the Cunard Building on 21 May 2021. Picture: Jennifer Bruce/Liverpool City Council.
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BLOG: Mayor Joanne on her first 100 days in office
Mayor Joanne Anderson reflects on the 100 day milestone since she was elected to lead the city…
It is hard to believe it is only 100 days since I was elected as Mayor of Liverpool – to say it has been a whirlwind would be an understatement.
I was so proud of being elected, and becoming the first black female to lead a city, but I had little or no time at all to reflect on the role as I was straight into a massive in-tray.
Pulling together my Cabinet was a big moment – and the team has brought new energy and ideas to the table. They also have an unshakeable commitment to ensuring all council decisions and policies adhere to – and embrace – my triple lock principles of: equality and inclusion, social value and the climate emergency.
I have been impressed by the manner in which they have stepped up, not just in adapting to their new positions, but also handling challenges such as the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, responding to the disappointing loss of World Heritage Site status and dealing with the highways issues we inherited.
We are under way with tackling the failings identified in the Best Value inspection, with the Improvement Plan agreed by councillors and lots of work happening around governance, managing the performance of the council and training for elected members so they perform to the very best of their ability. It is really important to mak sure we deliver value for money for all council taxpayers.
The Commissioners have told me they recognise the determination of the leadership to make the necessary changes. There is absolutely no room for complacency because the culture change needed is not something that will happen overnight, there will be bumps in the road as we seek to make the organisation more transparent and open, and win back the trust of local residents.
I want to help build a better, safer, more inclusive Liverpool, where people can thrive, with equal access of opportunity and are treated with dignity and respect. We’ve just launched a new survey to capture the feedback of residents, businesses and organisations on how to do just that. As well as ‘feedback’ postcards being available in customer hubs, libraries, Children’s Centres and Lifestyles Centres, you can also now share your thoughts online at www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/ourcityourfutureyoursay/.
This is a city that has so much going for it, but it is vital that with projects such as Paddington Village, there are opportunities for people from every part of the city to access the jobs it will create.
I am also determined to make sure that there is more action on hate crime and I have already had discussions with the Chief Constable, Serena Kennedy, about tackling intolerance of all kinds. The council has also commissioned a high profile arts trail which will launch in October around the Ropewalks area to promote tolerance and respect for the LGBT+ community.
Our neighbourhoods are also a massive priority, so we are looking at a blueprint for ‘new generation neighbourhoods’ and the delivery of ‘mini masterplans’, as well as increasing ways in which communities can get in touch with council staff about issues in their area. Tackling problems caused by HMOs, reviewing our Waste Management Services and making the city greener by planting more trees and encouraging use of our green spaces are among the initiatives we will be delivering.
So, a lot done – and learned – in the last 100 days, but there remains an awful lot more to do.
I am under no illusion about the scale of the task ahead, but am relishing the challenge of putting social value for communities at the heart of everything we do and making our city one that is truly world class.