City sets its sights on Commonwealth status.
Byline: LIAM MURPHY Political Editor email@example.com liam1971 @
LIVERPOOL could become the UK's first "Commonwealth city" under proposals being considered by the council.
The accolade could mean the city hosting major meetings of Commonwealth heads of state and trade delegations to the "Northern Powerhouse".
The plans are being put forward to the city council when it meets at Liverpool town hall today. Led by Cllrs Nathalie Nicholas and Gary Millar, the proposal aims to capitalise on the city's existing links to the 53 Commonwealth countries which are home to 2.2 billion citizens.
Cllr Millar, who is chair of the Liverpool Commonwealth Association (LCA), said: "Liverpool is home to communities from many parts of the Commonwealth, people who have chosen to live here, were born here and are studying at our universities."
He said the hope is becoming a Commonwealth city will encompass the entire city region and there are plans for a Commonwealth Day to be held next April, to be backed by UK Trade & Investment.
A notice of motion to the meeting of the city council will call on councillors to back the plans and if approved Mayor Joe Anderson will be asked to write to the Commonwealth Secretariat supporting "the formal accreditation of the Liverpool Commonwealth Association" and to ask that Liverpool be considered as host city for a future Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and Commonwealth Local Government forum will also be asked to "work with us and accredit Liverpool as a Commonwealth City".
The Commonwealth city programme is a new scheme and it is hoped Liverpool will be one of its pioneers, according to Cllr Richard Kemp, who was involved in setting up the LCA which he said is "the first of its type in the country".
Cllr Kemp said: "It's now working with the Royal Commonwealth Society to link Liverpool as a Commonwealth city to other areas, where there are strong Commonwealth presences, to help with education and trade links."
Cllr Gary Millar