Liverpool is a great place to invest

The Guardian this week has written a number of articles about buyer-funded developments in the North of England, including in Liverpool. I want to make clear that those developments represent only a fraction of the development and investor confidence in our city at this moment in time.

We are aware of the schemes that have stalled in our city and the problems some people are having with their investments in the private companies they have chosen to invest in. That’s why in the case of New Chinatown we have stepped in as quickly as possible to regain control over the site and get the scheme working again. But we are only able to do this because, ultimately, we own some of the freehold on that site.

Put simply: there are things we are responsible for – and things we are not. The council is not responsible either for raising the finance for development schemes in the city, or for advising property investors about which schemes to invest in.

In most of the large scale developments in the city we have no control over them (other than planning which adheres to a very strict set of national guidelines). If a private investor or private company decide to invest in a property by a private developer on land that they own – then we have very little say in how that project develops.

And, to be fair, Liverpool is seen as a great place to invest. We have over £14bn worth of investment in the pipeline for the city, and it isn’t all housing. This week, I am at MIPIM and have held non-stop meetings with potential investors wanting to speak to us about our flagship scheme, Paddington Village in the Knowledge Quarter. For example, we announced the shortlist today of 5 major international hotel operators who want to run our new high quality Paddington Hotel.

And this is because we have a track record as a good place to invest. Over the last few years around £5bn worth of schemes have been completed. We are attracting major investors to our city and business is choosing to locate or invest here. In the Knowledge Quarter, we have a major opportunity that is exciting companies like Kaplan and Proton Partners International to make key investments.

I wish everyone could see for themselves the response I have been getting from business and investors here in MIPIM. Maybe then people wouldn’t jump on the opportunity to talk our city down on the basis of a one-sided story in the Guardian. I’d love to see them write another article about the positive things we have been doing to secure the New Chinatown site. We were not responsible for the financing of the scheme, nor for its marketing, but we have been resolute in pursuing the developer, Chinatown Development Limited, for monies owed us and I am delighted the new developer of the site has clearly stated their intention to recompense individual investors who have lost money on the original scheme.

But as the Guardian article also shows, this is a problem that is bigger than Liverpool. Other cities have had similar, or worse, problems. I am of the growing belief there is now a legitimate question about whether local authorities need stronger investigatory and oversight powers to assess the financial viability of development schemes to avoid stalled or failed projects.

We also need to see Government action in terms of promoting new, more transparent forms of development finance. I favour the creation of regional banks, with a long-term funding model, lending tied much more closely to specific places, offering developers a more consistent and transparent form of lending, as a solution to this issue.

So as well as writing to The Guardian to correct their erroneous impression of the city, I will be writing to the Chancellor to pursue some of the issues mentioned above. It is time we got serious about giving local authorities the tools needed to better shape development decisions in our cities as well as providing better financing options for the development community.

I also note that the Guardian has made no mention of the role of the agencies that promote these investments (for their own commission, obviously).

Finally, as always, anyone investing their own money should be careful about the risks they are taking when they make any investment. They should also ask their investment agency about the risks involved. The majority of schemes in Liverpool are a success, and when you step on to the world stage the interest in Liverpool is still huge, because they can see the bigger picture about how strong Liverpool’s future is.


The problem with potholes…

Last night I was on BBC North West talking about the potholes in our city. 

I am pleased to say that a new £1m programme of pothole repairs is now underway across Liverpool. 20 teams of contractors were sent out at the beginning of this week to tackle some of the worst potholes in our roads. In contrast we normally have 2 teams out at any one time.

And I am still deeply concerned by the state of our roads, because Government is simply not providing enough funding – while cutting our overall budget by 64%.

