UK Govt ‘hands back powers to Liverpool Council’

Liverpool City Council said the UK Government has “confirmed a significant reduction in the intervention” at the local authority “with the publication of revised directions.”

The council said the UK Commissioners “will hand back powers for several functions over the coming weeks, earlier than planned.”

It said “the appointment of the most senior managers will be returned to the council with immediate effect.”

The council said it will regain oversight of the finance and highways functions from March 31.

It said the size of the UK Commissioner intervention team on Liverpool will reduce to four from March 18 following the resignation of Joanna Killian, who is taking up a new post as CEO of the Local Government Association.

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

Council leader 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.

“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.”

The council said Robinson has had constructive discussions with the UK local government minister Simon Hoare MP about the intervention.

The council said Hoare has written to Robinson to say the Government recognises the progress made and “wish to support a managed transition to ending the statutory intervention.”

The council added: “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.”