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Issue:- Thursday, 28 July 2016

Headlines and reports on this page = 3 news items.    Page - 12.

Northern Councils to play a leading role in Brexit Negotiations

FOLLOWING the decision that Britain will leave the European Union, Leaders across the Liverpool City Region are working together to identify what impact this will have for the City Region and have also broadened this partnership by working across the North of the country.

The needs of the Liverpool City Region and Northern region as a whole must be taken into account when negotiating Brexit, and this can be done best by having people from the City Region directly involved. 

Mayor Joe Anderson, alongside the Chairs of the Combined Authorities for Greater Manchester, North East, Sheffield City Region and West Yorkshire, recently wrote to the Prime Minister to point out that the 5 Northern Combined Authorities have a stronger economy than Scotland and a population greater than London, which shoes exactly why the North of England needs to be involved in the Brexit negotiations. 

Councillor Phil Davies, Portfolio Lead for Economic Development for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, said:- "I was interested to hear Greg Clark's speech at the recent Local Government Association conference, in which he confirmed that local government would be involved in the Brexit negotiations. The question is how? As a City Region, we have joined forces with the other Combined Authority leaders in the North of England to call for a seat at the Brexit negotiating table."

There is a lot at stake for the City Region, which was due to benefit from a commitment of over £200m of European Union funding over the next few years. In addition, many organisations would have been bidding for other European programmes such as those for connectivity and innovation. When combined with other sources, the impact is that over £400m of investment is potentially at risk; along with job opportunities (estimated to be 2,100 jobs) and economic growth in the area which the funding would have helped to create 2,100 new business start ups and assisted over 6,700 businesses.  Cllr Davies added:- "It's quite clear that these negotiations will now be about returning powers from the European Union to this country. There's no reason at all why those powers should simply return to national Government; we believe that they should be returned directly to local decision makers and the Combined Authority is now placed ideally to take those powers on. This will be a priority for us as part of the negotiations."

More LED street lights planned

THOUSANDS more LED street lights are to be installed throughout Liverpool producing significant savings. The City Council agreed to a phased replacement of thousands of the City's street lights with LED lighting in 2014 at a total cost of £7m.

In the first phase 12,000 LED lights have been installed in over 1800 streets with 120 concrete column replaced. This has produced energy savings of £585,000 to date and carbon savings of about 1500 tonnes,

Now the cabinet is being asked to approve a 2nd Phase of the programme which will see 9,380 street lights replaced with LED lighting at a cost of £4m.

This will reduce the energy consumption for these lights by 82%, cutting the Council's energy bill by about £260,000 a year. There will also be a reduction in carbon of about 1300 tonnes, bringing a saving of £21,000 and there will be maintenance savings of approximately £47,000 a year.

At its meeting on 22 July 2016 the cabinet will be asked to approve a procurement exercise to appoint a contractor for this phase of the programme.

Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, cabinet member for regeneration and transport said;- "This programme has been a great success. We are replacing out of date environmentally unfriendly street lights with modern, efficient and energy saving ones. It is part of our invest to save strategy; the investment we are making in new street lighting will be more than offset by the subsequent savings in our energy bills and maintenance costs. And, of course, there are significant environmental benefits; these lights mean we will be a greener City with a lower carbon footprint.."

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