That’s why I have been making our own arrangements in Liverpool to raise money and invest but as you can see below, without government support we are struggling:

  • Last year, in 2017 we fixed 9,600 roads and £93m will have been spent by the council repairing potholes since 2014.
  • However, a huge backlog of road repairs remain which will cost £430m.
  • But Government only give us around £4m a year for our roads. You can read more about that here:
  • I have committed £5m from the sale of the old Municipal Buildings in Dale Street to fund a programme of pothole repairs.
  • We have a special website, so that you can see which streets are being treated on a weekly schedule

On top of this we are investing more than £300m in city’s road infrastructure to future proof the growth of the City over the coming decades, such as improvements to A565 and Dock road to support the new Cruise Terminal, the Ten Streets District and the new football stadium at Bramley Moore Dock.

But Government should be doing more to help. And a lot more than the pathetic £800,00o it told the BBC it was giving to the city region this year!!

On average there is 1 car for every 2 people in the UK, so it is reasonable to believe that there are around 200,000 cars in Liverpool.  If they pay £140 standard rate vehicle tax, this would raise £30m just in Liverpool for Governmentnot being spent locally.

But let’s not forget that nationally the Government also raises £27 BILLION from fuel tax.  I know this obviously goes into the general public purse and is being spent on other priorities, but it is clear that vehicles raise more than enough money to pay for road repairs.

Poor roads and potholes affect our economy, making it difficult to do business and giving a poor impression.

I also think that our citizens deserve better and that’s why I will continue to raise the issue and make sure Government know what the impact is of their decision to starve local government of funding.

My New Year message: #Hope

One thing that unites our city most of all is that we hate injustice and unfairness – especially when it’s done deliberately towards us or someone else. It galvanises us to come together and help.

Those human instincts are what make a community facing adversity stick and fight together. As you know, the City Council has some serious financial challenges as we continue to deal with the massive cuts that seem just to keep coming, another £90 million up to 2020. It is going to be extremely painful and hard to manage. Since 2010 we will have lost 64% of the Government funding we used to receive – around £600 million. If you bear in mind just one financial fact, it will give you an insight into the financial nightmare we face – Council Tax raises £134 million per year, it costs us £152 million per year to run Adult Social Care. We used to have £174 in reserves we now have less than £10 million.

The unfairness and injustice of our financial crisis is a deliberate act which hurts us all, because the reality is where you live determines the funding your council receives and the quality of services and life you have. The poorest and weakest are getting poorer and weaker, of that there can be no denying. That’s why I am so proud of our staff our partners and you the people of our city as we pull together to help each other.

The austerity measures – or cuts – we have faced as a city and still face means more very difficult challenges lay ahead. For example, our roads are in an appalling condition and getting worse. This financial year we will have spent £18 million in supporting those in most need, the homeless, those being evicted, those living in poverty, or suffering harm. In 2020 we will receive no Government Grant and we will have to totally fend for ourselves. That’s why it’s important we try to grow and develop as a city, bringing-in new businesses and doing innovative, creative things such as “Invest to Earn” as a way of trying to raise new money that we need to pay for and protect our services. But our successes in 2017 and our plans for 2018 are exciting, credible and sustainable. This is why as the year draws to a close I think we have so much to be proud of and #Hope for the year ahead.

Looking back, striding forward – 2017

What has made me most proud, and I say this from the bottom of my heart, is how our city and staff at the council have just ‘got on with it’. We’re working harder than ever in increasingly challenging circumstances, and continue to deliver outstanding services. We are determined to provide a first-class service to our older residents and have agreed a £21 million partnership with Shaw Healthcare to build three new residential care hubs for people with dementia and longer-term caring needs. We are making headway in improving the standard of care homes too, with 50 per cent rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’, up from 31 per cent last year. There is still work to be done and we will be pushing to further improve our ratings in 2018.

This year also saw us launch an ambitious masterplan for ‘Ten Streets’ – outlining how we will work with partners to develop 90 acres of dilapidated docklands in North Liverpool into a thriving space for the creative industries. Work is well underway on the £1 billion Paddington Village, in the heart of the city’s Knowledge Quarter, too. This has already attracted high profile tenants such as the Royal College of Physicians, with more big names in the field of science and innovation to follow, and with them, job opportunities.

