The new leader of Liverpool Council wants to deliver “the most professional administration the city has ever seen.”
Addressing his first cabinet meeting in charge, Cllr Liam Robinson said he wanted his Labour team to show they were a “serious administration” and claimed his team had “hit the ground running.”
Labour secured another four years in charge of Liverpool Council after winning 61 of the 85 new seats on the authority during last month’s all-out local elections.
Cllr Robinson was formally appointed leader of the city when members met for the council’s annual general meeting in May post-ballot.
Mr Lewis began his role last month, working alongside interim boss Theresa Grant, following the end of her eight-month tenure. The new officer has joined Liverpool after a stint in charge of Cheshire West and Chester Council.
Addressing councillors and officers, Cllr Robinson said he was “absolutely delighted” to see members in their posts and remarked on what he described as a busy month for the new team. The Kensington and Fairfield member paid tribute to those around the table for how they had “rolled up their sleeves” and been getting “stuck in,” adding: “It’s been a really, really good start.”
Following last month’s election, Cllr Robinson confirmed who would make up his executive team for the next 12 months, with a number of members retaining their places in cabinet having been in post under Mayor Joanne Anderson.
Harry Doyle, Sarah Doyle, Frazer Lake, and Daniel Barrington have remained while Cllrs Nick Small, Laura Robertson-Collins, and Liz Parsons return to cabinet positions.
Cllr Ruth Bennett is deputy leader to Cllr Robinson while Cllr Lila Bennett has joined the 10-strong team. The new leader acknowledged how the damning Ofsted inspection into the city’s children’s services had been “very challenging” for the council.
The education inspectorate said the service was “inadequate” and cited “serious weaknesses” for children who need help or protection, leaving children “being harmed or at risk of harm when they visited in March. Cllr Robinson said he felt the impending appointment of a permanent director of children’s services would be a “step in the right direction” in response to the findings.
On the impact of the massive Eurovision celebrations held throughout the city, Cllr Robinson said the council should be “proud but not satisfied” and wanted to ensure Liverpool delivered on the legacy of the song contest. He added how it had been “brilliant and exceptional” and said the whole city had pulled together to put on the event in the competition’s history.
With this in mind, he said he wanted his team to be “the most professional administration the city has ever seen” and vowed to work hard and prove “we are a serious administration.”
That hasn’t stopped opposition members from firing barbs, however, with Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Carl Cashman criticising his opposite number for his anticipated attendance at a cost of living event charging £30 entry.
He said: “Can the Labour Leader not see the irony in that? The council needs to focus on what they can do to help people in need, not attend talks and conferences.”
Main image: New Liverpool Council leader Liam Robinson. Credit: www.fotopiaimages.com