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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought it might be useful to have a thread to argue about discuss the upcoming local elections on Thursday 3rd May, including the campaigns for and aftermath of.

At the moment the council consists of -

Labour - 79
Lib Dem - 4
Green - 4
Liberal - 2
Independent - 1

The council is elected in thirds, three out of every four years, meaning 30 of the 90 seats are being contested this time. That also means that even in the unlikely event all 30 seats went to another party, Labour would still hold on majority.

While I'm yet to see Labour even mention the election, I note the Lib Dems are already pounding the streets in areas where they feel they stand a chance. Their target seems to be to double their numbers - that is to eight - which shows the low base they are starting from, and how far they have to go.

That said, I am actually giving consideration to voting Lib Dem this time. I've previously shyed away from them because unfortunately I don't rate Richard Kemp as leader. However my disillusionment with Labour in the city is proving to be a larger consideration on balance. You don't even hear from Labour except around election time, and they seem to take it for granted they will be voted in in sufficient numbers to rule the council, and they carry on in whatever way they please as a result. Now to be fair, Labour have been in charge under some of the harshest economic times in years, thereby making everything that much harder. But even if the scale has to be tempered somewhat, the lack of ambition compared to the decade previous is quite stark. Only the Commonwealth Games bid came close, but as noted on here at the time, it might well have been an election sop that Labour found themselves having to run with, particularly as a few years before they were disinterested in bidding.

As for the Lib Dems, I do still have issues with them. I really wish they would spend more time stating what they would do in charge, rather than slagging Joe all the time (the criticism might be justified, but you need to suggest what you would do differently). The periodic council Q&A sessions are an embarrassment, with the Lib Dems asking a series of provocative questions, and the council answering with pointed barbs. Neither party comes off well from that, and it does not serve the electorate. The council might still answer in an unprofessional manner, but at least if the Lib Dems asked legitimate and reasonable questions, not ones purposefully design to point score, it might help a bit. The Lib Dems are still hamstrung to some extent by the coalition (even if the local party had little or nothing to do with it), and by its hard-line pro-EU stance (certain to turn off Brexiteers), so they have to work extra hard. In Liverpool, they have a credible track record. In 12 years they took the city from being widely regarded as a basket case, to being a rejuvenated city, brimming with civic pride, and worthy of standing shoulder to shoulder with any other core city. They really should use that as their main argument, and not get bogged down in tit-for-tat with Joe. While all that doesn't directly solve the Kemp issue (although it might make him look more mayoral than Joe and therefore electable), if the Lib Dems were to gain additional members, it might solve the leadership issue, as there would be a larger pool to choose from.

Of course it goes without saying that whichever party I vote for, it won't be a case of the best option, rather it'll be the least worst, but right now, I think the city could do with a change. As noted above, the maths precludes that this time around. But even the Lib Dems grabbing a few seats off them, and getting too close for comfort in other wards, might make Labour raise their game a little in the meantime.

The election campaign is still young, and there's lots to be said yet. But right now, this is where my mind is at.
 

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I don't live in Liverpool any more so I won't comment too much.

My feeling based upon observing social media and speaking with friends/ family is people are becoming tired of Labour, and Joe Anderson, particularly in south Liverpool. Like you though Chris, I have reservations about the Lib Dems and Richard Kemp in particular. Given the Lib Dems stance on development in recent years I think they're the opposite on what the city needs right now.
 

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At the moment the council consists of -

Labour - 79
Lib Dem - 4
Green - 4
Liberal - 2
Independent - 1
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That is really unhealthy for democracy and doesn't lead to enough scrutiny and leaves the ruling party free to do what they want.

The problem is there's no real alternative to Labour but we need the Lib Dems to make gains just for the sake of democracy and to help transparency.

Our local political scene is awful.
 

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. But even if the scale has to be tempered somewhat, the lack of ambition compared to the decade previous is quite stark. Only the Commonwealth Games bid came close, but as noted on here at the time, it might well have been an election sop that Labour found themselves having to run with, particularly as a few years before they were disinterested in bidding.
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It's been a lost decade really under Joe Anderson. The decade before seen so much progress made. Not enough has been done this decade. Even now you walk through town and it's like one big building site but without actually much going on (be it unfinished buildings stalled or the eye sore of Marks's on Church Street with all the scaffolding). Beyond that it's just student flats or apartments.

