Ten from the Decade – 4th Joe Anderson
From its launch in 2004, Downtown Liverpool campaigned for an elected mayor for the city. Sick of the public sector inertia, the myriad of Merseyside QUANGOS and the city’s fantastic ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, Downtown argued that only a strong, powerful figurehead with significant responsibilities and a citywide mandate could bring the transformational change that was required to modernise the city region’s dysfunctional public sector and match the private sector renaissance that was under way.
Joe Anderson was brave enough to fight off criticism from friends and foes alike in 2011 to support the establishment of an elected mayor for Liverpool – and his courage was rewarded in 2012 when he was elected to that position with a huge majority. Since then, Mayor Joe has become a major figure on the national and international stage and has provided Liverpool with the platform to regain its position as a major city domestically and abroad. The Shanghai Expo, the Liverpool in London project, the Global Entrepreneurship Congress, and the drive to bring Liverpool’s docks and waterfront back to life are among the key achievements in his relatively short time in office. With the UK’s International Festival of Business set to be hosted in his city this summer, Anderson is right when he confidently says “Liverpool’s best days are ahead of it.”