Headlines: November 13th, 2007

People in Liverpool are to get the chance to vote on what they believe the city’s spending priorities should be. From next week a series of events across the city will discuss a range of topics and will use keypads like those seen on the television show, “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” to show people’s opinions on a giant screen.

The interactive meetings have been organised in each of Liverpool’s five neighbourhoods and will offer residents the chance to air their views on crime, housing, transport, health, education, planning, economic development and culture. The keypads will be used to allow people to indicate what their priorities for spending would be under each heading.

The information gathered during the “Your City, Your Neighbourhood, Your Say” sessions will be used to inform future council decisions. The events have been organised by Liverpool First, which brings together the private, public, voluntary and faith sectors to find new methods of working together to develop the city.

Warren Bradley, the leader of the City Council, who also chairs Liverpool First, said the city was at a crucial point in its development and decisions being made now would have a major impact on the future direction of the city. “It is important that we have an input from local people so that they can directly influence the Liverpool of tomorrow,” he said, adding, “We are keen to involve people from every area of the city and that is why we are holding the events in each of the five neighbourhood areas.”

Liverpool First Director Carol Perry said the aim was to have lively and entertaining discussions about priorities. “We’re conscious that some people don’t like speaking up in front of large groups, which is why we’re focusing on small workshops and using keypad technology which will allow them to influence the discussion without having to speak in front of an audience,” she added.