To consider the report of the Executive Director of Policy, Strategy and Government Relations and the Metro Mayor.
The LCR Combined Authority considered the report of the Executive Director Policy, Strategy and Government Relations and the Metro Mayor which sought approval of the Liverpool City Region Plan for Prosperity.
The Metro Mayor stated that the Plan for Prosperity was an important high level holistic and long term integrated economic and place-based vision and strategy which set the priorities for the Liverpool City Region for the next 15 years.
In doing so, this Plan:
· supported the delivery of the Corporate Plan’s objectives all set within the Vision of a Fairer, Stronger and Cleaner City Region;
· offered a proposition to Government on how the Combined Authority could work more collaboratively, including exploring and maximising the potential offered by devolution to deliver strategic priorities;
· set the strategic direction for City Region policies on the economy, business support, skills, transport, housing, planning, underpinned by an ambitious pathway to net zero carbon;
· informed investment decisions, ensuring the City Region continued to invest its resources impactfully; and
· enabled the City Region to market itself more effectively to Government, the private sector, and the wider world, demonstrating how we could provide a stable, consistent, and confident investment environment, act as a reliable partner, and deliver impactfully through local, national, and international collaboration.
The Metro Mayor explained that the Plan for Prosperity set out the Combined Authority’s definition of Levelling Up and noted that should the White Paper be published in the very near future the Combined Authority might be required to amended the Plan. However, the Metro Mayor was confident that the Plan for Prosperity had anticipated the Government’s definition of levelling up in a way that was meaningful for the City Region and reflected its priorities.
It was further reported that the preparation of this Plan had been a collaborative effort and he expressed his thanks to all the Members of the Combined Authority for their support, comments and ideas in their roles both as Leaders and the City Mayor, and as Portfolio Holders, in helping shape the Plan.
Councillor Jeanette Williamson explained that as the Portfolio Holder for Inclusive Economy and the Third Sector, she echoed the Metro Mayor’s comments, and stated her support for the Plan. She noted that everyone was living and operating through a time of real uncertainty. Therefore, having an overarching Plan, such as this which, was an anchor point for the Authority’s long-term priorities and principles and as such was a really important development.
In particular, Councillor Williamson welcomed how the Plan focused on supporting the development of an inclusive economy across the City Region. This would require different approaches and innovative ways of working across the public, private and social sectors and through working with Government to maximise the effectiveness and opportunities offered by devolution. Councillor Williamson welcomed the opportunity of working in collaboration with stakeholders from across the City Region to support the delivery of the priorities set out in this Plan, so that the shared vision of a Fairer, Stronger and Cleaner Liverpool City Region.
Councillor Graham Morgan noted that he had mentioned previously his disappointment that Knowsley Council had been overlooked in respect of funding. His concern remained that local authorities and areas which most needed Levelling-Up funding would be overlooked by the Government.
Asif Hamid recommended the Plan which was one he was supportive of and was keen to play an active role in. He noted that it was a work in progress and would be necessary to wait for the Levelling-Up White Paper to be published.
(a) the draft Liverpool City Region Plan for Prosperity as set out in Appendix 1 of this report be approved; and
(b) delegated authority be granted to the Metro Mayor and the Executive Director Policy, Strategy and Government Relations, to revise the Plan for Prosperity to reflect the Government’s Levelling Up White Paper, where appropriate, in conjunction with the Local Authority Chief Executives.