Liverpool City Council Commissioner Responds to ‘Overpaid’ Claim

Liverpool City Council’s head commissioner acknowledged that his wage increase has raised some worries, but he believes that when he obtains value for the taxpayers, it would be easier for people to “digest.”

Mike Cunningham was addressing complaints that his staff, which is in charge of three departments, was being “overpaid” following a £400 daily raise.

He stated that “millions of pounds of public money may have been misused.”

Richard Kemp, a liberal democrat, called the compensation increase “unmitigated avarice.”

Following a harsh assessment, the government appointed the three commissioners to supervise the planning, regeneration, and roads departments of the Labour-controlled council.

The commissioners’ daily pay jumped to £1,200 and £1,100 in December from their starting daily rates of £800 and £700.

The group has been operating in the city for a year and will likely continue to do so for another two.

Local council members and Labour MPs opposed the wage increase earlier this year. The council is covering the expense.

In response to the critiques, Mr. Cunningham stated: “People are going through hard circumstances, and we are properly compensated for what we do as a team.”

He did, however, assert that his primary responsibility was to ensure Liverpool’s tax payers received value for their money.

“There is potentially many millions of pounds of public money misspent here and that can be duplicated many times across other poorly-managed contracts,” he added, using the recent blunder with the council’s energy bill as an example.

The council has been plagued by “all kinds of troubles for many years, which may imply that many tens of millions of pounds have been misspent,” he continued.

“If we can get to the point where we are assisting the council to spend public money wisely, spend it in the public interest with a decent return on investment for local citizens, I think that the salary of commissioners is more palatable to the people who are paying it,” he added.

The authority has been tarnished in recent years by a number of issues.

Earlier in July, the city’s assistant mayor rebutted allegations made by Michael Gove, a former Levelling Up secretary, that “poor leadership” had resulted in the appointment of commissioners to manage several council committees in March 2021.

According to Paul Brant of Labour, the mayor of the city “moved immediately” to address any issues, and the scenario did not reflect the current administration.

It was discovered in May that a mistake caused the council’s energy bill to rise by £10 million. According to a study, the contract’s failure was caused by a lack of supervision, inadequate communication, and staff that was too terrified to sound the alarm.

According to a study published in June, the council neglected to renew service agreements at a cost of millions of pounds.

Former mayor Joe Anderson resigned in December 2020 after being detained on charges of witness intimidation and conspiracy to commit bribery. He claims he did nothing wrong.

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