I think Anderson is just happy to have the Everton ground on the dock as his legacy with Liverpool Waters going on around it (Liverpool Waters was really a project from the previous decade and only now in 2018 is it really getting anywhere). The new Chinatown would have been a good legacy but that's a derelict mess. We haven't had any grad A office space built and are waiting on Pall Mall. A lot of the mooted works from Lime Street to Mount Pleasant haven't got anywhere yet, so that end of town is still not living up to its potential.

You'd like to see far more progress in the 2020s. We get all these big announcements of big plans this decade but most of it is all talk.

Hopefully the Lib Dems have been suitably punished by the people of Liverpool for the coalition in 2010 (which has seen Labour clean up locally since) because we need an alternative to Labour landslides.
 

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The Greens seems to have passed their high water mark.

Regarding the Lib Dems their only big plus point is that they are not Liverpool Labour and not led by Joe Anderson. As they have, it seems, bottomed out if you live in one of the south Liverpool wards it is worth voting them for this single good reason, they are the only party that can take seats off Anderson's Labour and provide an opposition to the very bad council leadership, one that as gazza2 points out have presided over almost a decades stagnation following a decade of growth and recovery before it took charge.

With a few more councillors from any party there will be greaert scrutiny of the council, more bods on the ground to look into and publicise the council's many failings and a bigger cohort in the council chamber more able to stand up to the craven baying hordes who back up Anderson during his abusive council chamber rants. Unfortunately lacking any alternatives, the Lib Dems are only party that can currently do this.

As for Kemp, he's not a good leadership candidate. He's the leader because the LDs have so few candidates meaning he's the best of the available lot. With more councillors the Lib Dems will have a better choice of leader. Kemp gives me the impression he'd happily hand over the baton if it were easy for him to do so.
 

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The worrying thing for me is the Lib Dems have objected to so much, even to the things Joe has done that were good ideas. C/Games being one notable example.

Kemp's manifesto for the Mayoral job was terrible, with the most notable thing being turning Lodge Lane into a curry mile. Not only did this lack ambition, but it also played into stereotypes that the only realistic economic development possible in prominent BME areas was serving white people food. Come on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Do we know which wards are up this time around?
They're all up aren't they? One seat in each.

The worrying thing for me is the Lib Dems have objected to so much, even to the things Joe has done that were good ideas. C/Games being one notable example.
It seems to be the done thing when in opposition. Labour objected to the Paradise Street Development Area and the ECofC bid back when they were in opposition. OK so you don't want all parties agreeing all the time, but I think both parties would benefit from realising that occasionally being in agreement with the ruling party, and offering support for projects that are (or will be) unequivocally beneficial to the city is not a weakness, and actually makes you look better in the eyes of the electorate
 

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They're all up aren't they? One seat in each.
How many "swing-seats" are there?

Looking at the wards where I'd expect Lib Dems to potentially gain, they are still needing to overcome some significant margins. I know %s matter less in smaller voting pools, but these are the leads they'd need to overhaul..Just based on 2016 results:

Childwall - 23%
Cressington 18%
Greenbank 27%
Mossley Hill 13%
West Derby 46%
 

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How many "swing-seats" are there?

Looking at the wards where I'd expect Lib Dems to potentially gain, they are still needing to overcome some significant margins. I know %s matter less in smaller voting pools, but these are the leads they'd need to overhaul..Just based on 2016 results:

Childwall - 23%
Cressington 18%
Greenbank 27%
Mossley Hill 13%
West Derby 46%
The greens got 25% in mossley hill in 2015 but I think the candidate left the party and then the next time they got nothing. A shame because the local lib dems are just the I hate Joe Anderson party. Kemp doesn't want anything to get built and want Liverpool to be a suburb of manchester.
 

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The worrying thing for me is the Lib Dems have objected to so much, even to the things Joe has done that were good ideas. C/Games being one notable example.

Kemp's manifesto for the Mayoral job was terrible, with the most notable thing being turning Lodge Lane into a curry mile. Not only did this lack ambition, but it also played into stereotypes that the only realistic economic development possible in prominent BME areas was serving white people food. Come on.
The Lib Dems backed the Commonwealth Games bid once it was a real thing. All Kemp did was to suggest, when it was first mooted, that it was nothing than a reelection gimmick. A well grounded suspicion and shared with many on here and elsewhere.

As for objecting to development generally, there has hardly been any development in Liverpool since Anderson blundered his way into the council leader's office. What you you referring to? Kemp has objected to the building on parks, and is correct to do so. He's tried to make something (wrongly in my opinion but now the council leadership agrees with him) about the possibility of Liverpool losing its WHS. He wasn't happy about the shit Lime Street development and rightly so (Anderson himself backtracked on the earlier plans and new ones were proposed). He has correctly raised alarm about the NPL gang's series of abandoned sites but he didn't oppose New Chinatown and Northpoint when they might have been viable schemes.

