The new leader of Liverpool Council is to be confirmed in a meeting that will rubber stamp drastic changes to how the city is governed for years to come.
After securing 61 of 85 new seats in last week’s all-out elections, Labour is once again the largest political party in Liverpool and on course to run the city for four more years. The group’s leader, Cllr Liam Robinson, is now expected to be formally confirmed as the new chief when the new council meets for the first time at Liverpool Town Hall next Wednesday.
In a landmark all out election, more than 300 candidates contested 64 wards in the first ballot held since the installation of government appointed commissioners in June 2021. It was a day of few shocks for Labour, with the party securing a 46 seat majority over the Liberal Democrats, who with 15 seats remain the largest opposition party.
However, Cllr Robinson’s group was upset in Garston where two seats were taken by the Liverpool Community Independents. The group’s interim leader, Cllr Alan Gibbons, scored a commanding victory over Labour in Orrell Park.
After his ward was the last result to be confirmed, Cllr Robinson paid tribute to everyone who had stood in the election held on Thursday and said it had been a “difficult” ballot to contest. The Kensington and Fairfield councillor’s appointment to the top job is somewhat of a formality next week, given Labour’s majority on the council.
The former Merseytravel committee chair will become the first leader of the city council for 13 years after the local authority agreed to do away with the position of Mayor. The move was prompted by outgoing postholder Joanne Anderson who vowed to effectively sack herself when taking the role in 2021.
Cllr Robinson has confirmed his cabinet ahead of the meeting next week, with former assistant Mayor Nick Small returning to the executive and a number of former Mayor Anderson’s top team remaining in post.
Across the chamber, the city’s Liberal Democrats have made a change at the top, with former Knowsley leader Carl Cashman taking the reins from veteran Cllr Richard Kemp. He will be supported by deputies Liz Makinson and Rob McAllister-Bell.
Among the other appointments to be confirmed next week include a new Lord Mayor and Deputy. It is expected Speke councillor Mary Rasmussen will return for a second term as Lord Mayor following her stint in 2021-22.
Her return to the role was discussed when she effectively swapped positions with her own deputy, Cllr Roy Gladden, last year. It was said Cllr Rasmussen would take up the role again to allow her to fully embrace the role, having been interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Image: Liam Robinson. Credit: www.fotopiaimages.com