We are working hard to make sure Liverpool’s infrastructure is befitting for a vibrant, strong city. We have invested in a new bridge on the A565, opened a new £6.5million car park on Victoria Street, which will generate a significant income for the council as an Invest to Earn project, fixed 9,600 potholes on the city’s roads and work is set to start next year on a new city centre bus hub, part of the £40 million ‘city centre connectivity scheme’.

There has been much focus on cleaning up our city with four new teams tackling the atrocious fly tipping which is blighting some of our neighbourhoods. Our partnership with Kingdom is helping rid the streets of litter too thanks to a zero tolerance approach and recycling rates are improving thanks to the introduction of new recycling sacks and the expansion of collections to 5,500 city centre apartments.

We also announced a new future for St Luke’s with the appointment of the popular Bombed Out Church Ltd to act as its custodian for the future, and Heritage England took it off its Heritage at Risk register, the latest in a long list of buildings we have saved and preserved for the future.

2017 was an outstanding year for culture with highlights including Sgt Pepper at 50, LIMF and hosting the start of the Round the World Clipper Race. We were also honoured to welcome serving members of the armed forces and veterans when national celebrations for Armed Forces Day were held in Liverpool in June. To round the year off we had fireworks on the Mersey as part of River of Light and our annual Service of Remembrance on St George’s Hall plateau. More than one million people enjoyed our events across the year, with the overall impact of Culture Liverpool boosting the local economy by a cool £36 million.

We continue to push the boundaries on a sporting front too. Well, what do you expect from a city voted UK’s Greatest Sporting City by ESPN?!
We successfully bid to host the World Netball Cup in 2019 and want to follow hot on its heels with the 2022 World Gymnastics Championships – watch this space as our bid develops next year. For those who tuned in to BBC Sports Personality, I’m sure you will agree the arena and indeed the city looked superb.

Of course it was a massive disappointment not to win the UK’s nomination to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games. I was incredibly impressed with the bid and couldn’t have asked for a better, more passionate team of people to lead the bid. The bid itself was outstanding and absolutely good enough to win. The plans we had were truly innovative, making use of open spaces and our natural environment to deliver something that would have been jaw-dropping. But make no mistake about it, we are all behind Birmingham now and wish them all the very best in hosting the games in 2022.


2017 of course had its negatives too. Although we will take heart from Labour’s campaign in this year’s General Election, it was heart-breaking to see us face another four years of a Conservative Government. As if their determination to remove funding hasn’t caused enough pain, their incompetence on negotiating Brexit has painful repercussions for all of us.

And yet again, we have the desperate plight of those forced into destitution by this government’s mistakes and uncaring attitude. At Christmas, I worked with the city’s foodbanks to provide a meal and a Christmas experience for those who have very little or nothing, and I have seen first-hand the impact of this Government’s introduction of Universal Credit. I simply cannot understand how anyone who is elected by the people with a duty of care of our nation’s citizens can steadfastly refuse to see the evidence about the harm they are causing. And, as always, our council will be there to pick up the pieces as best we can. We are still the city that provides one of the highest Council Tax Benefits in the country, spends £2.5m on crisis payments – especially for those who have been sanctioned – £2m on hardship grants and £3m on discretionary housing payments. A significant portion of this money, your council taxes, is spent on people who are destitute as a result of welfare incompetence or policy. My New Year’s resolution is to keep calling for change by this Government. But my promise is that Liverpool will be a city that cares and we will continue to focus on the poorest and most needy.

Thanks are due

I could go on listing all the outstanding things we’ve done this year. I wish I could name check every service, every team in the Council, and all our partners because they’ve all made an invaluable contribution and I want them to know that we see that, and we are all very grateful.

However, when I look back over the year, the sacking of Kelvin MacKenzie by News International gave me great satisfaction. What a despicable man. The outcry for him to finally be sacked was too loud to ignore after more despicable comments and, finally, the right decision to get rid of him was made. In the year that finally saw charges brought forward for the tragedy at Hillsborough, it looks like justice is finally coming.