The Lib Dems just recently voted for the creation of the new council housing policy, a constructive move well beyond what Joe Anderson and his hangers on would be capable of. Do you think they'll object to Pall Mall Exchange if it ever goes ahead, the garden festival site if it ever goes ahead, the new cruise terminal if it ever goes ahead or even the (slightly more controversial because of WHS) new EFC stadium if it ever goes ahead? No of course they won't. Anderson would have done to ever single one if the LDs were still in charge, he were in opposition and would have more than willing to hold back the city in any way they could if he thought he'd personally benefit from it. Just like he was when the city was on the up before he was in power and dragged it back down again.

To equate any critical examination of a dreadful state of affairs in the Liverpool development scene with how Anderson behaved in opposition is ludicrous. Anderson attacked and ran off to a Liverpool-hating media to attack, Liverpool ONE the very best thing that has happened in the city more most of a human lifetime when that superb project has close to completion. Anderson ran off to a hostile media and pulled off a self-interested resignation stunt from the board when Liverpool had *won* its ECoC and preparation for what turned out to be a hugely successful year, doing everything he could to hurt the city in pursuit of his personal greed and ambition. There is no comparison between Kemp's (rather meek and ineffectual) opposition to really dodgy and concerning events happening in the city with how Anderson carried on in opposition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Kemp did object to one of those residential blocks on St. James Street (can't remember if it was the Bogans site or the one on the next block). Either way, the proposals were decent and proportionate to the area, and by replacing empty tin sheds would help further regenerate the area. It's things like this that still leave me with a bit of a question mark over the Lib Dems.
 

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He's right to be highly sceptical about that funding model. We don't know about the risks involved. The chief executive of the council, whom you'd expect to be in charge of this special arrangement, is under arrest and the specific council director who would be the right person to ascertain whether any loan is an acceptable risk has disappeared from her job in the murkiest circumstances possible with rumours being reported from credible sources that she has left so they can testify in court against her bosses. Any opposition not drawing a question over that lot needs shooting. In fact, one big problem I have with the LDs is now limp-wristed their opposition to the current council leadership is.

However, the big picture is that there are no political differences between Liverpool Labour and the Lib Dems. All that might separate the two is their style of governance and how well they do when in power. Liverpool recovered while they were in power last and has gone back into decline since. Liverpool also saw large amounts of good quality development in the decade before 2010 at stark odds with the disastrous situation today. If the LDs ran the council they'd have little in the way of policy differences with Labour but they'd not have the current abysmal leadership. They might be useless as well (they'd have to recruit a whole new cohort of councillors and the next leader would be some young man or woman we haven't heard of yet) but he or she'd have one killer quality - they would not be Joe Anderson. Rather as that was Steve Rotheram's only visible one in the metro mayoral battle. As we've seen however in how Rotheram in how Rotheram is carrying himself and speaking sense and the few quick wins on the quiet, for example getting Liverpool onto the HS3/NPR agenda, it is amazing how important that single quality is. It takes a man as bad as Joe Anderson to keep a city with Liverpool's potential on the floor.
 

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The non-Labour vote is liable to be split between Lib Dems and Greens as well. the Tories won't get anywhere.

There really isn't much of an alternative to Labour for all their faults.

There's also the Corbyn/Blairite split in Labour ranks.
 

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^That's true, with the local Wavertree party increasingly adopting an anti-Anderson stance. With the Greens seemingly in decline, it might allow the LDs to pick up a couple more seats than when the greens were stronger a few years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I think perhaps something else counting against the Lib Dems at the moment is that the council is so heavily weighted towards Labour. While some people will vote whichever way they see fit, regardless of whether or not their selected candidate and party stands a chance or not, this is not true of everyone. Other people like to feel their vote is not 'thrown away' on a party that has no chance (although I'd contend that engaging in the democratic process is never a wasteful exercise). Therefore they won't vote for candidates with limited prospects of winning. Of course this leads them to vote for the status quo (in this case Labour), to feel like their vote has counted, and leads to heavily one-sided councils like we have (see also Knowsley), and ones that think it can get away with anything. It is this situation that is also leading me to consider voting for the Lib Dems this time, as even if it takes a few more rounds of local elections for them to potentially gain control of the council, nothing will ever change if people simply vote for the status quo every time.
 
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