Atlantic Gateway moves a step closer
ON 8 September
2010, plans to create a special delivery vehicle to take forward the
Atlantic Gateway concept were widely welcomed, following a meeting
between Local Authority Leaders and Peel Holdings. This new vehicle
will work closely with and be accountable to the three sub-regional
LEPs (Cheshire and Warrington, Greater Manchester and Liverpool),
once these are formed. This approach means that there is no
requirement for a separate AG LEP.
Atlantic Gateway is an outstanding opportunity for collaboration
across the Manchester to Liverpool area with the potential for
driving over 100,000 new private jobs on the back of £50 to 75bn of
private sector investment.
The Leaders were clear and unanimous in their view that a Local
Enterprise Partnership (LEP) based on Atlantic Gateway would be
unnecessary and counter productive. Together with Peel they have
agreed with Peel that there should be a vehicle established
accountable to the three LEPs take forward the exciting, unique and
innovative opportunity offered by Atlantic Gateway. Although the
governance arrangements for such a vehicle have still to be agreed
and are likely to include representatives from the 3 LEPs and key
private sector interests in the area.
In today’s global economy, business is no longer reliant simply on
what goes on in a local context, but also on infrastructure and
innovation both nationally and internationally, as reflected in the
Atlantic Gateway strategy already agreed by Local Authority Leaders.
Atlantic Gateway is a wide thematic framework based on issues best
dealt across the wider geography but is also based upon ensuring the
infrastructure is in place to support private sector growth. Peel
Holdings and other substantial firms in the area have a strong part
to play in this.
Leaders considered the widely reported LEP submission by Peel to
Government and have agreed with Peel that a joint ambition should be
the creation of a new vehicle, with collaboration between the 3 LEPs
in the area and the private sector focussed on delivering the
It was agreed that, given the rapidly changing policy environment it
was vital not to lose momentum on an Atlantic Gateway strategy and
collaboration which has the potential to become, working with the
LEPs, an agent for transformational change – helping to rebalance
the UK economy with Manchester and Liverpool at the heart of a
John Merry, Chair of the Atlantic Gateway Leaders Group said:-
“We’ve come a long way in the North West in recognising that we
work better together than alone – take the strength of partnership
within AGMA for example. It is a big leap to break down old
rivalries and join forces, and this is what Atlantic Gateway is all
about. It is critical that we keep this important collaboration on
track and in line with other developments in the region. We need to
ensure that whatever is created complements the activities of the
three LEPs rather than being in the position of competing for
resources. We agree that this should not be a LEP but a new vehicle
which has a clear remit to work together with the 3 LEPs in the area
on the fundamental economic issues which span boundaries. I’m sure
Government will like the innovation that the public and private
sector in the North West is showing through Atlantic Gateway and we
see no reason why Peel’s underlying plans, in particular, those on
Finance and Community Funds, should not be given very careful
John Whittaker said:- “We are pleased that the Atlantic
Gateway leaders endorse our ideas to create a specialist delivery
vehicle within the new LEP framework proposed by HM Government to
bring forward the large scale and long term investment required to
address some of the deep rooted issues we face including rebalancing
the UK economy in favour of the North and encouraging new investment
on a significant scale.”
Consultation over the transformation of social care
on the transformation of social care in Liverpool is moving forward
with the creation of an independent group to make sure the plans
reflect the views of people who receive services.
In June, the city council announced proposals for a major shift in
emphasis in the way services are delivered - focused on meeting
people’s individual needs, rather than having to choose from a fixed
menu of social care services.
It follows the introduction of “Putting People First”,
a government initiative which has already led to a huge number of
people opting to use direct payments to choose the care they
receive, leading to a huge drop in demand for in-house services such
as day centres.
A major consultation event is being held at St George’s Hall on
Wednesday, 8 September 2010, giving service users, carers, families
and other people interested in adult social care services the
opportunity to have their say.
It will include a series of discussions about what people would want
from a new service, how it should be delivered and what buildings
People will be invited to nominate themselves for a place on the
Independent Group, which will co-ordinate and deliver future
consultation events, communicate the outcome of discussions and
oversee the commissioning of an independent evaluation of the
Councillor Roz Gladden, Cabinet member for adult health and social
care said:- “What we are proposing is a really big change that
will completely transform the way in which people access and receive
care in Liverpool, and that is why we really want those affected to
let us know what they think and be involved. We completely
understand that people will be nervous and anxious about it, but we
are committed to working closely with them during the consultation
process and beyond to explain exactly what it will mean for them.
This Independent Group will have no representation from the city
council on it and that is because we want to give people confidence
that the process is as open and transparent as possible.”
Under the new-look service, 12 day centres and three residential
care homes will be amalgamated to become six new “Health and
Wellbeing Supercentres" in neighbourhoods across the city.
Three would provide round-the-clock emergency response services,
while the remainder would provide intensive health and social care
support for people leaving care and those with complex needs, as
well as a range of community services.
The council has already approved plans to invest £1.5 million in the
first wave of the new Health and Wellbeing Centres. Sedgemoor Care
Home in Norris Green will become a round-the-clock unit and Lime
Court Day Centre in Kensington will be a community hub, open 12
hours per day, seven days a week.
Draft plans following the discussions will be drawn up in January
and the consultation programme will be completed next March (2011).
However, communication will continue through the three years it will
take to deliver all of the changes.
Director for Children, Family and Adult Services, Stuart Smith,
said:- “Doing nothing is not an option and the changes we are
planning are accelerating a process which is actually already
underway. People are already voting with their feet and the
demand for our traditional services has been shrinking for several
years. We simply must respond to that and change the way we
operate, to deliver the type of services our residents want.”
Overall, it is expected there will be a significant increase in the
number of people being supported.