Following Liverpool’s new slogan – Liverpool: The UK’s third favourite city – the release of a new report Liverpool City Council led me to ponder whether a new motto could be on the cards.
You see, Liverpool CC has received two stars out of four from the Audit Commission for 2008, along with the judgment that as a council it is ‘improving well’ and is no longer ‘the worst financially performing city council’. While this rating still leaves LCC in the bottom 20 per cent of the UK’s councils, it’s a distinct improvement on the slamming it received last year.
Housing, funding and governance were in the firing line for 2007’s Comprehensive Performance Assessment, whereas the number of people quitting smoking (it seems my efforts count for nothing) and recycling are the only areas highlighted in this year’s report as under par.
In fact, the report is fairly glowing, and includes this pleasing passage.
More young people are gaining GCSE qualifications, crime levels have fallen, more people are being helped to get jobs and recycling has increased. Improvements to services for older people have been made. The Capital of Culture has had a positive impact on the city, particularly the local economy. Services are easily accessible and neighbourhood working is having an impact.
The Council has a strong focus on continuing improvement. There are clear priorities for improvement and the Council is working well with partners to develop long-term plans up to 2024.
The Council has improved its corporate governance and financial management arrangements. The Council provides adequate value for money and is strengthening its arrangements to secure continuous improvements in cost and quality.
It’s not all good news: there seems to be a lot of work to be done on housing and ‘use of resources’.
But on the day when the council also announced a rethink on plans to introduce parking charges in the city at night-time and old enemy Jason Harborow – who has managed to hover over the city like Banquo’s Ghost over the last year – finally landed himself another job, Warren Bradley must be fairly pleased with himself.