Analysis comment

Why did ‘Labour’ mayor have £6m leverage over arms fair venue – and refuse to use it?

ACC seeking almost £6m from council owners – yet Liverpool mayor continued to insist she was powerless to influence whether weapons event took place

Liverpool council and the city’s mayor had five million pounds of leverage over the management of the ACC Liverpool when the mayor refused – and claimed she was powerless – to step in to prevent the controversial weapons fair that took place in the city last week to the shame of the council and the anger of many residents. Labour even ‘whipped’ councillors not to object to the event.

This leverage sits on top of the fact that the council owns the company and the venue and could have replaced the board at any time if the current one failed to follow the ethical standards of the council and Liverpool people.

ACCL has been appealing to the council ‘for some time’ for around £5.8 million for ‘crucial’ repairs and refurbishment to the well-known location on the city’s waterfront – and the council is scheduled to meet this coming Friday to consider the request.

The company has shown signs of desperation for the cash, with the report summarising:

ACCL have written to the Council on a number of occasions to express their frustrations and [sic] the detrimental impact the state of the facility is having on operations and event delivery.

A £6m bargaining chip, ownership of the venue, ownership of the company and the power to replace the board. It doesn’t exactly sound ‘powerless’.

So why did the mayor and her cabinet not only refuse to act, but claim they were ‘powerless’ to do so – especially when other events had either been cancelled or put at risk by the refusal?

To pour fuel on the outrage of the weapons fair’s many opponents, the council allowed Merseyside police to create an exclusion zone around the venue during the exhibition, preventing access to areas of the waterfront normally open to the public – and police mounted night-time raids on the homes of protesters, several of which contained young children asleep.

The mayor’s office has been contacted for comment and the mayor has been invited to appear on Socialist Telly’s Skwawk Talk to answer her critics about the handling and policing of the event.

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    1. I’m surprised that there is no mention of the fact that LCC is currently operating under the supervision of Tory appointed Commissioners who report to Michael Gove.

      1. That’s because the problem as we see it comes from Starmer’s Labour, not the Tories. Plus the fact that Tory supervision is limited to the council’s planning, highways, regeneration and property management departments.
        In your position of gaslighter to this blog you keep referring to “Tory appointed Commissioners who report to Michael Gove.” This gives the false impression that Gove is running LCC. That is not the case, Starmer is intent on inflicting more damage than Gove ever could.

      2. lundiel – “Tory supervision is limited to the council’s planning, highways, regeneration and property management departments”.

      3. If you had any idea what you were talking about, you’d know that council departments deemed to be failing are subject to frequent audits. Any other interference would be outside the remit in this case because the reason for special measures was alleged corrupt practice. You don’t seem to understand the space between politicians and civil servants. So please be quiet. Gove is far to busy getting coked up to bother with LCC.

      4. lundiel – Unlike you I don’t claim to be an expert but from the perspective of a layman I don’t think it is too much of a stretch to conclude that the Commissioners would have taken a dim view if LCC had exposed itself to paying damages by cancelling the event.
        The event has been and gone and changes have been made to ensure that a similar situation doesn’t reoccur in the future. I can’t see much point in fussing about this now.

        The minister said the document reported a failure in due process across planning and regeneration, scrutiny across highways, proper process on property management, poor governance and an “overall environment of intimidation”.
        “If unchecked, it will allow improper conduct to persist, further undermining public confidence, putting public services at risk and damaging the city’s ability to attract investment from reputable developers,” Jenrick told parliament.
        The minister said he has asked the council to make representations on a “proposed intervention package”, which involves commissioners appointed by Jenrick to exercise “certain and limited functions of the council for a minimum of three years”.
        The announcement follows an investigation carried out by Merseyside police relating to the local authority, which last year led to arrests on suspicion of fraud, bribery, corruption, misconduct in public office and witness intimidation.
        “This report raises serious concerns about decision-making in key functions of Liverpool City Council,”

  1. One of the reasons the Labour mayor failed to cancel the Arms Fair is she is typical of many in the LP who are there for their own self agrandisement and will not do anything which upsets their chances of climbing the establishment ladder.

    I would also like Emily Spurrel the Labour Police and Crime commissioner to have a word with the Chief Constable about the behaviour of his officers. They prevented a peaceful demonstration from taking place outside the Exhibition Centre. One police ‘gentleman’ when asked by a lady why he wasn’t policing the murderers who supply the killing drones? Screamed at her “WE POLICE EVERYONE YOU ARSEHOLE”

  2. The area in & around the ACC Centre is now a designated ‘Public Right Of Way’. When was this removed & on whose authority?

