Next steps outlined following Best Value inspection

Liverpool City Council has outlined the next steps following the publication of a report by Government inspector, Max Caller CBE, into its Highways, Regeneration and Property Management functions.

He found failings in relation to land disposal, governance and the relationship between elected members and officers, and makes a series of recommendations to tackle them.

This includes sending commissioners to support the work of officers and councillors after the local elections in May, and a move to all-out elections every four years.

Mr Caller has made it clear that he believes the organisation has already taken steps to address the issues, since the arrival of Chief Executive Tony Reeves in 2018.

The council has pledged to address all of the concerns raised and continue its journey of improvement, and will respond to the Government by 24 May.

This includes:

  • Restructuring the regeneration department and implementing a new file management system to improve transparency around decision making, within the next six months
  • Changes to highways operations, contract commissioning and audit and governance rules in the council’s constitution, within a year
  • New governance for the council’s wholly-owned companies in the next two years

Over the next three years, an improvement plan will be delivered, as well as a programme of cultural change across the organisation.

A move to four yearly all-out elections and a potential reduction of councillor number and wards will also be implemented from 2023.

Local and Mayoral elections will take place as planned on Thursday 6 May and people are being urged to register to vote or apply for a postal or proxy vote at www.liverpool.gov.uk/elections.

Acting Mayor, Cllr Wendy Simon and Chief Executive Tony Reeves, said: “There is a collective commitment from both councillors and officers to learn from the failings highlighted in this report.

“We would like to reassure all residents and businesses that we will take action to address all of the issues highlighted. We know we need to rebuild your trust.

“It is reassuring that the inspector believes we have made progress in starting to deliver the wholesale changes needed.

“A detailed improvement plan is being drawn up and will be implemented in full.

“We will be open and transparent about the progress we are making on each of the recommendations.

“This includes restructuring the organisation to strengthen our governance and ensure our work is aligned with our pandemic Recovery Pledges and the City Plan.

“At the same time, we will ensure we keep delivering essential services and offering a helping hand to the people of our city.”

Liverpool Waterfront