Next year promises to be another year of incredible cultural highlights. To mark ten years since being European Capital of Culture in 2008, there is a full programme of events, conferences and festivals which will inspire our city for another ten years. We’re unveiling more details later in January, but I promise you there is something to excite everyone and, yet again, Liverpool will be seen around the world for the beautiful, exciting and vibrant city that we all know it is.

I have always said that culture is the rocket fuel of our economy, and if we look at the incredible boost to our economy that visitors have made, in hotels, restaurants and bars this focus on showcasing the city will pay off. Liverpool’s arena and exhibition centre for example continues to be a huge success, reaching a turnover of £25m and bringing over £200m economic benefit to the city region. It’s one example, out of many, of the Invest to Earn approach I have been taking to create additional revenue for the city council. When Government decided to remove almost every single penny of funding from the council, we have to be more innovative about how we become more sustainable.

Transforming our city is important as we prepare for the future. Brexit, the economic climate, and more-austerity mean we can’t sit back and be complacent. That’s why in the last few weeks I announced the formation of, Foundations, a Housing Company which will turn Municipal Housing on its head. It will be an opportunity to use our position to create a company that will have a development/commercial arm making us profit and a social arm, where we can help people in many different ways, helping us save money and make money at the same time. It genuinely is the most exciting initiative we as a City have ever been involved in. Housing is crucial to our city.

While the homes we create mean a better quality of life or stability for the people that live in them, we have also learned that the type of houses we have in the city is vitally important. For example, we desperately need more foster families to look after children and give them a loving, caring, start in life. But our city does not have enough larger houses for those who are willing to become new foster parents. Just like we also don’t have enough smaller, ground floor housing for people who want to, or need to, downsize. These smaller homes can be ideal for the elderly or disabled who need level access and suitable adaptations so they can enjoy their home. But we don’t have enough variety in our housing stock. That’s why our own housing company will fill this gap, offering a mix of housing which will help us meet the city’s needs.

However, the most exciting element is the way we are going to be able to help people buy their own home. I have four kids and five grandkids – with one more on the way – so I know how difficult it can be in this current climate for anyone to buy their first home. Foundations will let people build up a deposit, just by paying their rent. We will become their genuine partners for a new chapter in their lives.
The housing system that’s on offer is a failure, it doesn’t help people get on and get a house either to buy, rent or lease, in my view it can’t be fixed because of its complexity of restrictions. So we need to create something new, different and better and that’s what we will do.

Another important project we launched in 2017 and will grow in 2018 is the Liverpool Promise. Giving a strong start to children in the city is an important part of my own strong political and personal beliefs. This is why when I became leader of the city in 2010 one of the first things I did was put together a rescue plan to replace the government money that had been promised for new schools and was cancelled by the Lib Dems in Government. We’ve rebuilt 17 new schools, meaning at least 18,000 pupils work in new classrooms because of my administration.

But our next focus must be on improving school success rates. It is a huge challenge, but it must be one that the whole city takes on. One reason for this is that Liverpool City Council does not control the schools – we are not able to intervene directly in how any individual school is run. Instead we provide support and assistance to try and help them be the best they can. There are some successes already with 90 per cent of our primary schools having a ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ rating from OFSTED. Another reason is that we all have a part to play in making sure our children are educated properly. Parents, extended family, governors and teachers all have a role, but so do businesses and other partners.

The Liverpool Promise is our pledge, alongside schools and stakeholders to drive up attendance and the quality of education in the city to ensure our children get the very best start in life. It’s my commitment to the next generation. I want scousers to be in demand by employers all over the world because we are the best, the hardest working and the smartest. We already know that we are, but now we need to prove it on the exam paper!

The new Everton Stadium is another transformative project for our city, because its reach will be felt all the way along the central docks and into the city centre, including a new Cruise Liner Terminal. Next door to the Ten Streets, the future for this stunning prime location of our city is going to be incredible. We can all look forward to more exciting announcements about the stadium early in 2018.

