On Friday, June 17th, the Combined Authority, chaired by Joe Anderson, agreed a report on “executive capacity”. Joe and his sidekick at Liverpool Council – Ged Fitzgerald – have come up with proposals to create seventy three senior officer and support jobs, costing £6.8m. That is nearly £100,000 per head on average.
Of course, the more senior jobs will pay much more – upwards of £250,000 for the Head of Paid Services (this is currently Fitzgerald, chief executive at Liverpool Council). These people will deliver no services of any sort; and the report is careful to point out that “the budget will subsequently be revised” – upwards, naturally. Nor does it cover the costs of the metromayoral staff.
The report has been done by consultants Amion in the name of Ged Fitzgerald. Amazingly, it plans to start interviewing and recruiting new bureaucrats in July. The interviewing panel will consist of Mayor Anderson and two of the council leaders on the Combined Authority (no prizes for guessing who!). Urgency is stressed, in part to hasten “public service reform”, otherwise known as jobs for the boys.
Hidden in this gem of a report is the requirement of local authorities to finance scrutiny of the new arrangements. It appears that our six local authorities will soon have to pay in order to know what is being doing in their name. How did local authority leaders sign up to that nonsense? Are we all to be kept in the dark even more than we are at present?
All of this has been agreed by Labour politicians without any reference to anyone else. No council, no constituency Labour Party, no rank and file member has been consulted on these proposals to lock a future metromayor into this bloated bureaucracy. The supposition is that the new metromayor will be one of the report’s driving forces, Mayor Anderson.
The document claims that the Combined Authority is a “democratic public body”. It is not. It also claims that “it will be the public face of the Liverpool City Region”. No, it will not. It is a carve up in the very narrow interests of the few, paid for by the many. It is also a blatant attempt to pre-empt the election as metromayor of anyone but Joe .
Link to report: