LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND. Mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson at the Cunard Building on 21 May 2021. Picture: Jennifer Bruce/Liverpool City Council
As the city’s Eurovision plans step up a gear, Mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson, looks ahead to how May’s events will be transformative for the city.
When I became Mayor in 2021, I introduced triple-lock values into the Council’s decision-making processes.
The triple lock is a very simple way of viewing everything through a prism of people, planet and equality. It ensures that our approach, our resources and activities are all used to maximise the social, environmental and economic benefits to our city and local people.
It is my vision that Eurovision embodies triple lock values by doing more than just business, but by making a difference and creating opportunities – for everyone.
No one needs convincing about the huge opportunity hosting the Eurovision Song Contest presents for our city; we are unlikely to ever see it in our lifetime here again. The potential economic dividends that will result from it – both now and in the future – can’t be underestimated.
As a city globally renowned for music and live events, Eurovision also offers us the platform to lead the way in the climate emergency. We know that large-scale events can be big polluters, and we want to do better by helping to create cleaner and more sustainable events.
We all know about the critical Paris target of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees. To keep this target alive, we need to take radical action to decarbonise all sectors of our economy faster.
I am proud that Liverpool City Council recently officially committed to introduce gold standard licensing measures to show our commitment to decarbonisation and encourage and assist promoters to create cleaner events in the future.
We will use the hosting of Eurovision as the start of that change, and I will ensure that the foundations are laid so that the environment is key to future event planning.
In addition, we will be elevating our management of waste, ensuring that no waste goes to landfill, but is instead converted to energy. There will be no single-use plastics at concessions, and water fountains will be installed at the Pier Head.
We are also looking at the possibility of working with Eurovision partners to prevent waste by designing stage sets around SEN school play area needs – ensuring social value as well as lessening the environmental impact of Eurovision.
Engaging our communities and ensuring they have the opportunity to get involved has been a huge consideration throughout our planning process. Our education and community programmes Eurolearn and Eurostreets, are well underway.
The ambition behind these programmes is that communities of all ages – from primary schools to care homes – will get involved and be informed and inspired by the programme which celebrates the power of music, national identity and the culture of Ukraine through a large number of diverse projects.
I am proud to be the Mayor of the first host city to offer an education programme of this scale, which was an integral part of our successful bid to host the song contest on behalf of Ukraine.
We also wanted to ensure that our stakeholders accurately represented our communities for Eurovision and as such, a huge amount of work has gone into revamping our stakeholder lists to ensure they are inclusive and more accurately represent the people who live and work in our city.
And of course, our city will be turning blue and yellow, as we give a global platform to the Ukrainian artists, food, culture and performance as a celebration of national identity and extraordinary resolve. Our city has always thrived on diversity, and Eurovision is a chance to celebrate this.
This is a chance for us all to be part of a once-in-a-lifetime event – to celebrate our city, to celebrate Ukraine and to stand together in a global show of unity.
If any city is up to hosting the best Eurovision yet – it’s Liverpool.