The way Liverpool is run is on the brink of a revolution, as David Bartlett reports
LIVERPOOL is set to vote for its first- ever directly elected mayor in May – ditching a referendum on whether the electorate actually wants one.
The Liverpool Post can exclusively reveal the move is linked to a deal to get £130m of extra cash for schools, housing, regeneration and job creation.
Council leader Joe Anderson said the money is only available if the city chooses to have a mayor.
Along with 10 other cities, Liverpool was due to hold a referendum in May, asking voters if they wanted a mayor.
If they did, a winning candidate would have been selected in November.
The dramatic change means Liverpool will instead vote for mayoral candidates alongside the usual council elections in May.
Cllr Joe Anderson has declared his intention to seek the Labour nomination and become the city’s first-ever elected mayor – for a four-year term.
The mayoral referendums are part of Prime Minister David Cameron’s Localism Bill.
But councils already have power to move to a directly elected mayor model – instead of having a council leader – as long as two-thirds of the council votes for the plan.
Liverpool councillors are set to vote on February 8 or 9 on whether to move to the elected mayor model, with cabinet.
But the vote will only be held if the Government signs off the deal.
Labour currently holds 63 of the council’s 90 seats – enough to win the vote if all members toe the line.
The Liberal Democrat opposition in Liverpool are opposed to the idea of an elected mayor, and believe that new deals for cities are not linked to the need for an elected mayor.