Mayor Joe Anderson “my good name [has been] dragged through the mud” over £90,000 legal bill for unfair dismissal case

Mayor Joe Anderson “my good name [has been] dragged through the mud” over £90,000 legal bill for unfair dismissal case

Mayor Joe Anderson “my good name [has been] dragged through the mud” over £90,000 legal bill for unfair dismissal case


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Liverpool City Council meeting of 16th September 2015 Part 1 of 6

Mayor Joe Anderson explains why Liverpool City Council paid a nearly £90000 legal bill over an unfair dismissal battle with his former employer Chesterfield High School
Mayor Joe Anderson explains why Liverpool City Council paid a nearly £90000 legal bill over an unfair dismissal battle with his former employer Chesterfield High School

After pledging his full support to the Royal National Institute for the Blind for the Council motion on the “Who Put That There!” campaign, Mayor Joe Anderson used his slot on the Council meeting agenda to give a very detailed explanation to those present about his former employer unfairly dismissing him.

“Joe must go” was a slogan on a protest banner I saw earlier this year, but this story starts with Chesterfield High School. Chesterfield High School told Joe to go, but Joe said no.

Joe (being a staunch trade unionist) felt this wasn’t fair. As His Honour Judge Serota QC put it Joe Anderson was on “a reverse form for a zero hours contract” in that he got to be Mayor, do zero hours of work for his employer yet still be paid by his employer!

However it wasn’t the fact that he was being paid for not working that was Joe’s problem. His employer decided that paying somebody for no work wasn’t “value for money” and that the public would be horrified if they knew so sent Joe a P45 through the post.

This hurt Joe. So Joe asked his friends at Liverpool City Council what they could do.

Sure enough Liverpool City Council got a lawyer for Joe. So it went to an Employment Tribunal.

The Employment Tribunal ruled that yes Joe had been unfairly dismissed but even if he hadn’t been, his employer would have still have sacked him anyway. So no compensation for Joe.

This was not the result Joe wanted, so once again he asked his friends at Liverpool City Council what they could do.

Sure enough Liverpool City Council got a lawyer (again) for Joe. So it went to an Employment Appeals Tribunal and here is the judgement.

Once again the case was lost and the final bill (that fell on the taxpayer) came to just under £90,000.

Mayor Anderson at the Liverpool City Council public meeting on the 16th September gave a detailed defence as to why he had done this.

Called to speak by the other Mayor, having been already embroiled in a trial by media, this was Mayor Anderson’s chance to have his say.

With his head bowed down, the normally confident Mayor seemed crestfallen. He started by referring to the blog of the Lib Dem Leader Cllr Richard Kemp. Mayor Anderson said he was doing this not because of Cllr Kemp’s blog.

He referred to it as “the Council’s legal action” (although as you can read from the Employment Appeals Tribunal judgement Liverpool City Council were not a party to the case).

Mayor Anderson was going to tell people the “full facts” and so that the public could “understand the complexities of this” followed by “I’ve certainly got nothing to hide or wish to disclose, err not disclose” .

Feeling his own collar he explained how he’d been on the radio that very day and dealing with the press detailling with the reasons why.

Joe (because it’s very hard in reporting this to know which bit it in this is Joe the former employee and which bit is Mayor Joe Anderson) said, “When I then became Leader of the Council in 2010, people in the Labour Party certainly know but I made a pledge, a promise that I would become a full-time Leader of the Council and for too long this Council was run like a toy town at Council and officers led the Council by the nose. Councillors weren’t here and decisions were made that were quite frankly not good enough for a Council and a city like Liverpool.”

Joe’s explanation was that when he was Leader of the Opposition on Liverpool City Council that Sefton Council had paid the LEA controlled Chesterfield School “round about £7,000 a year”. That was to pay Joe the 208 hours he was allowed off.

He claimed this cost Chesterfield School “less than £4,000” (although I’ll point out that surely Chesterfield would’ve had to pay both Joe time off to be a councillor and someone else to do his job?) which Joe saw as a “good deal”. Mayor Anderson stated that politicians were all doing this including two former leaders of Liverpool City Council.

Mayor Anderson claimed that the money he was receiving for no work from Chesterfield School he was giving to charity.

The difference however, came when Cllr Anderson became Mayor Anderson. He explained “six or seven weeks before my 55th birthday, Chesterfield High School became an academy and six or seven week before my 55th birthday sacked me without any discussion with me, without any negotiation with me” or as he put it “P45 in the post, you’re sacked”.

For him the fundamental principle as a trade unionist, he would support any councillor of whatever colour political party they may be, as the principle of being sacked for carrying out public service should be something that (saying this while twirling his finger) “we all defend and stand by”.

He said that the decision that that it should be challenged and that the indemnity policy applied was taken by the Chief Executive and Monitoring Officer of Liverpool City Council and that the Council’s external auditor and legal advisors were also informed.

