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She said she knew had to earn confidence from people in the city but, in a statement after her victory, promised: “I will not let you down.”
The 50-year-old is not only the city’s first female leader but its first black leader too.
She claimed victory after voting went to second preferences, with only Councillor Anderson and independent candidate Stephen Yip left in the running.
Joanne Anderson describes herself as a ‘proud black, working-class scouser who loves our city and its people’.
She says growing up in Liverpool through the 80s, particularly as a young black woman, meant the message she received from Thatcher’s Britain was that she was bottom of the pile, ‘that I wouldn’t amount to much’.
In fact, Joanne Anderson is a business consultant who spent 10 years working for the Crown Prosecution Service.
She worked in a community architects in Liverpool when she was younger, and became shop steward and was active in the Transport and General Workers Union before becoming active nationally on the TUC Race Relations Committee.
After setting up the first black social enterprise in Liverpool, she went on to work for the Crown Prosecution Service’s Community Engagement Team, among a host of other roles.
She has previously discussed facing financial difficulties as a single mother, which led to her claiming bankruptcy twice.
Joanne Anderson was elected to represent Princes Park ward in 2019 but her relative inexperience has possibly helped her.
The corruption scandal, which revealed that the council may have squandered as much as £100m of public money, will mean that she has to work hard to regain the trust of voters. But Joanne Anderson has committed to drive improvements after the “serious failings” highlighted in the Caller report, placing ‘social value and transparency’ at the heart of decision making.
She pledged to use the report as a springboard to provide a new, fresh approach, promising to build council housing and affordable homes and regenerate Liverpool in a way that puts communities first.
The first black woman to be directly-elected Mayor in the UK, and the first female Mayor of Liverpool.
History made 🌹 pic.twitter.com/7WyNI01OCb
— Joanne Anderson (@Joanne4Mayor) May 7, 2021
Councillor Anderson says: “Those old enough to have lived through the Thatcher years will know that even when our city hit rock bottom, we rose from the ashes with grit and determination.
“It is that same grit and determination that will get us through these next few years. I am asking for the people of our city to join me in rebuilding Liverpool as the World Class City we know it to be.
“To make Liverpool a city where everyone has a part to play and every contribution is valued; where we all have opportunity and are open, to everyone – a city we can all be proud to love.”
When she was campaigning, Councillor Anderson said her manifesto was an opportunity for a fresh start. She described it as “a genuine chance to transform the city to create a fairer, greener, more ambitious future for its people” and she urged her supporters to “make history together.”
Once the votes were counted and she was declared the winner, she posted a statement thanking her campaign team, Labour councillors and members, her family and friends as well as colleagues and staff for their hard work.
“I am so proud of the positive and hard-fought campaign we ran together,” she said. “Most of all I want to thank the citizens of Liverpool for voting for me and believing in me. I cannot wait to get started in the job and prove that you made the right choice.”
— Liverpool City Council (@lpoolcouncil) May 7, 2021
She has apologised to Liverpool and pledged to ‘put our city on a restorative path after a difficult year’.
“Like you I believe that we deserve better and I will deliver that through world-leading governance and public scrutiny. I want Liverpool to have the best accountability and transparency structures in the country,” she added. “I take full responsibility for driving improvements, rebuilding trust in our city and putting best value for our communities at the heart of everything our council does and delivers.
“Today is the beginning of the fresh start that we all want and need.”
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