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Job cuts are planned for Liverpool City Council officers under the new Liberal Democrat administration. ...
Job cuts are planned for Liverpool City Council officers under the new Liberal Democrat administration.

Richard Kemp, who heads the council's delegation to the Local Government Association urban commission, told LGC the council aims to slash its administration costs from£5.5 million to£3m.

Since the Lib Dems gained control from Labour in May's elections, 28 sub-committees have been abolished and there are plans to slash the agendas on the rest.

'We do believe we can shrink the number of officers but we will do it task by task, not tier by tier,' he said.

Housing is likely to lose staff, as the council intends to transfer all its 42,000 homes within five years. Control of the city's parks is to be transferred to a trust.

Soon after Mike Storey took over as leader he said: 'One of the things wrong with Liverpool is the quality of management in this city - we have to look very carefully at that.' (LGC, 18 May)

Mr Kemp said last week: 'We are making it clear to officers that our role is to have the vision, set the strategy and monitor the performance, and it is up to the officers to deliver the strategy.

'The officers have not been used to political leadership. In housing, for example, officers are delighted we have set down our political priorities, because they have not had that before.

'Some officers think this is marvellous, some don't, and the leader's speech was aimed at those who don't.'

But he drew a distinction between what is planned for Liverpool and what has happened in Lambeth LBC, where hundreds of officers have been pushed out for under-performance or, in some cases, corruption.

'We don't think there are many incompetent officers and endemic corruption does not pertain in Liverpool,' he said.

The Lib Dems have plans to make Liverpool a 'great city' again: 'What makes a city great is that it knows where it is going, it doesn't just react to circumstances.'

Mr Kemp said the council planned to identify around four key themes for the city's development, but these have not yet been decided.

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