In criticism of Councillor Kemp he said, “Let me ask ourselves the question around the politics of this, where it’s getting played out and how it’s disgracefully being played out. Course Councillor Kemp says, ‘Will he pay it back?'” At this point Mayor Anderson just shrugged in reply and then pointed out that former Lib Dem Leaders of Liverpool City Council had had similar arrangements with their employers.

He referred to the trial of former Lib Dem Leader of Liverpool City Council Warren Bradley, that a court had found guilty of perjury followed by saying “I’ve done nothing wrong, I’ve done absolutely nothing wrong. The only thing I’ve done wrong, the only thing I’ve done wrong is trusted the School to honour that procedure that we’ve got in place that was costing them nothing but because it went to an academy they decided to sack me. That was the only thing that we did wrong”.

Mayor Anderson continued, “Then you ask yourself the question, ‘Has Councillor Anderson benefitted from this, has he gained from this?’ Well let me tell ye, not only have I not gained, my good name which I am proud of and the hard work that I do for this City has been sullied by individuals in this Council, dragged through the mud by individuals in this Council, for doing nothing more than trying to serve the people of this City.

It’s been estimated that because I’ve been finished in my local government pension that I had for 16 years that I will have lost somewhere estimated to be £134,000 in contributions. If I die now in service or whatever, I’m not in service of course because I’m not in the pension, my wife, my family I get nothing, no protection! No job to go back to! And yet there are councillors in this chamber that want to pay politics with that.”

He said he would support anyone who was sacked for doing public service “because it’s the right thing to do public service and so my conscience on this matter is absolutely 110% clear” because “nothing I’ve done in this matter was for Joe Anderson. Nothing! ” and “never at any time did I seek any personal gain for me”.

Referring to the opposition Mayor Anderson said, “they played dirty politics with it and that shows to me, that shows to me the contempt that they have for the democratic politics that we engaged in over the Mayoral Deal and also the disrespect that they have for this City and for us and the form of governance that we’ve got.”

Mayor Anderson said that the government has accepted and will change through legislation the changes that need to be made to support mayors in the future. If he’d stayed as Leader of Liverpool City Council, he would’ve retained his salary, retained his allowances and retained his pension.

However the City of Liverpool wouldn’t have had the Mayoral Deal, the schools and wouldn’t have had that investment and he wouldn’t have lost out on his pension accruing and the benefits if he was still part of the pension scheme. He finished by saying, “My conscience on this matter is absolutely clear” and received a standing ovation and applause from his Labour councillors.

There are a series of FOI requests to Liverpool City Council on the whatdotheyknow website here, here and here that give further information on this matter.

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Author: John Brace

New media journalist from Birkenhead, England who writes about Wirral Council. Published and promoted by John Brace, 134 Boundary Road, Bidston, CH43 7PH. Printed by UK Webhosting Ltd t/a Tsohost, 113-114 Buckingham Avenue, Slough, Berkshire, England, SL1 4PF.

21 thoughts on “Mayor Joe Anderson “my good name [has been] dragged through the mud” over £90,000 legal bill for unfair dismissal case”

  1. G’day John

    What a roll model for “Phil the Deluded Dill”.



    I err mean role model……..oh no I don’t.

    1. Joe Anderson was annoyed that Cllr Phil Davies was elected Chair of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

      If the government decides on an elected Mayor for Merseyside from 2017, I wonder who the Labour candidate will be?

    1. One unanswered question that has occurred to me is how much did this cost Chesterfield High School in legal costs at the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeals Tribunal?

      OK, as an employer they may have an insurance policy that would pay out for legal costs as they were the ones being sued, but wouldn’t that mean the insurance company would class them as higher risk therefore charge higher premiums?

        1. I’d have to look up the situation for Employment Tribunals or Employment Appeal Tribunals, but generally in civil matters (by that I meant civil court matters such as county court etc) if costs are awarded it forms part of the judgement.

          As both the first ET judgement and EAT judgement found he had been unfairly dismissed, I would make an educated guess that both sides paid their own costs, well apart from Mayor Anderson whose costs were covered by Liverpool City Council.

  2. Edited by John Brace (Editor) 5:25pm 18/9/15

    Reason: because the last thing anyone wants is to be sued by Joe.

    One hundred and ten percent! That’s right, one hundred and ten percent. These are the missives of a very clever and highly articulate politician who knows how to sway the opinion of those who are not sure of Joe’s innocence.

    Had he said, ‘I’m ninety nine percent certain’, my reaction would have been, ‘hi up, there’s a doubt in his mind.’! Even if Joe had said, ‘I’m one hundred percent certain’, my genuine reaction would have been, ‘lying bastard. He would say that’. But he’s pitched it at ten percent higher than it’s actually mathematically speaking possible to pitch it which, makes me believe that Joe will convince a lot of folk that one hundred and ten percent is better than one hundred percent and therefore he must be telling the truth.

    Basically that extra ten percent is all you need to hang on in there, cling onto your Mayoral robes and trinkets of Office and continue to tell all who care to listen that he is a passionate visionary driven to transform the lives of all those lucky enough to help fund the gravy train.

