ST HELENS Council leader Barrie Grunewald has urged Joe Anderson to “stop playing silly games” after the Liverpool Mayor threatened to withdraw from the city region council in a row over the leadership.
Just one day after the first meeting of the new “super council”, the Mayor Anderson is already seeking a way to pull the city out.
In what is believed to have been a frosty encounter, the five other council’s political leaders refused to accept that Anderson should be elected chair without undergoing the due democratic process.
Wirral’s Council leader Phil Davies was eventually chosen as the chairman of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.
Cllr Grunewald said: “Due democratic process took place yesterday and I seconded the nomination of Cllr Davies as chair and proposed Cllr Ronnie Round as vice chair.
“In doing so I vote for the people I best felt able to carry out the role, working in partnership.
“It is very regretful that Mayor Anderson has responded in the way he has. All Labour leaders were in the building from 10am and indeed Cllr Anderson stated at our previous meeting he would be withdrawing Liverpool from the Combined Authority and not attend the meeting.
“That was a choice for him and I hope he now reflects on his actions and stops playing silly games and starts to work with the new body which was set up to attract new investment and our local growth plans, which is about bringing jobs in to our region.”
An email leaked to the Star by a Labour insider said: “Be in no doubt whatsoever, if Merseyside reputation is further damaged and money is withheld from us to progress our growth plan – the blame can only lie at one person’s door and that is Mayor Anderson.”