Agenda item

Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Announcements and Updates

To receive updates from the Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor.


            Metro Mayor S Rotheram informed the LCR Combined Authority that today was International Woman’s Day which provided an opportunity to celebrate the contribution women make to our society, reflecting upon the progress that that has made in the battle for equality and pledging to bring about meaningful change.


            Metro Mayor S Rotheram reported on a number of actions which the Combined Authority was undertaking to improve gender equality, which included:-


·           Appointing Deputy Portfolio Holders to ensure that women’s voices have a say in the decision-making process of the Combined Authority;

·           Funded school programmes to help get young girls into tech and supported digital training for women;

·           Through the Fair Employment Charter are fighting in work poverty and insecure working conditions, which disproportionately affects women.


The Metro Mayor explained that the first Liverpool City Region Women in Politics stakeholder group had been held the previous night and had been led by Councillor Carla Thomas, his Deputy Portfolio Holder. The meeting had brought together women Councillors and leading activists from all the main political parties. The stakeholder group would work together to promote female political leadership and inspire the next generation of female leaders.


The Metro Mayor thanked Edge Hill University, the Institute of Public Policy Research, Blackburne House and the Trade Union Congress, for their support to help identify the barriers women face in progressing to positions of leadership and for developing a range of actions to address them. He also reported that the Combined Authority had formed a new partnership with the LEP to improve women’s representation across the city region’s businesses. This scheme would provide young women with mentors and role models from the world of business, with the ultimate aim of increasing women’s presence in the boardroom.


The Metro Mayor reported that the local UNISON branch had organised a range of activities celebrating International Women’s Day, which were being held outside the Authority Chamber and encouraged those present to drop by. 


The Metro Mayor informed Members that this week was National Apprenticeships Week. To mark the week, the Combined Authority had launched its apprenticeship portal called “Be More”. The aim of the portal was to make finding and taking up apprenticeships much easier for those living in the City Region.


Metro Mayor S Rotheram referenced how improving the quality and scope of apprenticeship provision was a cause close to his heart and was delighted that the Combined Authority was taking yet another step to achieving parity of esteem between the academic and technical routes to employment.


The Metro Mayor explained that the apprenticeship portal was the first of its kind in the country, which was a fulfilment of a key manifesto pledge of his and a further example of how the Liverpool City Region was leading the way to improving the apprenticeship offer.


Metro Mayor S Rotheram informed Members that he was delighted to welcome the co-location of Homes England staff to the Combined Authority, which was the first arrangement of its kind in the country. He went on to explain how Homes England had recently announced nearly £10million investment for Festival Gardens in Liverpool and how by being physically based together this would facilitate even closer joint working and present opportunities for further projects across the whole City Region.


The Metro Mayor reported that earlier this month that both he and Mayor J Anderson OBE had attended a summit of local Leaders who held talks with government ministers to discuss plans to tackle the national air pollution crisis and called for the introduction of vehicle upgrade or scrappage scheme.


Metro Mayor S Rotheram reflected on what was a huge issue the City Region and the country with nationally, toxic air leading to around 40,000 premature deaths every year and increases the risk of asthma, cancer and dementia, with more deprived areas suffering disproportionately.


The Metro Mayor reported that Councillor L Robinson was chairing a City Region taskforce on air quality which drew together and co-ordinated activity across the City Region and acknowledged how all political Leaders would need to take greater action on this in the months ahead.


Metro Mayor S Rotheram reported that he had attended the opening of the impressive St Winefride’s health, social care and nursing campus at Hugh Baird College following £4million investment from the Combined Authority.


The Metro Mayor reported that on 22 February 2019 he was delighted, along with Councillor D Long to formally open the fantastic new and improved facilities at Newton-le-Williows station interchange, following a £19 million investment from the Combined Authority.


He highlighted how both of these projects provided an example of devolution at its very best, by responding to local needs investing in our communities and giving greater opportunities to local people.


In conclusion, the Metro Mayor invited Mr A Hamid MBE, Chair of the LEP Board to say a few words regarding the work of the LEP in supporting women in business.


Mr A Hamid MBE, Chair of the LEP Board, informed the Combined Authority that the LEP Board took gender equality seriously and celebrated the success of women across the City Region. In recognition of this a mentoring programme was to be developed to support women in the business community and to address the gender gap. Furthermore, an Equality and Diversity champion would be appointed at the next LEP Board meeting along with a recruitment campaign for three LEP Board Members.