  3. I’m not excusing Anderson for not cancelling the arms fair. She was chosen by Starmer to represent and support him in a city where he’s not that popular. I believe it came from the leadership ordering her to not cancel the fair and she’s too weak to disagree.

    Mind you after reading some tweets from Joanne where she’s tried to justify her winning the candidacy by saying she was voted for democratically by members. Clearly ignoring the fact that she’s only there because Starmer and Regional interfered in the mayoral process.

    There’s also claims that a party spokesperson in April said the party, something similar to…will be going to Liverpool to break the legs of the city. It must be awful when the only way you can win is to gerrymander votes and factionally exclude the left.

    1. Back of Beyond- the solution is in the hands of the people of Liverpool. They can either vote Tory, vote Tory lite or not vote at all if the party manipulates candidate selections. I think the party needs to get the message that there is no such thing as a safe seat or ward and the voters in Anfield should let them know this loud and clear.

      1. To be fair there are currently quite a few left Liverpool MPs who Starmer will no doubt deselect them to be replaced by robots of the right.

        The party is relying on the usual that it doesn’t matter who they put up as a candidate Labour will always win in Liverpool. They were lucky with Joanna, if they carry on like they seem to be they will eventually run out of luck.

        But what does it matter to Starmer and his crew as long as they bully and rob democracy from the members they will see it as a victory.

      2. Totally agree BackofBeyond.
        Also if you are right about deselections I think it will finish Starmer. Liverpool is not a good place to try to get rid of good MPs just because they are Socialists.

  4. Steve Richards, good point. Are we living in a police State by default? We’ve seen the way the police in places such as China and Hong Kong are willing to turn on their own people and shoot them. Could it happen here given that we’ve already seen appalling police action during the miner’s strike at Orgreave and elsewhere.

    1. Jack T
      It may sound farfetched, I believe Starmers close connections from his time as DPP has helped him call in some favours

    2. JackT – The UK’s not a police state, it’s a heavily managed democracy, with large-scale infiltration of the main opposition party by those with ulterior motives and hidden patrons. Those who seek to protect the status quo even if it means cheating the population out of meaningful democratic choice. And a MSM that basically reports what they’re told to report.

      Under FPTP, I don’t think the progressives will ever be allowed to win because of all the powerful people who’d stand in the way: City + markets; intel, military; the UK aristocracy and the US through intel sharing(FVEYs) + Nato.

      The best hope is in boycotting elections and hopefully a consensus then emerging for proportional representation. Scottish independence could act as a catalyst, if even centrists realise their hopes of power in the rUK are slim.

    3. Comrade Jack,
      my son’s girlfriend (I call her his fiance but he gets embarrassed) is from mainland China & has been living here for 3 months (6 month Visa). I took her on the march against the Arms Fair to show her how democracy worked, She pointed out the number of Police with cameras in the home of democracy. Last week I took her & my son along the banks of the River Mersey to show her the Protesters on the roof of the ACC building & the fenced off exclusion zone. It made her feel at home, although the security guards were friendly (unlike Police) & asked for selfies with my rather large dog. & offered support & admiration to the guys on the roof. Next day my son showed her the Liverpool Post & Echo headlines about night raids on protesters, she wondered when they might come.

  5. This time next year I hope Skwawkbox is gone. No offence, but with the unions departed, Labour six feet under and all former members finally awake, withholding their votes and educated as to the stupidity of propping up the rotting carcass, you’ll have nothing to blog on 😂

  6. ACC seeking almost £6m from council owners – yet Liverpool mayor continued to insist she was powerless to…”

    She just didn’t want to. Judge the tree by its fruit. Joanne Anderson is (obviously) no pacifist or socialist.

    1. No, she isn’t. .

      She’s keef’s mate from her CPS days, and as such will not do anything to rock the boat in order to appease her benefactor.

      It wouldn’t do her chances of promotion within what will be left of the decomposing corpse of a political party if she did.

  7. Perfect opportunity to stand independent candidates in the 3 Council seats, if it can’t be made to work in Liverpool then the chances of a new party are slightly less than zero

  8. That’s very true Doug. Makes me realise that the new, independent party should be named proudly to explain its motive for existing:

    “The real Labour party” (that Keir Starmer and his billionaire-backers need you to hate)?

    “The For the Many, not the Few Labour Party?”

