Metro Mayor shares vision for future
and delivers 10 big pledges
LIVERPOOL City Region Metro Mayor,
Steve Rotheram has set out his ambitious vision for the future underscored by 10
major new policy pledges. Describing the devolution process as a journey not a
destination, he said that the Leaders of the region's 6 districts had not
created a Combined Authority merely to access relatively modest additional
resources, but to deliver transformational change.
Setting out the need for a step change in ambition and economic performance, he
announced the appointment of highly respected industry leader, Brent Cheshire,
until recently UK Chair of Dong Energy, as the man who will spearhead plans to
harness the power of the River Mersey. His initial task over the next 12 months
will be to establish the core business case for the multi billion renewable
Steve Rotheram said:- "I am delighted that Brent has agreed to lead this
project. It has been debated and discussed for over three decades. Devolution
finally gives us the opportunity to deliver a project of this scale, and Brent
provides us with the expertise, experience and leadership capability to turn
vision into reality."
Brent Cheshire said:- "I am pleased to accept the Steve's invitation to
head up the Special Purpose Vehicle that will take this project forward. This is
a hugely exciting and ambitious vision with the potential to impact massively on
the City Region's long term economic prospects. Liverpool City Region has
delivered world changing engineering projects in the past, so if it can be done
anywhere it can be done here."
Focussing on the need to grasp the opportunities of the 4th Industrial
Revolution, the Metro Mayor, said the City Region has a unique set of assets,
including the UK's most powerful super computer, at Daresbury, cutting edge
research facilities and a cluster of digital businesses growing faster than
To fulfil and accelerate their potential he announced the launch of a 6 month
study to make Liverpool City Region the UK's most digitally connected region in
the UK, by connecting directly to the GTT Trans Atlantic cable that lands in the
UK at Southport, and creating a region wide fibre spine to guarantee every home,
business, university, School and public building the best and fastest possible
Steve Rotheram said:- "If trains, docks and canals made us the gateway to
the 1st Industrial Revolution, then world-class connectivity and a plentiful
supply of predictable renewable energy can make us the digital gateway to the
Fourth. Faster speed, greater capacity and green energy will not only enable us
to grow our own digital and technology sectors, it will make us a magnet for
investment for global companies wanting the best connections and a carbon
neutral energy solution."
Amongst a series of other radical policy pledges, the
Metro Mayor announced:-
► Plans to create a unified and properly resourced agency to capitalise on
Liverpool's positive global brand, marketing the City Region internationally and
providing 1 front door for all those seeking to invest and do business here.
► A pledge to deliver a skills revolution by lobbying the Government so that the underspend from the National Apprenticeship Levy will be spent locally to
roll out degree level apprenticeships and create a single UCAS-style City Region wide portal for apprentices.
► A major initiative to tackle the City Region housing shortage by building
25,000 new homes before 2022 in the right places and with a variety of types and
tenures to ensure everyone has access to a decent and affordable home.
► Tackle homelessness by working with Government to fund a trail blazing Housing
1st approach to make sure new homes are made available to those in greatest
need as quickly as possible end the scandal of rough sleeping in Liverpool City
► Adopt a brownfield 1st approach to new housing development by publishing the
1st ever City Region Brown Field Register, and lobbying the Chancellor to give
the area a Stamp Duty holiday with funds being recycled into remediating
brownfield, making them available for new homes.
► Backing up the £460 million investment in new rolling stock for Merseyrail by
exploring how devolution powers and bus regulation can be best used to create a
fully integrated public transport system for a dynamic and growing City Region.
► Make access to public transport more streamlined and customer friendly by
rebranding and remodelling the current Walrus card to make the City Region a UK
exemplar for smart ticketing and new payment technologies.
► Making cross river transport and movement easier and more affordable by
delivering on an election pledge to create a more affordable Fast Tag for Mersey
Tunnel users, and announcing the commissioning of the design for a new state of
the art Mersey Ferry.
► Setting out the City Region's future devolution ambitions and begin discussion
about how the City Region might to integrate Fire and Rescue, Waste Disposal and
powers of the Police and Crime Commissioner into a future Combines Authority
Explaining that devolution was an opportunity that we simply could not afford to
squander, Steve Rotheram said;- "The simple argument for devolution is
that local people who are locally accountable know better than Whitehall what
our area needs, but it is also about recognising that in an increasingly
competitive and changing world, 6 districts with a population of 1.5 million can
be more successful and stronger together."