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Liverpool council has voted to scrap the role of city mayor, putting an end to the city’s confusing three-mayor system.

From May 2023, the council will return to a leader and cabinet model after councillors voted 51 to 18 to remove the elected position, which sat alongside the role of Lord Mayor and Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region.

The current mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson, who was elected last year, had campaigned on the issue of whether Liverpool needed the role and promised to hold a referendum if she was chosen to replace Joe Anderson, who resigned amid a fraud investigation.

Instead, the council chose to hold a less costly public consultation, which had a response rate of just 4% of the city’s population.

Labour councillors were criticised for appearing to go against the public, as 40.9% voted to keep the role of mayor, 32.9% chose a committee model and 23.6% preferred to have a council leader.

Liberal leader at the council Steve Radford told Labour: “You are saying we are going to vote for the least popular option and after asking the people of the city, we don’t give a damn what they think.”

Councillor Paul Brant argued that it was not a binding vote and 56.5% of people did not vote for the Mayor system.

He told the council: “This wasn’t a first-past-the-post ballot, we went out seeking the views of the wider citizens.

“I can count on the fingers of no hands the number of times governance issues and this debate was raised with me on the doorstep.

“The reality is that the consultation was unclear, the results of it were ambiguous, it would not pass the test that would be imposed by a reputable polling organisation to be a representative sample of opinion across the city.”

He pointed out that wealthier wards had a turnout of 14%, while more deprived wards had a response rate of 3%.

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He added: “We haven’t got a representative slice from the city of Liverpool’s population with this process, so we have to do the best we can with the material we have.

“The options that we are faced with today, we have to do the best we can.”

The decision comes after government-appointed inspectors were brought in March last year to partially oversee the council after a damning inspection report found allegations of bullying, “dubious” deals and “jobs for the boys”.

Liverpool council votes to scrap three-mayor system

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