City’s first black Lord Mayor ‘excited and overwhelmed’

The new Lord Mayor of Liverpool has revealed she wants to be a role model for the black community and encourage people to strive to achieve their goals, regardless of their background.

Councillor Anna Rothery will be sworn in at a ceremony at the Town Hall on Wednesday 4 September – making history as the city’s first ever black Lord Mayor. Her appointment follows Peter Brennan’s resignation from the post in July.

Breaking the mould isn’t new territory for Councillor Rothery, as in 2012 she made political history by becoming the first Liverpool councillor to address the floor of the United Nations in Geneva. During her speech to representatives from more than 50 countries, Anna talked about the city’s minority communities and the work undertaken to get them to participate in politics.

Councillor Rothery became a councillor in 2006 and is responsible for the Princes Park ward – an area she was born and bred in.

Anna attended St Silas Primary School and the former Paddington Comprehensive School, and continued her education by undertaking a number of Diplomas in various subjects including law, sociology and psychology.

For more than 25 years, the new Lord Mayor has worked on business and community development initiatives, and now works as a consultant for Migrant Workers North West – an organisation which champion the rights of our diverse community. She is also the North West Ambassador for the British Institute of Human Rights.

Currently Mayoral Lead for equality and race, Anna has always put the community at the heart of her work. She is a key player in Operation Black Vote – a scheme to get more black people in to politics – and also plays an integral role in bringing various community, political and faith leaders locally, nationally and internationally together to deal with issues relating to inclusion, diversity and new and emerging communities. There is a particular focus on education, employment, business, cultural awareness and championing economic equality.

Anna regularly chairs events at the International Slavery Museum and is involved with the Slavery Remembrance Day celebrations and commemorations which will take place on Friday 23 August.

A decision on the Lord Mayor’s three official charities will be made in the forthcoming weeks, although Councillor Rothery has confirmed The Anthony Walker Foundation will be one of them.

Councillor Anna Rothery said: “To be given this opportunity is overwhelming and exciting at the same time, although I wish the circumstances were different.

“But now is as good as time as any – I was passionate about becoming a councillor and making a difference and I am equally as passionate about becoming Lord Mayor and having this opportunity to champion what I hold most dear: equality, diversity and community.

“There is so much to celebrate in this city and I’m proud to be the city’s first black Lord Mayor and I look forward to bringing our communities together.

“I hope that by taking on such a public-facing role I can be a positive role model to young men and women who come from similar backgrounds to me.

“I’m a working class woman brought up in Toxteth – where you come from should never stop you striving or achieving your goals, in fact it has made me even more determined to prove myself, and in turn make a difference to the lives of others.

“It’s going to be an exciting and emotional journey and I can’t wait to get started.”

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “Anna has been a leading light in championing the city’s diverse communities since becoming a councillor in 2006 and she will be a credit to the role of Lord Mayor.

“We are a welcoming city with a wide variety of cultures which we want to champion and celebrate, and Anna’s appointment will inspire and educate in equal measure. I know she will be a brilliant Lord Mayor.”