Things are going well and as soon as there is anything to share, you know me, I’ll share it! I am sure many people will agree that the club has been victim of getting ahead of itself in the past and, so, together we want to make sure everything is done in the right way and secured before anything is made public. The deal will benefit the city financially as well as breathing new life into the north of Liverpool accelerating development and creating thousands of new jobs.

Every year, I write about the challenge of austerity and this Government who are determined to remove all funding for local government and the services you use. A large part of any council’s budget is the money we spend on Social Care, both for adults and children. Like me, you have probably grown up with the expectation that the NHS, and our nation, will look after you from the cradle to the grave. However, with this government’s vicious onslaught on local government we are finding it increasingly difficult to provide the care packages that people need. This affects the elderly, the disabled and this year, more and more local authorities are having problems funding children’s care. This is a fundamental problem with the way local government is financed. Successive governments – of all political parties – have gotten it wrong and that’s why this Tory one has been able to cause so much pain. I want to see a permanent fix for the way the most vulnerable are looked after and this will require some brave thinking from our government about how it is paid for.

I intend to spend 2018 lobbying government for a transformation in the way they fund social care in local government. You as tax payers deserve it and need it, and those who are too sick or frail to speak up are relying on us. I also want to add, that if Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell were in Government I am sure we would be able to make a real difference!

Another Government policy that I am going to challenge will have a big impact on the homeless. The Government has a rule about “No Recourse to Public Funds”, which means that we are not supposed to help certain people, normally failed asylum seekers or Eastern Europeans without work – as a result they often end up sleeping on our streets. I am not prepared to stand by and let anyone live in destitution. That’s why I have opened Labre House, the only place in the country for rough sleepers that is open every night, and will provide food, shelter, advice, compassion, and friendship to anyone, regardless of status, who needs help.

The Whitechapel Centre which runs the centre in partnership with Liverpool City Council does an incredible job of helping everyone who comes through their doors. Many people do not realise how much we as a city provide to the homeless. They will help people get off the streets, find the medical help they need, find permanent accommodation and start a new life for themselves. They even provide haircuts! I have met some of the people they are helping and it is truly astonishing what a difference they can make.

The scale of rough sleeping across the country is unprecedented and made worse by Government austerity, but it’s a problem I am determined to tackle here in Liverpool. We help over 7,000 people every year avoid becoming homeless, proof that there is ‘Always Room Inside’.

I also want to thank all the volunteer groups that give time, energy and love to help those who are on our streets. Projects like the Papercup Project and Lawrence Kenwright’s Signature Living and their Kingsway House project, prove that Liverpool has a big heart and together we can make a difference.


Once again, our city has proven it is a remarkable place, filled with laughter, joy, compassion and care. Every year I say Liverpool’s best days are ahead and I still believe that. Incredible things continue to happen here, and I am determined to keep our city moving forward, but many people will also find it tough and if you can help please do so.
Let me end with an old Irish Toast, “In this New Year, May your hand always be stretched out in friendship and never in want”.

Happy New Year.

Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool

Universal credit could mean Christmas is cancelled for struggling families


“When you’ve got nothing you’ve got nothing to lose”, sang Bob Dylan.

Unfortunately that’s not true. When you’ve got nothing you can still keep on falling through the cracks. This is what’s happening with the roll-out of universal credit.

The government’s aim is to integrate a series of benefits into a single payment, in a bid to cut the welfare bill and encourage work.

That’s what it says on the tin. As is often the case with central government policies, however, the reality is very different.

The Resolution Foundation think tank calculates the move to universal credit will see some working families left facing a benefit reduction of up to £2,800 a year. Many of these will be the “just about managing” families Theresa May was once so concerned with.

Meanwhile, Citizens’ Advice says the policy is too complicated – with people struggling to understand it – and a lack of support when the system fails them.

Having been rolled-out in a piecemeal fashion, there is about to be a ramp-up in the numbers moving to UC. But the cracks are already there to see.

One of the most damaging aspects of the changeover is the retrospective nature of the payment.

