Head and shoulders photo of Mayor Joanne Anderson
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND. Mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson at the Cunard Building on 21 May 2021. Picture: Jennifer Bruce/Liverpool City Council.

New Year message from Mayor Joanne

Mayor Joanne Anderson writes about the past year and the coming 12 months..

I love this time of year. As a winter person, I don’t love Christmas, but the new year always fills me with optimism and hope.

I welcome the opportunity for reflection that the New Year brings and the chance for a fresh start.

As I look back on 2022, I have been thinking about the reason I stood for Mayor. When presented with the opportunity to help our city, I chose to step up. The past year has been extremely challenging, much more so than I anticipated. The council has faced many challenges as we worked hard to resolve deep-rooted, historic problems and worked to find budget savings against a backdrop of a £73million deficit – 80% of these pressures we have no control over.

Sadly, the city experienced some extremely dark days towards the end of the summer. Olivia Pratt-Korbel, Ashley Dale and Karen Dempsey were just some of the young lives needlessly lost to male violence.

The reason we come to work every day is to improve the lives of the people of our city. Despite the pressures we have faced, I am proud of all the good we have done throughout the past year. I thank all the staff at the council who work hard day in, day out to improve the lives of our residents.

It was only November when Liverpool last shone on the global stage as we hosted the World Artistic Gymnastics. And as the year of the inaugural Liverpool Against Racism Festival, we made history with a week-long event that was dubbed ‘the intellectual Glastonbury.’

I know it’s been a difficult year for many of our residents with rising food, fuel and energy costs. In the past 12 months we have made over 5,000 Discretionary Housing Payments, providing over £1m off support, and through the Liverpool Citizens Support Scheme, provided residents with £2.1million of essential household items.

This year we have seen the proportion of good and outstanding schools increase to 95% of primary schools (90% in 2020) and 71% of secondary schools (47% in 2020). We are also starting to see a reduction in the number of children in care with better outcomes for children and families.

We have been working hard to make our streets safer and cleaner, with improvements in the rate of responses to fly tipping and £1million in funding made available to make routes into and out of the city centre safer.

Phase 1 of our revolutionary underground bins project has started with bins installed at seven sites across the city. These bins are going to be transformational to the quality of life of thousands of residents. Next year will also see the council launch our new regional waste strategy with a shift towards a more circular economy.

We also continued with major regeneration projects last year, investing via the Liverpool City Region £9million into the Littlewoods building ‘The Depot’ to nurture creative content production in the Edge Lane area. We also invested £10 million into the new Hemisphere in the Knowledge Quarter. We are developing a new economic and skills strategy which will ensure our residents get the best jobs and opportunities in the city.

After winter must come spring and in what will undoubtedly be a huge boost for the city, 2023 will be the year that Eurovision comes to town! As a UNESCO city of music with a world-famous musical heritage, we will be throwing a fantastic party and are determined to do Ukraine proud. The party kicks off tonight on the BBC, with a special New Year’s Eve celebration concert.

I am so proud of everything we achieved last year, despite the scale of challenges we faced. 2023 is looking bright, and the city as a whole has much to look forward to.

I hope everyone has a wonderful new year and fantastic start to 2023.

Joanne Anderson – Mayor of Liverpool

Liverpool Waterfront