Hard Times

It was absolutely right of Steve Rotheram to attack the bloated bureaucracy being foisted on the metromayoralty by Joe Anderson, in anticipation of him getting the job. For this arrogant man to dismiss the cost as “only £7 million” shows just how out of touch he is with the real world.

His confederate in setting up this superfluous team of bag carriers, was his chief executive, Ged Fitzgerald. It was the latter who actually commissioned the report which delivered this unnecessary extra layer of bureaucrats, each on an average salary of £100,000. Joe, in turn, pushed the plan through the Combined Authority.

The firm commissioned by Fitzgerald to produce the report was Amion Consulting, chaired by Mr Timothy Johnston. He and Fitzgerald are both directors of new company, The Big Trust Limited. I am sure that they will have plenty of time together there to discuss Joe’s hoped-for future support. After all, Fitzgerald is hotly tipped to head it up if Joe eventually gets the job.

However, it may be premature of those who think the Anderson/Fitzgerald partnership will move onwards and upwards. Fitzgerald still has police investigations hanging over his head. These involve Liverpool Direct, of which he was a director (as was Joe) and Rotherham Council, where he was chief executive.

At least Joe is looking more his real self – snarling and shouting at the selection hustings. TeamJoe should keep him out of view – the more that people see and hear him, the more they dislike him! Additionally, loss of his Tory contacts from government, pull from under him the only advantage he could claim with central government.

Any doubts on this were swept away in a debate on the LCR metromayoralty held in the Grand Committee of the House of Lords this week. It was emphatically pointed out that Joe had rid Liverpool of scrutiny and accountability. Answering the criticism, the government minister made it perfectly clear that such conduct was wholly unacceptable and would not be tolerated in the metromayoralty. Joe’s autocratic approach will be no more.

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