Recipients can have to wait up to six weeks between applying for the benefit and receiving any money. They turn to us, the local authority, funded by council taxpayers, for emergency support to stop them being evicted and for food, heating and lighting.

We spend around £18m a year preventing people becoming homeless and supporting them through our Citizens Support Scheme, Mayoral Fund and other grants.

We have also allocated funding to each of our 30 wards across the city, so that councillors can recommend small grants to community and local voluntary organisations that are best-placed to help residents with basic needs.

Only millionaire ministers and salaried civil servants could devise a system that has absolutely no understanding of the way in which the poorest people in our society need to rob Peter to pay Paul – and that’s at the best of times.

You simply cannot leave people, many with children, with no money for weeks on end.

As a result, councils like mine are forced to cover the gap, helping to keep poor families out of the clutches of loan sharks and payday lenders. Already, 11,000 people in Liverpool have been transitioned to the new benefit – but this is set to increase dramatically in the coming months.

Despite losing two-thirds of our central government funding since 2010, we will always protect the most vulnerable. We are doing what we can, but we are stretched very thin.

This is the biggest-ever change to the benefits system, with seven million people transferring over to the benefit by 2022.

Government policy should be worked through before it is rolled-out. The poor deserve better than to be placed in a Whitehall petri-dish. Especially as there is a basic fallacy at the very heart of universal credit.

Rather than “curbing the costs of welfare” as ministers insist, universal credit simply passports the bill from central to local government. We are left picking up the pieces of botched policy with our council tax payers left picking up the bill.

David Gauke, the work and pensions secretary, needs to engage with reality.

He should show some humility and admit there are massive problems with the system which must be addressed before even more families find themselves at their wits’ end, trying to cope with no money.

As we head towards Christmas, he will not want to be remembered as the secretary of state who cancelled Christmas for millions of families just about managing to make ends meet.

Five HUGE things missed by the ECHO about this week’s Council meeting

Liverpool City Council will meet on Wednesday and is an opportunity to discussion motions, or topics, that your local councillors feel are important to the city.

The meeting, held four times a year, makes policy, signs off on decisions made by the Mayor and cabinet and agrees the campaigns the council will run on behalf of the people of Liverpool.

Here are five of the biggest subjects to be discussed on Wednesday, which the Echo hasn’t written about in an article in today’s paper.

Police Cuts

I will use my motion to stand up for the ‘stretched to the limit’ Merseyside Police force in the face of the recent spate of shootings in Merseyside. It comes on the back of Chief Constable of Merseyside Police, Andy Cooke’s comments that: “In my professional opinion I have never known a situation where Merseyside Police officers have been pushed to the limit in dealing with everything we need to deal with to keep our communities safe.”Andy Cooke was making the comment in response to Merseyside Police budget being reduced by almost £100m and has seen the loss of over 100 officers since 2010.I will call for a campaign to demand the Government provide a fair deal for Liverpool residents and will specifically include support for the communities affected by rising crime. Council will also call on the Council to demand additional funding for Merseyside Police for fighting serious and organised crime.

Tyred Campaign

Deputy Mayor, Cllr Ann O’Byrne, will put forward a motion in support of the ‘Tyred’ Campaign, launched by Frances Molloy.Many will remember the tragic event in September 2012 when a couch bound for Liverpool carrying 53 people from the Bestival Festival on the Isle of Wight left the road and crashed into a tree instantly killing Michael Molly (18), Kerry Ogden (23) and the coach driver, Colin Daulby (63), as well as leaving others with life changing injuries.The inquest into the crash found that the front nearside tyre which was actually older than the coach itself, at 19 years, was responsible for the crash.In 2014 the City Council unanimously agreed support of Michael’s mother, Frances, in calling for a change in law requiring a ban on tyres older than six years on commercial vehicles.Despite widespread support, no laws have been changed. Now, 3 years later, Frances is launching the Tyred campaign to keep the pressure on Government to change the law to ban the use of tyres older than ten years on commercial tyres.The Tyred campaign has been getting lots of good coverage, but this should help by throwing the support of the council behind it until the law changes.  The motion will call on me to write to the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition to call together a cross party support for a change in the Law.