    Course, you’ve gotta make your own minds up about these things. I form most of my conclusions gazing at photographs and there’s one in particular, positioned above this rancid tripe of a post.

    I mean, look at Joe. Look at his eyes. You cant be sure can you?

    There was a point to all of this but frankly, given the seriousness of this expenditure that the public are compelled to fund, I’ve completely forgotten what my point is other than to say Joe is looking less attractive than ever.

    Mind, there’s probably one way to clear up this matter. Ask Joe.

    1. I feel bad about editing anyone’s comments and there’s always a high threshold for “political speech” .

      I’ll point out nobody actually made a complaint.

      It’s just well, much as I’m against censorship and your comments are very witty, even politicians are human beings and have feelings.

  3. Yes John. It’s something I have to address and deal with. You’re not the only one John. Both Martin Morton and Wirral Leaks have struggled with me and my irregular imagination that I’ve been cursed with and so I’ve gotta realise that it’s me that needs to change and not you, the mighty Leaks and Mr Morton. It’s me and somehow I’ve gotta sort it out.
    You take care John. My very warmest regards to you.

    1. G’day Bobby

      Luv you and your work so much Bobby I hope we meet up one day.

      Mate I believe lying, cheating or not saying anything, politicians deserve every possible bit of abuse.

      Blakeley in previous blog was so effing righteous about paying his tax and and not claiming his expenses.

      Yet he allows Wirral “Funny” Bizz to get away with £2,000,000.00 without saying boo.

      Just because they would all be humiliated because there was no signed contracts and they did not have the nous, business savvy or fortitude amongst them to monitor village idiots that were looting them in broad daylight.



      Keep up the great work Bobby

  4. Right, I’ve recovered from my introduction to reality by John and I’ll be damned if I allow myself to be fearful of Joe and his enormous influence and his ready access to public funds. I’ll be damned if I do. From hereon, it’s gloves on, gum shield in and damn the consequences.
    If Joe wants to acquire what meagre possessions I have through the Courts then he’s got a battle on his hands and I’ll be damned if I stop. And why won’t I stop? Because I’m a man of principle who diligently recycles his rubbish and the thought of Joe getting up close and nearing or invading my personal space holds no fears for me.
    That’s right! Any man, or woman, all can be sneaky and mistrustful, that thinks that the thought of Joe scurrying up my drainpipe during the hours of darkness and demanding I pop outside for my bloody good hiding and thinks I’m a yellow bellied, canvas kissing, white flag waving ninny of a coward then they don’t know me and anyone who says they do know me is a liar and an embellisher of the facts.
    What’smore, if the Mayor ever does decide to climb up my drainpipe and tap, tap, tap upon my tenth floor window howling, ‘I’m one hundred and twelve percent certain your hiding under your bed you little tosspot ‘, I’m going to do more than drag his good name through the Mersey mud.
    That’s right! I’m calling the Constable because I don’t see why the Mayor should be able to use all the Councils resources and digital information just to visit me, fill me with morbid fear and dread in me own bloody house whilst I’m minding me own business. A home and house is a mans castle or a woman’s safe haven and no overweight, thick necked son of The Pool is gonna stop me from enjoying my inalienable rights to live in relative peace whilst hiding from the Council because I’ve refused on principle to pay me bloody Council Tax.
    And just to emphasise my impartiality in this tragic tale of woe and my sincere and genuine support for Joe, I’m just over forty three percent certain that Joe has done no wrong and forty two percent certain that this expenditure to fund this Court action has provided the public with excellent value for money.
    There! I’ve said it. Let’s get behind Joe. I’m twelve percent certain it’s the right thing to do and ninety eight percent certain that were making a mistake, which combined and added together gets you to one hundred and ten percent of certainty or uncertainty, a figure that makes no sense at all, least of all to you fools who’ve wasted your time bothering to read this pigswill of a posting.
    My warmest regards John.

    1. Welcome back Bobster.

      Keep up the great work.



      Ps Would luv to hear one day what you think of us irreverent Aussies.

  5. Good Lord, bloody China! We’ll for starters the lads in China will do well if a dozen of them and a well maintained Rick-shaw can successfully drag Joe through the Beijing mud. Poor bloody sods! If they’ve never met and seen a westerner before, let alone tried to haul one through the mud, god only knows what they’ll think the rest of us look like if Joe is their single example of our British ethnic appearance.
    Mind, if he were to start his trade mission, gained some significant success, got blasted on their local beverage and started phoning me transatlantic threatening me with this, that and the bloody other, I’ll tell him straight. I’ll say, ‘joe, stop bothering me. Go bother Audrey O’Keefe. She’s the one who managed to discover this expenditure of ninety thousand pounds funded by the local rate payers.’
    It’s bloody high times for Audrey isn’t it. She’s there glorying in her remarkable success and being celebrated by those of us who can be bloody bothered to tap, whereas it’s me getting all angst ridden, doubling up on diazepam because I’ve begun to catastrophise and convinced myself that Joe intends to beat me badly if he ever manages to discover my whereabouts.

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