Now that Mike Storey has distanced himself from the Bradley & Hurst double-act, acutely aware of how the issue is viewed in his own ward, the city's Lib Dems are sharpening the knives for their leader & his mate, the convicted criminal. Some, it seems, are planning a little further ahead.
Still smarting from the Boot Estate debacle, Richard Kemp hasn't forgotten how his party colleagues let him be the fall guy for the affair. Now's his chance to position himself for the post-Bradley leadership (http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-news/regional-news/2009/08/12/political-parties-urged-to-set-aside-differences-to-solve-cash-crisis-at-liverpool-council-92534-24378167/ ):
"A LEADING Liverpool politician last night urged the city's two main party leaders to set aside their differences to tackle a looming financial crisis at the council."
Councillor Kemp, who'll doubtless be pleased by David Bartlett's fulsome description of him, has made his intervention in the form of a letter to both Bradley & Labour leader Joe Anderson which ostensibly concerns itself with the £90m "black hole" facing the city's finances over the next five years.
The letter attempts to make Councillor Kemp look like a unifier, a healer, a figure devoid of party political intrigue & factionalism:
"Traditionally we will face this [financial crisis] by having a big row at council, blaming each other and the Government and the Americans and Uncle Tom Cobley and all...
"If we are to protect the services needed by the people and communities that need them most we need to set aside party politics and work together to make the partnerships really work".
[I'm sure President Obama will be bemused to know that he is held responsible for the city's state.]
Councillor Kemp goes on to express the hope that "the big fight will not be Lib Dem against Labour but the Council against bureaucracy, silos and inefficiency throughout the public sector".
Ah, yes, cutting back on waste & unnecessary spending, the clarion call of many a candidate down the ages.
Quite what Warren Bradley makes of the letter remains to be seen, although it can be guessed at.
However, if Councillor Kemp feels he may have a free run at the leadership when Bradley finally succumbs to Hurst-gate, he may be disappointed. Flo Clucas, deputy council leader, throws her hat into the ring with a rather clumsy & unwieldy soundbite:
"We have been working on the way forward and our budget for some considerable time. Our prime aims are not to affect front line services, to deliver the best services, and to continue to attract investment."
Councillor Clucas also proclaims the city's prospects to be brighter than at any time in at least a generation. Clearly, a state of denial is a pre-requisite for leading the current administration in Liverpool.