Agenda item

Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Announcements and Updates

To receive updates from the Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor.

Minutes:

           Metro Mayor S Rotheram provided Members with an update on activity and key developments since the last meeting of the LCR Combined.

 

           Metro Mayor S Rotheram reported that Liverpool City Region Pride was to be held on Saturday 27 July 2019 and he would be proudly joining the LGBT+ community to celebrate in what was a fun, colourful and enjoyable day to celebrate love, diversity and progress. He reflected upon the death of Michael Causer as a result of a homophobic attack which had been the catalyst for the Pride festival being held in the City Region. He also informed Members that he would be speaking at Michael Causers vigil and stressed the importance of continuing to support diversity issues and was proud that the LCR Combined Authority were supporting the festival and drew attention to the Pride lanyards staff had been wearing in the week leading up to Pride and that Liverpool City Council were also sponsoring the festival.

 

           Metro Mayor S Rotheram informed the LCR Combined Authority that he had visited St Helens and celebrated the completion of the Windle Island junction works which would improve pedestrian safety. He had then visited Langtree Park to support St Helens Metropolitan Borough Councils bid to bring Glass Futures. He advised that Glass Futures could be transformational for St Helens by bringing glass manufacturing back to its natural home in a 21st century setting with advanced manufacturing, apprenticeships and supporting the City Region’s pledge to achieve net zero carbon for energy use.

 

           The Metro Mayor reflected upon Lord Heseltine’s recently launched report which was entitled ‘Empowering English Cities’. The report focused on the need for further powers to be given to Combined Authorities and Metro Mayors and remarked, according to Lord Heseltine that devolution had been held back by Brexit. Metro Mayor S Rotheram informed the LCR Combined Authority that he had responded to the report by saying that the whole point of devolution was that decisions would be informed by specific, local circumstances as Combined Authority’s knew their areas better than Whitehall which led to the decision in 2015 to seek devolution for the Liverpool City Region. He highlighted how the previous Government had been resistant to consider further devolution ASKs and hoped that the new Prime Minister would support further devolution.

 

           Metro Mayor S Rotheram referred to the outcome of the Conservative Party Leadership election and the announcement that Boris Johnson had been appointed as Prime Minister. He expressed concern regarding the appointment of a Cabinet which overwhelming supported leaving the European Union without a deal on 31 October 2019. He indicated that this position was a huge concern for all in the City Region, as the Treasury’s own analysis had suggested a 9.3% drop in the North West GVA as a result of a no-deal Brexit.

 

Metro Mayor S Rotheram further reported that the analysis didn’t take into account the interconnectedness of supply chains and the exposure of sub-regions, such as the Liverpool City Region, whose economic strengths were based on manufacturing. Furthermore, as 60% of the City Region’s exports were to the European Union, analysis from the University of Sussex provided a conservative estimate of 15,000 job losses in the City Region in the event of no deal. He explained that as elected Leaders they had a responsibility to protect the people of the City Region from such economic harm. Therefore, he would be writing to the newly appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster who had responsibility for the Governments No Deal preparations, to invite him to the City Region to meet with Elected Leaders, Business and Trade Unions to discuss the City Region’s specific challenges and how the Government could support the area.

 

In conclusion, Metro Mayor S Rotheram reported that the Annual Conversation with Government had taken place and had been well received and recognition that the City Region was making huge progress.