    “The pasok-free non-Labour Labour Party”

    Truth is it’s the word “Labour” that the tory-lites are going to fight about. We should make them do exactly that – because they’re not Labour and not electable. We are.

    I bet there’s thousands of strong, possible names that would make Starmer and his billionaire-backers shudder – because voting for the new name would prove they’d been sussed. When they’re sussed, their scams don’t work. 99.8 / 0.04.

    1. I suppose the Independent Labour Party is a copyright owned by Labour think of siezing that glorious name back for the left

  9. Despite being a socialist and would like to see a socialist government,I would leave out the word socialist in any new party and try to fish in the same waters as the traditional Labour party not New Labour.The Brits and the Irish have a connection in being guarded against socialism.The next government in Ireland will be a democratic socialist government Sinn Fein who know the people far better than the current neo alliance working for the Republic..They do not hide socialist thinking but lead the way especially amongst the young voters.and lead by example.The Traditional Labour party that should be already up and running needs to capture the imagination of the young.We need to get moving inside the soon to be redundant socialist group and encourage them to get a move on and now.before the decision to dump them is made by the Labour neo liberal party…Byrne,trickett,should start the move and leave any plants or deadbeats out of the traditional Labour party.We want a broad church to vote for us but definitely not inside a democratic socialist Labour party.Right is wrong.

  10. Tbh if I was a member or strategist of the NIP(Northern Independence Party) rather than a sympathiser, Id be paying close attention to these events.Stand candidates against the parachuted Blairites* and stay clear of Genuinely socialist Labour MPs and see if local CLPs are willing to help with a campaigning strike.Getting a few MPs would be a great way to get the party into National Politics and if the Labour right want to help (by being wankers) why not take advantage of the situation?

    1. I see the media and all of the partys coming together in a love 💘in regarding the Horrible comments by the public against them.I T seems that they are in full agreement of “The us against them” attitude thats gaining ground since the murder of Amiss.Much that I don’t agree with the frenzied attack upon the conservative Mp they must also take a lot of the responsibility for the insanity of these actions on their own shoulders.The Draconian measures and vicious tactics in play over the last few years have inspired individuals to copy the same mindless violent response.of the Government and support from the Opposition party..Live by the Sword comes to mind.We just have to wait now for more of the draconian laws against the working-class people to be dreamt up by a parliament in full agreement on striking back undercover of new laws of ensuring freedoms for them and none for us….

      1. Joseph, I’m tempted to agree with you.
        An arch Thatcherite, right wing authoritarian who wanted to bring back judicial murder is not the sort of person I would lavish praise upon.

  11. If the accl are successful in obtaining the almost £6m for the alleged refurbishment, it won’t be the councillors paying but Liverpool council tax payers that will see their bills rise!

    1. Richard – Or maybe this investment is needed to maintain and/or enhance the commercial viability of the venue. As nobody has told us what these improvements and/or refurbishments are it is impossible to make a judgement Is it a secret or are people making pronouncements about stuff they don’t know the first thing about.

      1. Apparently most of the upgrades relate to safety. Sprinklers, fire alarms, means of safe exit etc.

      2. Steve H Hall I would expect your lot to have their snouts in the trough again on any big money earners especially RE furbs and building were a lot of taxpayers money can be fed through the conveyor belt straight into the “off shore acounts of Labour lawyers.not limited to any laundry services….I hear the roof might need a full survey as the “in house survey team for Palestine are otherwise detained.?

  12. Off topic:

    I would like to put on record congratulations to Ken Livingstone and Pam Bromley for winning “the first stage in their battle to overturn the findings of the controversial and widely-criticised Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report that singled them out in its findings on antisemitism in the Labour party.”

    1. Richard – I for one haven’t a clue about the details of what Ken and Pam are supposed to have done which is curious given that their actions where supposedly so reprehensible that they were considered to be suffice to label a whole party as being institutionally racist.

      1. At the time, according to The Grauniad:
        Ken Livingstone commenting on Facebook image posted by Naz Shah – “alleged that scrutiny of Naz Shah’s conduct was part of a smear campaign by ‘the Israel lobby’ to stigmatise critics of Israel as antisemitic, and was intended to undermine and disrupt the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn MP.”
        Pam Bromley commented regarding Jeremy Corbyn – “My major criticism of him – his failure to repel the fake accusations of antisemitism in the LP [Labour party] – may not be repeated as the accusations may probably now magically disappear, now capitalism has got what it wanted.”
        Legitimate comment?
        Borne out by subsequent events?

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