Analysis Breaking comment

Liverpool Community Independents will stand in seat vacated by resigning right-wing councillor

Frazer Lake, only re-elected in May, shows his commitment to the people who voted for him by quitting to pursue a ‘better’ opportunity

Liverpool Community Independents (LCI) – the group of councillors who left Labour rather than collude in attacking the poor and vulnerable, stunned Labour in May by trouncing them in three council seats – will stand in the Fazakerley East by-election in the city triggered by today’s resignation of a career-pursuing right-winger who only won the seat in May.

In an email sent to Labour councillors, Lake announced that he is quitting tomorrow to take a job with ‘one of the trade unions’, though he did not say which:

LCI leader Alan Gibbons criticised Lake’s ‘short and inglorious career’ and allegedly deceptive campaigning to get selected to stand as a councillor in the first place:

Lake was a member of Warbreck branch when I was chair and secretary of Walton CLP, Liverpool Walton being the constituency with the highest Labour vote in the country. It was evident to many of us that his left credentials were questionable to say the least.

Lake’s political career began when he was shortlisted for the Fazakerley seat in 2019. I was the CLP observer when Lake’s manipulative left rhetoric got him preferred to genuine Corbyn supporter Rona Heron. Cue a rapid rise ultimately leading to inclusion in Mayor Joanne Anderson’s Cabinet in the aftermath of the Caller Report into Liverpool City Council that saw government commissioners sent into the city.

In a meteoric rise unjustified by any genuine sense of principle or obvious ability, Lake would become deputy Mayor and hold the Cabinet brief for Children’s Services.

The tenure of Mayor Joanne Anderson was meant to signify recovery from Mayor Joe Anderson’s time, heavily criticised in the Caller Report, but it was marked by a series of disasters, some arguably rooted in Joe Anderson’s conduct of Liverpool City Council and some Joanne Anderson’s own…

But the issue for which Lake will be remembered is his time as Cabinet member for Children’s Social Care.

A damning Ofsted report has judged the department inadequate and that children were at risk of ‘being harmed or at risk of harm.’ At an emergency full council Cllr Liz Makinson proposed and I seconded a motion about the crisis.

Lake’s speech in the debate raised eyebrows. In a reprise of rapper Shaggy he effectively declared that: “it wasn’t me.” It was a “huge surprise as the scale of problems was never made clear to me.” He claimed that he was blocked from receiving information and pointed the finger at the now-departed Children’s Services Director Steve Reddy and CEO Tony Reeves, which surprised many of us on the opposition benches who had witnessed Lake’s warm words about both.

The circumstances of Lake’s departure are as opaque as the circumstances of his relationships with Reddy and Reeves.

According to his account, he applied for a union job a year ago and only got confirmation recently. If this is account is accurate then we must conclude Lake’s commitment to the people of Fazakerley was as shallow as his support for Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party.

LCI came a strong second in the seat in May, as they pointed out when rumours of Lake’s departure began to circulate:

With LCI’s standing in the city strengthened by the success of its candidates in formerly cast-iron Labour wards Orrell Park and Garston in May’s elections, and Labour’s popularity plummeting just as fast, following sewer-level campaigning and smears and the Labour-run council’s continued collusion with Tory-imposed commissioners in slashing budgets and services, the party will be seriously frit about its prospects even in what has historically been the strongest Labour area in the country.

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  1. Wasn’t Cllr Frazer Lake appointed as Joanne Anderson’s deputy mayor shortly before the post was abolished? Do many trade unions disallow their staff from fulfilling elected councillor duties?

    LCI group leader Alan Gibbons said: “The people of Fazakerley East will wonder why Cllr Lake has resigned so quickly after the May elections. If it is to take a job with a union, they will wonder how serious he was about representing the people of the ward only two months ago.

    “Many will think it is a huge coincidence that Cllr Lake was the cabinet member for Children’s Services, which has just experienced a damning Ofsted inspection. We won 32% of the vote at the May elections and warned people then that the local community could do better than Labour. We aim to go one better than a good second in any by-election.”

    Good luck in the by-election Liverpool Community Independents.

      1. Herr Flick
        At the next election will the Fuhrer be defending his record on Starvernomics or will he go with his record on a 2nd Referendum

    1. qwertboi – At the 2022 LA elections all of the LCC’s seats were up for election.
      Prior to the election the LCI ‘held’ 6 seats (all of which were won by candidates who were standing as Labour not LCI candidates).
      The LCI stood 9 candidates 6 of whom lost their ballots leaving the LCI with only 3 sitting councillors.

      Before the election the composition of the council was:
      58 11 6 5 5 4
      Lab LD LCI L I G

      After the election the composition of the council was:
      61 15 3 3 3
      Lab LD LCI G L

      1. As you know, a new alliance or party takes time to resonate with electors, but I think LCI is progressing nicely on that front. Cllr Alan Gibbons. LCI’s leader, rightly raised additional FOI requests that show the nature and true extent of ‘the (rescinding) parking ticket scandal’, Merseyside Police’s ongoing corruption investigation ‘Operation Aloft’ resulting in a number of arrests linked to Liverpool City Council, and the ease (some say ‘enthusiasm’) with which the ruling Labour group implement the imposed Commission’s text-book Austerity on local finances and services all make LCI better appreciated by citizens and voters. On subject, Frazer Lake’s Fazakerley East’s by-election will be worth watching and probably good for LCI.
        Sure, your point’s relevant, LCI and/or the Greens and LibDems might all gain from the Labour Group’s conceit, austerity and entitlement – especially if/when FPTP and corporate sponsors put Keir Starmer in Downing Street.

      2. qwertboi – You’re delusional if you’ve managed to convince yourself that starting off with 6 stolen seats and standing 9 candidates for only 3 of them to retain their seats is an illustration of LCI “progressing nicely”
        Incidentally seats that they won when standing as Labour candidates but that they lost when standing as LCI candidates.
        I must admit to being a little perplexed that what little remains of the LCI don’t seem to have read Corbyn, McDonnell and Trickett’s memo.

      3. SteveH, It’s not delusional to hold that ultimately voters vote for candidates, not party-labels. Re the six LCI councillors that no-longer hold seats on the council, did all six of them contest a subsequent election and how many of them stood as LCI candidates, and, in each case who and what party beat them?
        I quite honestly don’t know the answers to these questions. The premise of your claim would necessitates that information.

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