Statement by Deputy Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Wendy Simon
As Deputy Mayor of Liverpool, I would like to reassure you that the City Council is concentrating on creating a path of recovery through the Covid crisis.
The city has come out fighting throughout this crisis. I have never been more proud of the work that our communities, our council staff, our wonderful NHS and our emergency services have done.
From feeding the vulnerable, to cradling the visitor economy, from piloting smart testing, to providing free meals for our most in need children – this city has coped with this crisis in the way that only Liverpool can.
Our number one priority remains on steering this great city and its people through the pandemic – and preparing for the recovery.
Work on this is ongoing. It has not stopped. Cabinet colleagues and I will be working alongside Chief Executive Tony Reeves and the brilliant officers of the city council to deliver a recovery that puts the city back on its feet and firmly back on course.
I have two clear priorities that will guide me and the council through this period:
1 . To create a city that has equal opportunities for all, no matter your income, your race, your sex or where you live.
2 . To establish a platform of confidence, that reassures investors in our city so that we deliver schemes that provide quality jobs and training opportunities for the people of our city.
For the past decade I have politically led the city’s culture and visitor economy portfolio. This is one of Liverpool’s biggest success stories. Today, more than 28,000 people are employed in more than 3,000 businesses across this dynamic and vibrant sector, which generates more than £3.5bn a year for our economy.
The lessons learnt from this journey and the models developed to support the businesses and allow the networks to flourish will be used to inform how we fully maximise the vast potential of the city’s knowledge sector and harness the skills and assets of our world leading institutions to create an exciting new decade of growth and success. As a city, Liverpool’s future is very bright.
As a councillor for Fairfield and Kensington, I have a huge affinity for the communities and neighbourhoods in this ward – and am proud to serve and represent them. And I will continue to do so.
I am also a social worker in Knowsley, a job I have loved doing for 40 years. It is in this capacity that I have seen people pushed to the very edge of life – be it through poverty, abuse or neglect – often in circumstances beyond their control.
This experience has forged within me a great desire and determination to ensure that as a city we do our utmost to foster, nurture and develop the opportunities to change people’s lives – be they young or old. Poverty of opportunity and of hope leads to despair and this has brought untold damage to far too many of our families. Lifelong education is a vital key to overcoming these barriers and realising the dreams and potential of our people.
I am a leader who believes in the collective, a politician who believes that everyone has to see and be able to access opportunity.
We need to grow as a city to widen our economic base whilst building on success, we need to shorten the gap between those who have and those who have not.
I have asked the Chief Executive and his senior management team to work along these lines and I look forward to working with residents, the cabinet and the management team for a future filled with hope and better times to come.