Liverpool City Council unveils four-year plan to transform service provision
Liverpool City Council has created a four-year plan to improve services.
Certain aspects of the council are currently under the control of government commissioners.
They were installed within the council in June 2021, to improve the running of the local authority following publication of the Max Caller report in March that year into how the council was being run following the arrest of five people linked to Operation Aloft Police investigations.
The Council Plan 2023-2027 sets clear aims and ambitions to shape the improvement of the delivery of services for the city’s half a million residents.
The organisation has been on an improvement journey since the publication of a Best Value report in 2021, with significant progress made in areas such as governance, scrutiny and decision-making, as well as the introduction of a new electoral ward map and a four-year election cycle.
In May, Cllr Liam Robinson became leader of the council and chief executive, Andrew Lewis, joined the organisation, and there is a new corporate management team and cabinet.
The Council Plan is based around a vision of a fairer, cleaner and stronger city for all, with six ‘pillars’, or themes:
- A strong and fair economy for all – with growth in businesses and decent jobs, thriving neighbourhoods, increased inward investment and improved infrastructure and a distinctive and exciting cultural destination
- High quality and inclusive education, skills and employment – with high quality inclusive and sufficient education provision, more residents in work and a highly skilled and well trained workforce
- Thriving communities – with greener and cleaner neighbourhoods, a safe city, affordable homes and a joined-up approach to ending homelessness
- Healthier lives for children and adults – with increased life expectancy, access to the right social care with improved choice and control, children and families that are supported to remain together, young people safeguarded in a timely and effective manner and a city that is child-friendly
- A well connected, sustainable and accessible city – with a modern, sustainable and connected public transport system, a responsive and effective highways maintenance service, safer, more accessible and inclusive streets and progress on climate action and environmental sustainability
- A well run council – financially sustainable and resilient, with a skilled, diverse and healthy workforce, high quality governance and decision making and excellent customer experience
The council said recent examples of success include:
- The setting of a balanced three-year budget
- Hosting the most successful Eurovision Song Contest ever
- Progress on infrastructure schemes such as Festival Gardens, Liverpool Film Studios and Paddington Village
- Delivering additional SEND school places across the city
- The completion of highways schemes including The Strand (phase one) and Lime Street
The council’s new Neighbourhood Model aims to deliver better understanding of local need, joint working with residents and partners, and a more effective approach to waste reduction, street cleansing and recycling.
And a new Transport Plan is also set to be implemented which proposes green bus routes and green corridors, aimed at encouraging residents to walk, cycle and use public transport more often.
The report sees the return of bus lanes to the city, a decade after they were scrapped, which has provoked anger in some quarters.
Cllr Liam Robinson said: “This plan addresses the complex, long term issues facing our city, many of which have deepened following COVID-19 and the cost-of-living crisis. We cannot address these challenges alone and will improve our engagement with residents, businesses, community organisations and the public sector to help make the Council Plan’s vision a reality.
“Running through this plan is a commitment to provide better services for our residents.
“The quality of council services requires significant improvement, to ensure we deliver best value for every pound of public money. We are working closely with government commissioners on our improvement plan to ensure a full return of all powers and functions to locally elected leaders.”
He added: “The council will reset how its services are delivered by taking them closer to those we serve and making us more responsive to our diverse communities. We will also not shy away from tougher enforcement when necessary to make our neighbourhoods cleaner, greener and safer.
“Above all, we will do everything we can to deliver high quality, value for money services that improve the lives and life chances of everyone who lives in our city.”