Today I am confirming the appointment of two new members of my Cabinet designed to make Liverpool a more successful and fairer city.
There has been one extremely important theme during my time as Mayor, which is that we will not leave the most vulnerable behind. Central Government doesn’t care to listen to us, and has imposed the most unfair budget cuts on the council – but still we have been able to feed 9,000 children during the summer holidays last year; fight the bedroom tax and get people refunds; and raise thousands and thousands of pounds for the city’s foodbanks. Much of that work was as a result of the Fairness Commission and carried out by a taskforce led by Cllr Frank Hont. I have great delight in now confirming Cllr Hont is to become Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, Fairness and Equalities. His strong track record as a trade union official representing and championing workers in the north west and campaigning on equalities issues and for greater social inclusion make him perfect to lead our work on making Liverpool a fairer city and standing up for those who need our help the most.
One of my Mayoral Priorities was to make our city one of the world’s best cities for business to invest, grow and develop in. Cllr Gary Millar’s experience in running a business means he understands first-hand the needs of SMEs and what they need from a city to help them be a success. As Cabinet Member for Business, Enterprise and Investment, Cllr Millar will build on the excellent work of other members of the cabinet in creating a city that is entrepreneurial and inviting to investors, with a population learning new skills and ready to meet the challenges of our future. I have asked Gary to focus on building support for businesses in Liverpool, including start-ups, encouraging greater business investment and relocation to the city, and developing supply chains to feed our already successful businesses with local enterprise. Liverpool is already the fastest growing economy outside London, and created over 14,000 jobs since I took control.
I am confident Liverpool’s best days are still ahead for us. With these appointments, Liverpool can be confident the best people are focused on bringing more success and equality to the city.