The very people who are banging on about the Prime Minister undermining democracy are among the same political leaders who are trying to rob the people of Liverpool of a genuine say over how their city is governed, according to city business leader Frank McKenna.
Speaking ahead of a council motion that is seeking a ‘consultation’ over the future of the mayoral position being debated, the chief executive of business lobby group Downtown in Business has said that only a city-wide referendum on the issue would be an acceptable way of deciding whether the elected-mayor role should be scrapped.
“The majority of the business community support an elected mayor leadership model. The track record of the current mayor is very good, but more importantly the role has led to a clearer decision making and accountability process. Gone are the days when we would have finger pointing on who was to blame for any perceived cock-up’s or the clamor to take credit for the things that get delivered on behalf of the city. The buck stops at the mayors’ office.
“The mayor is also a powerful figurehead for the city. The person who has genuine and direct connections into Whitehall and who is able to speak up on the key issues that uniquely impact on Liverpool.
“Why anyone would want to dilute that powerful voice and influential role by going back to a model that, let’s face it, didn’t serve us particularly well when it was in place, is beyond me.
“My view is that if it isn’t broke, why fix it. Nevertheless, should this council motion, led I note by political leaders who are slaughtering Boris Johnson’s undemocratic actions of the last 48 hours, decide that a review of the council structure is required, then the electorate of Liverpool, via referendum, ought to be the way our future governance arrangements are decided.
“If you support a ‘People’s Vote’ in respect of Brexit then I would find it to be highly hypocritical for you to oppose a People’s Vote on whether the mayoral position that has served us well for the last eight-years should be scrapped.
“A loose consultation is not enough for a decision of such importance. The electorate has to be given a direct opportunity to have its say at the ballot box.”