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Interim Chief Executive appointed to Liverpool City Council

LIVERPOOL City Council has appointed a new interim Chief Executive, Theresa Grant OBE. Theresa has enjoyed a long, successful career in local Government, spanning over 4 decades, in both Ireland and the United Kingdom. Twelve of these years were in Chief Executive roles. She was Chief Executive at Trafford Borough Council and Chief Accountable Officer for Trafford Clinical Commissioning Group, up until 2018. Most recently, she was Chief Executive of Northamptonshire County Council, whilst it was undergoing Government intervention. She radically transformed the organisation, making it financially sustainable, whilst delivering significant improvements, and leading on the delivery of 2 new Unitary Councils. She is currently Relationships Director at Municipal Partners, a social impact company which works with Local Authorities to deliver housing solutions and better outcomes for communities. The working arrangements are still being finalised but it is expected Theresa will start in Liverpool towards the end of September 2022. Recruitment for a permanent Chief Executive will begin shortly, to ensure a smooth handover.

Mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson, said:- "I am delighted someone of Theresa's calibre is joining us to drive the Council forward on our improvement journey. Her experience will bring fresh energy, positively and a relentless focus on the challenges that lie ahead, so we become the Council, the city and our residents deserve. I would like to thank Anne Marie Lubanski for continuing to act as Head of Paid Service until Theresa starts work."

Lead Commissioner, Mike Cunningham, said:- "We are delighted that Theresa Grant will start in September as interim Chief Executive of Liverpool City Council. She is a highly experienced leader with a track record of delivering improvement at pace. We are confident that she, along with a strong senior leadership team, will drive the positive change needed at Liverpool City Council."

Theresa Grant said:- "I am delighted to be appointed interim Chief Executive at Liverpool City Council. It is a vibrant, diverse and hugely passionate city. I am very much looking forward to working with:- Staff, Councillors, Commissioners and Partners, using my skills and experience to make improvements and deliver quality, value for money services for residents."


Government Commissioners publish second report into Liverpool City Council

THE Commissioners appointed to Liverpool City Council, following the Best Value Inspection, have had their 2nd report has been published recently. The Commissioners team; led by Mike Cunningham; with colleagues Joanna Killian, Neil Gibson and Deborah McLaughlin; acknowledge the Council has achieved some important tactical milestones through the hard work of officers, but are recommending further intervention.

Lead Commissioner Mike Cunningham said:- "We want to highlight that Commissioners submitted the report in June, so findings are now several weeks old. However, we stand by the key themes for improvement set out in the report. The report is clear that not enough progress has been made at Liverpool City Council over the past year. It outlines the barriers to improvement we believe the Council has faced and makes clear what must happen for the Council to make progress. The developments currently happening at the core of the Council, such as changes in leadership, are necessary to Liverpool City Council's improvement. They are a positive sign that the Council is now embarking on the right path for success. Liverpool City Council has been through a turbulent time recently. We know substantial events, such as the resignation of the Chief Executive and the publication of the audit report into the handling of the energy contract, will have been unsettling. However, we are clear that the Council has a strong, capable leadership team, and very many committed staff members who do good work on behalf of the people of Liverpool to meet these challenges, with the support and oversight of Commissioners. We have asked for a widening of our powers as Commissioners in the report, which is a recommendation now going through a consultation process. By implementing the recommendations set out in our report, we are confident that Liverpool City Council will make progress at pace. This progress will be supported by a new interim Chief Executive at Liverpool City Council, Theresa Grant OBE, who is due to start in post in September. We have every confidence that Theresa is the right person to drive the positive change needed at the Council from the top down. Although the report recommends an extension to the intervention in terms of powers deployed, we have not requested an extension to the length of the intervention. The Commissioners believe that it will be possible for Liverpool City Council to make the required improvements within the next 2 years, as initially envisaged. By then, we are sure that the Council will be in a stable place, where it can attract and nurture investment in the City, and it can deliver high quality front line services for the people of Liverpool."

Pub landlords locked into buying from big brewers and PubCos should be given 'Guest Beer right'

THE Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) has called on Government to introduce a new:- "Guest Beer right," which would allow every pub to serve at least 1 beer from a small local brewery. Currently thousands of landlords across the UK are tied into contracts which force them to purchase all of their beer and many other drinks from a single big brewery or pub company. Not only would a right to buy a Guest Beer help pubs attract more business, but it would improve consumer choice and help local brewers who have been hit hard over recent years.

SIBA Chairman, Roy Allkin said:- "Pub goers want to see more beer from small breweries sold in pubs and the review of the Pubs Code provides the opportunity for the Government to give tied pub tenants in England and Wales the same right to offer a guest beer, as is being introduced in Scotland. Pub tenants should have the freedom to purchase a beer from a local small brewery which would expand consumer choice and allow tenants to meet their customers' expectations and compete more effectively with nearby free houses."

The Government is currently carrying out its second statutory review on the operation of the Pubs Code and the performance of the Pubs Code Adjudicator with the consultation closing today. The Code came into force in 2016 with the aim of regulating the relationship between pub companies and their tied pub tenants. The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) represents more than 700 small and independent brewers across the UK, and their call on Government to give pub tenants a right to stock a local beer of their choice mirrors what is already set to be introduced in Scotland under its own Pubs Code expected in 2023. A SIBA/YouGov poll earlier in the year found that ¾ of drinkers believe it is important that local pubs offer a range of craft beer from small breweries.


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