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Liverpool City Council is the governing body for the city of Liverpoolmarker in Merseyside, Englandmarker. It consists of 90 councillors, three for each of the city's 30 wards. The council is currently controlled by the Liberal Democrats and is led by Warren Bradley. Controversially a large amount of work is privatised to Enterprise Liverpool a joint company with Enterprise Plc.



Liverpool has been a town since 1207, when it was granted its first charter by King John. It has had a town corporation (the Corporation of Liverpool) since before the 19th century, and this was one of the corporations reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835. The corporation created a police force in 1836.

Liverpool was granted city status in 1880. When local government was reformed in 1888 under the Local Government Act 1888 it was one of the cities to become a county borough, and thus independent of Lancashiremarker. This situation persisted until 1974 with the Local Government Act 1972, when due to urban expansion and the accretion of a large metropolitan area, the city was made a metropolitan district of the metropolitan county of Merseyside. This saw the old corporation nomenclature abolished and the council reconstituted as Liverpool City Council.

In 1835 Liverpool expanded into the village of Evertonmarker and then the township of Kirkdalemarker in the 1860s. In 1895 Wavertreemarker, Waltonmarker and parts of Toxtethmarker and West Derbymarker were incorporated into the city. Fazakerleymarker (1904) and Gateacremarker (1913) followed, then the rest of West Derby known as West Derby Rural in 1928 and finally Spekemarker in 1932. Although there are no plans for further expansion of the City of Liverpool it is perceived by many that the current boundaries are outdated and should be extended to include the suburbs of south Sefton and Knowsley.{fact}

In 1986 the council of Merseyside was abolished and its functions devolved to its districts, but the county still legally exists. It should be noted therefore that Liverpool has never been a district council under Lancashire County Council.


the late 1970s the City was run by the Liberal Party under Sir Trevor Jones. As part of their plans, a cost cutting exercise was drawn up, to reduce the council's costs by 25%. In 1979 the Conservative Party won the General Election. The new government intended to cut council spending but Liverpool City Council successfully negotiated an exception from this, on the grounds that they were already following government policy and cutting 25%.

During the 1980s, the Militant movement gained control of several Labour councils including Liverpoolmarker, and challenged the national government on several issues. The leadership of the Labour Party was drawn into the controversy, culminating with Neil Kinnock's noted speech to Conference in 1985, denouncing Liverpool City Council without explicitly naming it. Derek Hatton, Councillor for Netherley ward and Deputy Leader of the Council, and Eric Heffer, MP for Liverpool Walton constituency, staged a walk-out. Liverpool Labour Party ultimately expelled the Militant tendency.

Further recent events:

  • 1998 The Liberal Democrats win control of Liverpool City Council.
  • 2003 Liverpool win the UK nomination of European Capital of Culture for 2008.
  • 2004 Liverpool's waterfront and parts of the city centre are given World Heritage status.
  • 2005 In November Lib Dem leader of the Council Mike Storey resigns after eight years following emails in which he was accused of plotting to try to engineer the departure of the Council's Chief Executive, Sir David Henshaw, who had already announced his intention to retire.
  • 2005 Cllr Storey was replaced as leader by Warren Bradley. Sir David Henshaw was replaced as chief executive by Colin Hilton.
  • 2006 Planning decisions and policies of the Council threaten the World Heritage status. Council faces cutting £29million from its budget - much of it from the money earmarked for Capital of Culture.
  • 2007 Mathew Street festival - large free outdoor festival, controversially cancelled at last minute due to health and safety concerns
  • 2008 Council awarded 1 star by Audit Commission and as such the worst performing council in the country.
  • 2008 Jason Harborow, Chief Executive of Culture Company, charged with delivering Capital of Culture, quits with a large cash payout after clashes with Cllr Warren Bradley and Cllr Mike Storey.
  • 2008 Liberal Democrats lose overall control of city on May 1st in local elections, however a midnight defection of an Independent Councillor gives them a majority of 1.
  • 2008 Green Party take second seat in St Michael's ward, becoming a recognisable "group" on the council.
  • 2009 The council announces a major shake up of middle management.

The Lord Mayor

The Lord Mayor of Liverpoolmarker is the first citizen and chosen representative of the city, acting as a focal point for the community as well as promoting the city. The Lord Mayor's main responsibilities includes meeting delegates from twinned cities, chairing council meetings and representing the city. The Lord Mayor of Liverpool is always a serving councillor, elected by the full council at its Annual General Meeting held each May, and serve for a term of one year: the current Lord Mayor is Councillor Mike Storey.

A list of past Lord Mayors of Liverpoolmarker can be found here

Council Wards

Liverpoolmarker is split into 30 separate wards for elections.

    Political makeup

    Elections are usually by thirds, in three of every four years. 2004 saw new boundaries and so all seats were contested.

    In March 2007, Labour gained a seat from the Liberal Democrats in a by-election in Speke Garstonmarker ward. In the May 2007 council elections, the Liberal Democrats lost 4 seats to Labour, leaving the council make-up as Liberal Democrats 51, Labour 35, Liberals 3 and Greens 1.

    Labour then won a second byelection in Warbreck ward in September 2007.

    This, followed by a number of councillors changing party, and the 2008 local elections, mean the current numbers are below.

    Year Liberal Democrats Labour Liberals Green Others
    2008 46 39 3 2 0
    2006 56 30 3 1
    2004 59 27 3 1
    2003 63 31 3 2

    Council Control

    The council has been under the Liberal Democrats' control since 1998. Prior to that it had alternated between Labour and No Overall Control since its reconstitution in 1974.
    Controlling party Years
    No overall control 1973 - 1983
    Labour 1983 - 1992
    No overall control 1992 - 1996
    Labour 1996 - 1998
    Liberal Democrat 1998 - present



    External links

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