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Mayor lashes out


April 28, 2018 by admin

ON the eve of the local government elections, mayor Wendy Waller has blasted other councillors for their behaviour over the last four years.

“It was clear very quickly (after I was elected) that the mayor was going to be the target of a lot of abuse and disrespect,” she said.

“It has been in the news and a history of people taking pot shots at the mayor.”

The Liberal Party-independents coalition, which held a majority, continuously criticised Ms Waller for not attending council briefing sessions.

They also didn’t appreciate her stance against the council’s acquisition of 33 Moore Street and 52 Scott Street and the “restructure of the libraries”.

In May 2011, Ms Waller was sacked as the spokeswoman for council by the coalition, for those reasons. Her role was reinstated in October.

“I thought it was disgusting,” Ms Waller said. “But I wasn’t surprised because of the pattern of continual abuse.”

She said when she talked to mayors from other councils, they thought it was unusual for a council to be behaving that way.

“Some of their behaviour makes you wonder about their understanding of the mayoral role.” She said she regretted losing the previous general manager, the late Phil Tolhurst, and the administration building on Hoxton Park Road which burnt down. But even after the past four years, Ms Waller is prepared to ride the roller-coaster again.

“It has been difficult being mayor without a majority,” she said.

“As mayor I have been the voice of the people and I have maintained that role within difficult circumstances. I have the skills to do the job and there’s still so much to do.

“In the bigger picture the mayor is a representative of the people — not the councillors who sit around the table, sometimes with their own agendas.”

She said the biggest challenge the new council would have will be managing the growth.

Ms Waller was elected as the first female mayor for Liverpool in 2008 with 31,664 votes.

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