Monday, 14 June 2010

David Wade-Smith-Not The Right Choice as Business Advisor for Liverpool.

I recall telling off David Wade Smith, in no uncertain terms, outside the stitched up exhibition of the plans for the then proposed Mann Island Development. He was on the board of Liverpool Vision who gave a thumbs up to the scheme. So did the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce of which he was then Chairman. I told him he was a disgrace and didnt even live in Liverpool and was just a cling-on. He now is jockying for the position as business advisor to the new Labour administration. I recall how he argued on the local radio how great it is to have investment in Liverpool and how it was great to build on Mann Island. His own business the Roomstore at the Albert Dock closed down with lack of sales.
This appointment, would if taken up by Joe Anderson be setting a bad example by appointing him as the Mann who promoted World Heritage Disaster.  Worse, he is telling everyone he has got the job after phoning up Joe Anderson personally.  It is reported.
LIVERPOOL’s business leaders are jockeying for position over who should get the new post of city council business advisor.

The idea of the new post has proved so popular with the business community that an independent assessor has been asked to find a suitable person.
John Flamson, Liverpool University director of strategic partnerships and development, has agreed to oversee finding the business advisor.
The city council’s new Labour leader, Cllr Joe Anderson, devised the post as he wants local business guidance in the decision-making process of his new cabinet. He sees this as the best way to revive the local economy after the recession.
Those keen to be involved are thought to include Jack Stopforth, chief executive of Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, retailer David Wade-Smith and business lobby groups such as the Forum for Private Business.
Such has been the stampede of candidates cold-calling him the process of appointment is being severely delayed.
Cllr Anderson said: “We’ve been inundated with requests from business and from the independent sector.
“They’re keen to get involved and I’m delighted with the response.This suggests a future healthy partnership with business.But I hope people recognise we must take time to get it right.“I hoped to have someone in place before now, but instead we’re looking at about two months’ time.“Some local business leaders contacted me directly wanting the job, but it must be seen to be a transparent and fair process.
“I don’t want to be accused of favouring anyone or finding jobs for my mates, so I asked John Flamson to be an independent adjudicator.
“He will form a committee with two other people to create a job description and assess the candidates.”
The business advisor role will be unpaid, but with appropriate expenses.
As an unelected member of the council executive board, or cabinet, he or she will not be able to vote.
“This job won’t be the ‘be-all and end-all’ of our business involvement,” said Cllr Anderson.
“I’m also starting a leader’s bi-monthly business forum.
“Along with the council chief executive and head of regeneration we will meet the various business sectors.
We get consistently negative messages from business regarding council red tape, planning, regulations and inability to communicate about the opportunities for council job tendering.

“There must be an open and fair procurement process with companies given time to prepare bids.
“The chosen business advisor will attend appropriate cabinet meetings to advise and guide us on how it could impact on the private sector.”
Cllr Anderson will also hold cabinet board meetings around the city.These will be in venues such as Alder Hey Hospital and Peel Mersey Ports offices.
He is open to other offers for suitable locations.“We want to be seen to be in touch. I hope we are trail-blazing and I want to make sure for the first time we have regular dialogue with the business community.”
Frank McKenna, city centre lobby group Downtown Business in Liverpool chairman, ruled himself out of the job“While Downtown welcomes the fact the council is adopting this idea, it’s not right for me to take the post,” he said.
“I need to be independent and outside the procedures of the city council.
“We’d expect to have a positive relationship with the council, but also need to be able to constructively criticise it.
“Whoever is chosen should be known across the city and had involvement with The Mersey Partnership, Chamber and Downtown. It’s also really important the person chosen should be someone who runs their own business on a daily basis.
“This should be much more than just a voice representing a body or corporation. A lot of these guys don’t have their own business or that hands-on knowledge.
“Neither do we want anyone who is a mere mouthpiece. I’m really pleased it’s being introduced and we’ll support whoever is chosen.
“What they now need is a real business person who’s got the scars and can sit round and quickly identify policy and how it would impact. This is an important signal to send out and it shows how the city’s politics has improved out of all recognition.”

It will be a mockery if this man David Wade-Smith holds any power to promote similar developments in the future.





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