Liverpool BAMBIS

In a motion put forward by Warbreck Councillor, Cheryl Didsbury, council will recognise the overwhelming evidence that breastfeeding is the healthiest option for both a mother and her baby.The motion will particularly show support to Liverpool BAMBIS (Babies & Mums Breastfeeding Information and Support) who play an important role in offering breastfeeding support and information to pregnant women, breastfeeding mums and their families in Liverpool.The motion will call on the city to implement a Liverpool Quality Mark for organisations and businesses in the City that support and promote breastfeeding in their premises, and look at providing a small grant to enable businesses to implement the charter.

School Cuts

Assistant Mayor, Nick Small, will highlight the significant funding cuts which lie ahead for Liverpool schools.Under the new plans by the conservative Government, the funding gap for Liverpool schools by the end of the current parliament in 2021/22 is projected to be £28.4million, representing a 9% cut on the 2015/16 level of school funding and equating to the loss of 778 teachers across Liverpool.The motion also highlights that 97% to all Liverpool schools will be cut by 2022, and that the average cut per pupil will be £487, although one school will lose £1,478 for each and every pupil.If agreed, the motion will mean that the council will work with trade union partners in teaching and non-teaching unions, parents, governors and communities to build a broad-based campaign against the school cuts in Liverpool.

Grenfell Tower

A motion will be brought forward by Greenback councillors Laura Robertson-Collins and James Roberts, following the tragedy at Grenfell Tower on the 14th June.The motion will express council’s deepest sympathy and condolences to all those affect by the tragedy and will note the extreme courage and dedication of the emergency services and health and hospital staff.The Motion will call upon Government to: 1) Urgently review all building regulations related to the design and implementation of fire safety within shared accommodation regardless of height or scale.2) Ensure that all such work requires approval by the relevant Local Authority Building Control Service. 3) Instruct the Social Housing Regulator to proactively ensure compliance to, all of the social housing Consumer Standards.4) Identify and ring fence significant funds from within the existing social housing grant regime in order to support prioritises stock refurbishment within both social and provide housing sectors.5) Introduce compulsory Private Landlord Licensing for all private rented stock to give local authorities the powers and resources to enforce basic safety and living standards for the benefit of all residents6) Provide local authorities and fire brigades with the necessary resource and funding to carry out the necessary ongoing inspection and regulation to endure safety, deliver good housing standards and protect the health and wellbeing of people in rented and shared accommodation.

Making a success of it

Liverpool is currently overseeing £13bn of regeneration schemes – so, as you’ll appreciate, there is a huge amount to say.

Indeed, we are currently in the midst of an unprecedented rate of regeneration and much of it has been developed whilst a global recession was on!

That should tell you a lot about how much effort my regeneration team, led by Nick Kavanagh, is investing in putting Liverpool back in business or, as our strapline says, “unlocking the city’s capital”.

Liverpool is a city full of potential. But potential needs realising. How do you unlock that potential?

For me, my number one goal has always been to create new jobs, new homes and new venues for people to work, live and play in this great city of ours.

But the city council cannot do this alone. Partnerships are the smart way forward and that is our greatest asset.

These past few weeks have been a perfect illustration of what I am talking about.

As you will have seen the city has launched its bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

We have put together an unbelievably talented team led by the former head of the FA, Brian Barwick, who have created an inspiring plan to host a truly transformational games.

Our team includes major organisations like Everton and Liverpool Football Club, Peel and Manchester City Council as well as inspiring individuals be it from the sporting world like our very own Beth Tweddle, Steve Parry or Tony Bellew to architects like Kevin Wilson, a Liverpool lad who designed London’s Olympic Park, no less.

This is a team that means business. This a bid that means business. This is city that means business.

If we are chosen to be England’s candidate city in September and then go on to be chosen by the Commonwealth Games Federation in December, it will unlock and accelerate a £1bn worth of regeneration and create 12,000 jobs.

