Mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson at the Cunard Building. Picture: Jennifer Bruce/Liverpool City Council.

BLOG: ‘The Council has no power to interfere with bookings taken by ACC Liverpool’ – Mayor outlines position over electronic warfare exhibition

At this morning’s Cabinet meeting, Mayor Joanne Anderson reiterated her and the Council’s opposition to an electronic warfare exhibition at the ACC Liverpool Exhibition Centre but made clear that the local authority has no power to stop it. Here she outlines her frustration at not being able to prevent the event going ahead….

AOC Europe 2021 raises serious moral and ethical questions.

I am appalled that this event is being held in Liverpool – in one of our buildings.

Many of you have been in touch with me to outline, in no uncertain terms, your views.

I am a pacifist and I have been consistently clear that I am in absolute agreement with you.

However, the inescapable fact is that it is lawful and we have no public powers to stop it. In the same way, we are powerless to stop other people who are not welcome in our city like the far right, from being in our city, unless they break the law.

I have sought extensive soundings from our legal team, but based on their expert advice, regrettably there is nothing that I as Mayor, or the council, can do to prevent this event from taking place.

The bottom line is that the council has no power to interfere with bookings taken by ACC Liverpool, and has no member representatives on its board.

What I won’t do, is subject our council to legal challenge at a time when our resources are so limited.

In the interests of openness and transparency, I am today making public a letter I requested from ACC Liverpool outlining the reasons why they won’t cancel the event as well a letter from the council’s Chief Executive, with the statutory officers advice to me (see below).

I have supported the Councillors for Peace demonstration and I am supportive of the peaceful demonstration proposed for September 11, however, I am unable to attend due to a Core Cities event.

The key now is to make sure a similar situation does not arise in the future, with events that have not yet been booked.

I am calling on ACC Liverpool to implement the motion passed by Full Council in July requesting that they adopt an ethical charter and update their risk register to include risk embarrassment and negative association for Liverpool City Council.

This will ensure that future potential events like this are considered in line with the fundamental values of Liverpool before being accepted, so we do not end up in this position again.

Letter from ACC Liverpool to Mayor Joanne Anderson

Letter from Chief Executive Tony Reeves to Mayor Joanne Anderson

Liverpool Waterfront