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Cllr Richard Kemp sworn in as Liverpool’s new Lord Mayor

2 weeks ago

Cllr Richard Kemp sworn in as Liverpool’s new Lord Mayor
Cllr Richard Kemp. Credit: Liverpool City Council

Cllr Richard Kemp CBE has been sworn in as the new Lord Mayor at a ceremony held at the Town Hall on Wednesday, May 15.

During his tenure, Cllr Richard Kemp pledges to dedicate his year in office as Lord Mayor to supporting care leavers from across the city, emphasising the importance of providing assistance and opportunities for this vulnerable group.

Cllr Kemp came to Liverpool in 1974 but he was no stranger to the city. His mother was born in Walton and his uncle owned a shop on Scotland Road. After marching off to war in 1943 his mother left the city after meeting Richard’s father on a RAF site in Lancashire.

Arriving at Liverpool fifty years ago, Cllr Richard Kemp soon decided to dedicate his life to help serve its communities. He has been a Councillor for forty years in many different wards and is now Cllr for the Penny Lane Ward. Richard has filled a variety of roles including chairing committees, being a Cabinet Member and also leader of the Liberal Democrats Group.

Richard was awarded a CBE in 2011 for public service to local government, regeneration and housing.

Richard’s year in office will be influenced by the work of forty Lord Mayors that have been before him, including his wife Alderman Erica Kemp CBE who was Lord Mayor for Liverpool in 2014 – 2015.

Liverpool Town Hall
Credit: Liverpool Town Hall

Erica was a Councillor for twenty-three years and was awarded a CBE in 2014 for political and public service.

Richard and Erica have three children and five grandchildren who play a major part in their lives. Their younger daughter Rachel served as Lady Mayoress for her mother.

It’s Richard’s strong sense of family connection that has driven him to focus his work on raising awareness of care leavers in the city. This includes giving them a voice to highlight their challenges and tell their success stories.

Richard has also established a Care Leavers’ fund after securing investment of a hundred thousand pounds a year for three years. The money, which will be distributed by Liverpool City Council, will be in addition to other support that the City Council has in place and will go towards provisions such as books for college or university, new clothing for interviews, or household items etc.

Liz Parsons, Cabinet Member for Children’s and Young People’s Services, said:

“It’s fantastic news that the Lord Mayor has chosen to help support carer leavers across the city throughout his year in office. We’re really excited to work together in highlighting care leavers’ experiences and celebrating their successes.

“Liverpool City Council is committed to protecting care leavers. Provisions are already in place to make sure everyone has access to resources and opportunities including financial and practical assistance but also the emotional support and encouragement necessary to navigate through life with resilience and determination.

“We know young people who have experienced the Care system often don’t have the support we take for granted face a unique challenge of transition to adulthood without support networks that many of us take for granted. Therefore, any additional support for them is gratefully received.”

A spokesperson from the Community Foundation for Merseyside said:

“The Community Foundation for Merseyside is proud to be managing the Liverpool Care Leavers’ fund. Making the transition to adult life can be especially difficult for young people leaving care, who may not have had the stability of a settled family life, or the support of their own family. The bursary fund aims to offer flexible financial support based on individual aspirations and ambitions as they start their future lives, including additional help with settled, safe accommodation; entering further or higher education; find satisfying employment or achieving good health and a positive sense of wellbeing”.

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