Website Liverpool Confidential reports that moves might be afoot by the current Labour administration to seize the mayoral agenda and opt to adopt the system in May.
Crucially, the move would allow the council to move to a ‘mayor and cabinet’ system under existing legislation, avoiding the more radical change proposed under the Localism Act.
Confidential’s Larry Neild writes:
If Cllr Anderson [the current council leader] stood as Labour’s mayoral candidate and won, it would essentially be business as usual for the city, with added extras from the Coalition Government.
But the move isn’t without its risks, it says:
If the move to a mayoral ballot in May is approved by councillors, there is a risk of a backlash. It would mean local citizens being denied the opportunity to decide themselves if they actually want an elected mayor to run the city, even with a cabinet.
Read the full article here.
Confidential’s report is yet to be confirmed, but it does raise interesting thoughts about possible tactical responses by anti-mayoral campaigners.
Birmingham’s Roger Godsiff MP made a valiant but unsuccessful attempt yesterday to block the secondary legislation that enables the city’s own referendum in May. The question now is, will he and fellow battler John Hemming MP develop a more pragmatic approach to temper what they see as the most dangerous elements of the coalition’s mayoral agenda?
Liverpool may just have started something.