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Liverpool shows off its latest signing

Mayor Joe's pledge to serve city for next four years

Written by . Published on May 8th 2012.

Liverpool shows off its latest signing

MAYOR Joe Anderson signed the pledge today, giving legal force to his four-year reign as Liverpool's top man.

He's already had phone calls from Labour leader Ed Milliband and comedian John Bishop, and yesterday had a 30-minute chat with the Coalition Government's Cities' Minister, Greg Clark. The mayor isn't holding his breath for calls from Cameron or Clegg.

It is unthinkable that a number of political foes would have been brought into the inner sanctum without an elected mayor, but Anderson insists he will choose the best people for specific jobs

Top of the agenda for the mayor is shaping his cabinet, and at a photo-op on Tuesday morning, Anderson gave a strong indication he will stick to a 10-strong cabinet (including himself) that has been the hallmark of his rule as leader of the city council.

By law he has to appoint a cabinet of at least two and up to 10. What will be interesting is whether he sticks with his current line-up or has a bit of a reshuffle. My guess is some changes are on the way.

Liverpool becomes the most notable UK city outside London with an elected mayor after other core cities like Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds gave the idea the thumbs down last week.

John Bishop On The LineJohn Bishop On The Line

After all, Liverpool is the best known English city in the world after London, pointing Mayor Joe on a par with big city names across the US and Europe. 

The fact that Liverpool is virtually going it alone (well Bristol opted for an elected mayor but most people don 't even know where Bristol is) adds to the pressure on him to blaze a trail for the directly elected mayor model. 

He's already offered jobs on mayoral commissions to one time Lib Dem Deputy Leader Flo Clucas, an expert on European affairs, one time Lib Dem leadership challenger Paul Clein. Clein, chucked off the council last year, will be working on education alongside former minister Estelle Morris. 

Flo_ClucasFlo Clucas: Up for a jobAlso doing the rounds is the story that Anderson's runner up in the big vote last week, Liam Fogarty, has been offered a seat on the board of the controversial LDL – Liverpool Direct. It was, after all, Fogarty, who was banging on for years with his Mayor for Liverpool campaign. 

World alcohol expert Professor Sir Ian Gilmore from the University of Liverpool will work on a health and alcoholism commission.

It is unthinkable that a number of political foes would have been brought into the inner sanctum without an elected mayor, but Anderson insists he will choose the best people for specific jobs. 

Labour now has 72 of the 90 councillors in the chamber and that could rise within weeks to 74 – leaving the opposition with just 16 seats to share among themselves. 

Two bye-elections will be called: one to replace Anderson, who has had to stand down in Riverside ward, and one to replace Lib Democrat councillor Vera Best who died a few days ago. 

With the Lib Dems in a meltdown, it's odds on that her vacant Allerton seat will be won by Labour. After all, the political aide to the Eagle sisters, Daniel Hughes, captured another seat there for the party last week, making its tally in what was solid Lib Dem land, just one. 

Liverpool-Mayor-Joe-Anderson02Mayor Joe signs the book

Labour even captured Woolton, leaving the two remaining Lib Dems wondering what the future holds for them. Luckily there are no council elections next year so they are safe until 2014. 

Anderson faced intensive criticism and, in some instances, ridicule in the run-up to the election. 

Like it or lump it, he's now the constitutionally directly elected mayor of Liverpool, with an massive mandate from getting on for 60,000 voters. The Mayor says he is determined to confound his critics, so the message from Dale Street is clear …. Give Joe A Chance. 

Pass notes

The post of Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor are not affected by the introduction of a mayoral model because the city has Royal Charter status.

The remuneration for the role is being discussed by an independent panel which is looking at the responsibilities of the position, in the same way that councillors’ allowances are set. They will make a recommendation to the council’s AGM later this month. 

Mayor Joe is responsible for the executive functions of the city council and for making most of the day-to-day decisions as to the running of the organisation. 

The full council remains responsible for setting the budget and policy framework and a number of specific issues related to the constitution, committees, members’ allowances, bye-laws and civic honours. 

There will still be 90 elected councillors who will carry out their community roles, representing their constituents and undertaking casework, together with scrutinising the decisions of the executive, similar to the current leader and cabinet system. 

Mayor Joe will be held to account by having to attend full council meetings.

When Mayor Joe makes a decision, the implementation may only occur after a period of time has passed to allow councillors who are not cabinet members to review the decision (known as ‘call-in’). 

Liverpool-Mayor-Joe-Anderson01Joe-Anderson takes officeThe mayor will outline any reasons for the decisions to select committees and he'll be able to consider any proposals put forward by councillors.

The mayor remains in office for four years and can only be removed by a referendum. 

In accordance with the usual circumstances, the elected mayor would cease to hold office if he resigned or was disqualified from holding office.

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