The local government secretary, Robert Jenrick, is sending commissioners to run parts of Liverpool City Council after a report found that its planning, regeneration and highways departments were dysfunctional and unaccountable.
On 6 November, Liverpool became the first city in the UK to undertake a mass testing programme for the virus that causes Covid-19, with the hope that all 500,000 residents will be tested at least twice at a variety of sites – mostly leisure centres – manned by 2000 army personnel. Liverpool’s mayor, Joe Anderson, and his director of public health, Matt Ashton, said they hoped between 5000 and 10,000 people a day would come forward for testing; by the end of the first week, the council announced that 90,000 tests had been carried out. Among them was mine.
More than once during the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool I witnessed cheers and thumbs up from delegates at the sight of black cabs plastered with banners saying ‘The Sun: Not Welcome In Our City’, and it struck me that what is normal here is not elsewhere.