Council boss wants Starmer to help Liverpool 'reimagine what it means to be a city'

Sir Keir Starmer on his last visit to Liverpool during Labour conference in October 2023
-Credit: (Image: PA)

The leader of Liverpool Council has called on the new Labour government to help “unlock the opportunity” to “reimagine what it means to be a city.”

Days after Liverpool returned five Labour MPs to Westminster as it stormed to a landslide victory in the general election, Cllr Liam Robinson has written to Keir Starmer saying the city “stands ready” to support the new administration. It comes as new chancellor Rachel Reeves announced the government would put Liverpool at the heart of fresh economic policy.

In his letter to the Prime Minister, Cllr Robinson said the first Labour government in 14 years “brings hope that we can do so much more.”

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In an offer to Sir Keir, Cllr Robinson said: “Congratulations on your election victory. I know you have a large in-tray of pressing matters that you and your new team need to attend to.

“In the spirit of openness and collaboration, I am writing to let you know that Liverpool stands ready to help you and your ministers deliver on your commitments.”

On Friday morning, voters confirmed Liverpool will stay red for another five years as Labour took a clean sweep in the city’s five parliamentary seats at the general election. As the party marched to power up and down the country, its candidates here maintained their grip on their seats as they looked to swap opposition benches for government.

Liverpool Walton remained one of the safest seats in the UK as Dan Carden won a second term while Ian Byrne - who faced an internal battle to fight for the seat - comfortably held West Derby. Paula Barker was returned in Liverpool Wavertree while Kim Johnson will serve another term in Liverpool Riverside.

Veteran MP Maria Eagle held onto Liverpool Garston in what was a nine horse race for the seat.

Cllr Robinson, Labour member for Kensington and Fairfield, said sought to set out to the Prime Minister how Liverpool is a world leader in a number of sectors upon which the government should rely. He said: “We are a city of culture – hosting the most successful Eurovision Song Contest ever, on behalf of Ukraine.

“We have rolled out state-of-the-art, publicly owned trains. We led the world in helping reopen society after the Covid pandemic by pioneering mass testing and large-scale events.

“We have world-class universities and burgeoning life sciences, pharmaceutical and gaming sectors.”

It seems lobbying by politicians in the region may have paid off as Chancellor Rachel Reeves confirmed work to deliver growth would begin here in Liverpool. In a speech outlining first steps for the Treasury, Ms Reeves said a new task force to accelerate stalled sites across the country would focus on Liverpool central docks.

Cllr Robinson however called on the government to go further for Liverpool and spoke of a bright future ahead. He said: “We firmly believe our future is brighter now than it has ever been.

“With renewed confidence and an unshakeable spirit. The dawn of a new Government brings hope that we can do so much more.

“We know our communities best and know we have the solutions to the challenges we face, in our neighbourhoods, our schools, with housing, transport and climate change. All we need is your support to unlock the opportunity.

“We are ready to reimagine what it means to be a city – for our people, our productivity and our planet.

“Our sleeves are rolled up and we are ready for action.”

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