Liverpool’s finances in a worse state than in the Militant era, says leading academic

Speaking on the Baltic Triangle monthly podcast, Professor Michael Parkinson says the city’s finances are in a desperate state, despite the influx of private sector investment. Tony McDonough reports

Baltic podcast
Prof Professor Michael Parkinson, left, with Mick Ord


Liverpool’s foremost expert in urban regeneration and economic development says the city’s finances are in an even worse state now that at the height of the Militant era in the 1980s.

Professor Michael Parkinson is Pro Vice Chancellor for civic engagement at the University of Liverpool and Ambassador for the Heseltine Institute for Public Policy and Practice.

Back in the 1980s he was the author of Liverpool on the Brink – an analysis of the parlous economic state of the city at that time, squeezed between the ideologies of Thatcherism and the hard left.

But in an podcast interview for Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle, Prof Parkinson says the devastating effects of austerity since 2010 have left the city in a desperate state, despite the influx of private sector investment since that time.

In conversation with Mick Ord for the regular monthly Baltic podcast, Prof Parkinson promoted his new book: Liverpool Beyond the Brink – the Remaking of a Post-Imperial City. He said: “Since 2010 Liverpool has faced the biggest cuts of any city in the country.

“I think the elected Mayor Joe Anderson has done a very good job in walking the tightrope of criticising the cuts and not returning to the confrontation of the 1980s and trying to attract development.

“One of the biggest problems is that the city has become capital rich and revenue poor. By which I mean we can see cranes in the sky and tower blocks going up. Developers know they can invest in Liverpool and make money.

“By contrast, the local authority has lost something like two-thirds of its income in the last 10 years. It will not be easy to tackle the problems of the city given the scale of the difficulties.

“The financial problems of the city are now probably worse than when Militant was making the running more than 30 years ago.”

Click here to hear the full interview with Prof Parkinson

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