The Commissioners team – led by Mike Cunningham – with colleagues Joanna Killian, Neil Gibson and Deborah McLaughlin – acknowledge the council has achieved some important tactical milestones through the hard work of officers, but are recommending further intervention.
Lead Commissioner Mike Cunningham said:
“We want to highlight that Commissioners submitted the report in June, so findings are now several weeks old. However, we stand by the key themes for improvement set out in the report.
“The report is clear that not enough progress has been made at Liverpool City Council over the past year. It outlines the barriers to improvement we believe the Council has faced and makes clear what must happen for the Council to make progress. The developments currently happening at the core of the Council, such as changes in leadership, are necessary to Liverpool City Council’s improvement. They are a positive sign that the Council is now embarking on the right path for success.
“Liverpool City Council has been through a turbulent time recently. We know substantial events, such as the resignation of the Chief Executive and the publication of the audit report into the handling of the energy contract, will have been unsettling.
“However, we are clear that the Council has a strong, capable leadership team, and very many committed staff members who do good work on behalf of the people of Liverpool to meet these challenges, with the support and oversight of Commissioners.
“We have asked for a widening of our powers as Commissioners in the report, which is a recommendation now going through a consultation process. By implementing the recommendations set out in our report, we are confident that Liverpool City Council will make progress at pace.
“This progress will be supported by a new interim Chief Executive at Liverpool City Council, Theresa Grant OBE, who is due to start in post in September. We have every confidence that Theresa is the right person to drive the positive change needed at the Council from the top down.
“Although the report recommends an extension to the intervention in terms of powers deployed, we have not requested an extension to the length of the intervention. The Commissioners believe that it will be possible for Liverpool City Council to make the required improvements within the next two years, as initially envisaged. By then, we are sure that the Council will be in a stable place, where it can attract and nurture investment in the City, and it can deliver high-quality front-line services for the people of Liverpool.”