My top priorities for Liverpool are as follows:
Health: Improving public health across the city is my biggest priority over the next 5 years. This goal is woven throughout our manifesto and it is the basis of our plans for the environment, transport and sport.
We will improve the health of the city by:
- Tackling air pollution. Central Liverpool regularly exceeds limits for Nitrogen Dioxide emissions. Official statistics estimate that 239 deaths each year in Liverpool could be due to air pollution.
- Exploring innovative forms of delivering personal care packages, focusing on improving the well-being of clients.
- Improving access to healthy living options and working to secure ‘Sustainable Food City’ status for Liverpool.
- Promoting the physical and mental wellbeing of residents by protecting and improving the city’s wealth of parks and green spaces.
- Working to improve disabled peoples access to healthcare services.
Economy & Business: We believe in promoting high-quality jobs within sustainable and successful local businesses. We will:
- Establish a Bank of Liverpool to provide profitable investment for infrastructure and housing in the region.
- Aim to make Liverpool an international leader in city-based renewable energy generation by putting renewable energy generation at the heart of a new municipally-owned energy company.
- Boost city-centre businesses by pedestrianising more of the city centre.
- Revitalize local high streets across the city through the use of business development zones.
- Improve employment opportunities for disabled people within the council, to ensure that our workforce is fully representative of the whole community. We will also look to introduce similar conditions to any external contracts that the council may award.
- Support the introduction of a local currency for Liverpool, helping to ensure that the value that is created in Liverpool stays in Liverpool.
Education: It remains the case that many people’s opportunities in life are defined by the start that they get in childhood. Our goal is that every child in Liverpool should have the best possible start in life. We will achieve this by focusing on early years development. We will:
- Work to safeguard Surestart centres across the city.
- Promote the role that nature can play in building exploration, enquiry and wellbeing through expanding the network of forest schools and the ‘One Tree per child’ scheme.
- Promote digital skills and opportunities for lifelong learning by using the city’s libraries as a network of learning hubs.
- Young people achieve their best when they have strong role-models to look up to. We will launch a promotional drive to encourage more people from BAME backgrounds to join the teaching profession.
Housing: There are huge problems with the lack of affordable housing in the UK today. Liverpool has huge potential to put itself at the forefront of a 21st century housing revolution, building a ‘living city’. We don’t just need to think about building homes, we need to think about building communities. We would achieve this by:
- Creating new council housing and business premises, to be delivered by a municipally-owned housing provider.
- Re-establishing a dedicated homelessness unit within the council to tackle the increasing problem of homelessness in the city.
- Introducing a planning requirement that all new construction on council owned land (or land sold by the council) would have to conform to Passive House energy standards.
- Prioritizing the renovation and modernization of existing housing stock over demolition.
- Putting brownfield sites at the top of the list for housing development.
Transport: My vision for transport is built upon 2 main goals. These are:
- Improving health by reducing air pollution and promoting healthier modes of active transport, including cycling and walking.
- Implementing a ‘Vision Zero’ approach to road safety with the aim of eliminating deaths on our roads by the year 2025.
Specific measures that I will introduce include:
- Reducing speed limits across the city, not just on residential streets.
- Creating traffic-free zones outside schools at pick-up and drop-off times.
- Improving safety and reducing emissions through a better Bus Priority system.
- Improving cycling infrastructure, including implementing the “green corridors” concept identified in the Green Space review.
Environment: Our health, wellbeing and success owe a great deal to the environment that surrounds us. Fortunately Liverpool is blessed with a wealth of parks and green spaces, however in recent years these have started to come under threat.
We also need to drastically improve our performance when it comes to waste and recycling. Liverpool is in the bottom third of local authorities when it comes to recycling and each year the council wastes millions of pounds on landfill fees to dump waste that could have been put to better uses. We will:
- Guarantee that Walton Hall Park will not be sold to make way for a football stadium, for houses, or for any other type of development.
- Move to safeguard our other parks and green spaces from the threat of development.
- Launch a 5-year plan to improve the range of recycling available to households and businesses.
- Work with the Environment Agency and other authorities to develop a long-term plan to manage the surface water flood risks associated with global warming.
Culture & Sport: Liverpool is home to a vibrant cultural community, and is famous the world over for its contribution to music. The creative industries are a key growth area in the Liverpool economy and I will seek to promote their development, while at the same time promoting our thriving grassroots culture. We will:
- Lobby for the ability to create an Overnight Visitor Levy, allowing us to use the success of the tourist trade to boost financial support for our creative sector.
- Work to protect grassroots venues and studio spaces to ensure that the artistic community does not get pushed out by expanding development.
- Promote grassroots sport by making sure that we have training facilities spread across the city, including in our most deprived communities.
- Aim to increase women’s participation in sport by actively promoting women’s football and other team sports.
Democracy: The Green Party believes in community empowerment and that power should rest with the people. We will strengthen local democracy and transparency in Liverpool by:
- Getting rid of the culture of ‘Punch and Judy’ politics and working collaboratively in a cross-party cabinet. I will appointment one Deputy Mayor from the Green Party and another Deputy Mayor from one of the other parties represented on the council.
- Scrapping the current ‘Mayoral Announcements’ at the start of each council meeting and replacing them with ‘Mayoral Questions’, allowing councilors and the public to put questions to the Mayor.
- Promoting a culture of openness and transparency across all of the council’s activity.
- Ensuring that all contracts that the council signs are publically available for scrutiny. We will also take legal advice as to which existing contracts and reports can be published in the public domain.
- We will also launch a Merseyside fossil fuel divestment programme. We will assess whether or not the council holds any investments in the fossil fuel sector, or other polluting industries, and withdraw from any such investments. I will also encourage other companies and public bodies across Merseyside to do the same.