Commissioners hand back some key powers to Liverpool City Council

The Government’s Commissioners will hand back control of the finance and highways functions to Liverpool City Counil on March 31.

The hand over is earlier than planned, following publication of the latest revised directions.

The appointment of the most senior managers will be returned to the council with immediate effect.

Commissioners were parachuted into the local authority in June 2021, following a damning report into the Labour-controlled authority by government inspector Max Caller.

The size of the Commissioner team will reduce to four from March 18, following the resignation of Joanna Killian, who is taking up a new post as chief executive of the Local Government Association.

The remaining Commissioners will steadily reduce their involvement and days spent with the council.

Council leader, Cllr Liam Robinson, said: “I am really pleased that the Government has accepted the recommendations of the Commissioners and confirmed the handing back of some powers to the council ahead of schedule.

“It is recognition of the fact that we have made significant progress over the last nine months or so, although we know that we have much more to do.”

He added: “We are continuing to work at pace to deal with those areas where we still need to make progress, such as property management.

“I am confident this marks the beginning of the end of the intervention as we know it. It is a tribute to the hard work of staff and councillors who have worked so hard to put in place the building blocks for improved services.

“I want to reassure residents that we are not complacent and we continue to move at pace to drive the improvements we need to make and achieve our ambition of becoming an excellent council delivering value for money services.”

Cllr Robinson has had constructive discussions with the local government minister, Simon Hoare MP, about the intervention. He has written to Cllr Robinson to say the Government recognises the progress made and “wish to support a managed transition to ending the statutory intervention”.

The Commissioners will continue to exercise functions relating to governance, regeneration, property management and a limited number of senior appointments including the Director of Property, those related to HR/organisational development and statutory officers.

The next Commissioners report will outline what will happen at the scheduled end of the intervention in June 2024.

Click here to sign up to receive our new South West business news...