The 50m pool in the docks, Everton’s new stadium in Bramley Moore Dock, Anfield as host of the Opening and Closing ceremonies will help to attract a global audience of more than 1 billion people.

But the bid is not just an opportunity to showcase the city to the world – important as that is.

After the games, that pool will remain as a legacy. The Athletes villages in Nelson and Stanley Dock will bring 1,700 homes on to the market. More than £150m will have been invested in the transport infrastructure in around the stadium which will greatly enhance the appeal of the area to businesses looking for a great connection between the port, the motorway system – and a major city centre.

There will be no cost to council tax payers and there will be income streams from these developments that will offset any investment. In fact not bidding would be more costly as the process has already accelerated schemes that were 30 years away. Nelson and Bramley Moore Dock being prime examples.

The Athletes Village, incidentally, partly falls within the recently launched Ten Streets district – which is a 10 year scheme to develop a major creative hub. A successful 2022 bid will transform that timeline too.

For me personally, this is a vital scheme as Ten Streets sits within the poorest ward in the UK – Kirkdale – and goes to the heart of our goal of rebalancing Liverpool’s economy.

Employment in Liverpool currently stands at 64%. It should be closer to 74%.

To achieve that jump we need to think big and deliver.

The Ten Streets masterplan is a great example as is the Knowledge Quarter, which will soon be home to RCP North and this week welcomed the opening of Sensor City, where the council is working hand in hand with private and public sector partners to develop our cutting edge sectors (be it digital marketing to bio medical research) and create world leading hubs in the city that generate quality jobs.

We have the talent. We just need to foster it and create the right conditions for it to grow. Liverpool’s film Industry is another example where we have huge potential and that’s why the city council with John Moores University will be looking to develop its world class reputation as a city of actors, writers, directors and producers – as well as a stunning location – by bidding to be host for Channel Four.

Of course we have to look at the whole picture and quality office space is critical to attracting blue chip companies into the city. The city has a lack of Grade A+ office space, something the council is seeking to rectify as can be seen in Pall Mall Exchange – where we are partnered with Kier Construction and CTP Limited to provide up to 400,000 sq ft of offices over three new buildings. And I understand the public consultation this week showed there’s huge interest in this scheme.

Another critical piece of the jigsaw is quality housing which is a vital component in making any city an attractive place to work and enjoy.

To this end the Liverpool Housing Partnership is another brilliant example of how we are working with partners – in this case Liverpool Mutual Homes and Redrow – to unlock parcels of land to create new homes. Thanks to an innovative approach we are using the capital receipts from homes sold by Redrow to build affordable housing. The aim is to deliver 1,500 new homes in the next 5 years. We are on target.

In fact, such is the success of the scheme the city council is about to go one step further and create a new development and housing company to build 10,000 new homes in 10 years.

It’s a nice challenge to have. Because it means the city is growing.

As you can tell, I am passionate about making Liverpool a success story. And all successful cities never stop regenerating.

I’m not for one second pretending there are challenges ahead. As you may have also seen in the news this week, our World Heritage status is in the balance with what is being proposed in Liverpool Waters.

But there is a golden opportunity here to showcase how the city sensitively deals with our heritage when it comes to regeneration.

Since 2012 alone £670m has been invested in upgrading historic buildings within the World Heritage site, 37 listed buildings have been refurbished and there’s been a dramatic 75% drop in listed buildings at risk.

Historic England have praised our efforts. Europe has chosen us a Heritage Role Model.

There is so much to celebrate about what Liverpool is doing in this field.

Our track record (be it Stanley Dock, the Aloft Hotel to Central library) fills me with confidence we will continue to celebrate our heritage and deliver regeneration.

Now, fingers and toes crossed the Commonwealth Games judging panel give us one more reason to celebrate.

I look forward to updating you again in the near future on all of the above and more!

This blog post is an edited version of one which first appeared on the Regenerating Liverpool website