Merseyside’s Metro Mayor – Many don’t know about one being foisted upon us and many don’t want to know!

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/were-getting-new-metro-mayor-11319268

The Liverpool Echo has the story – see link above:-

Who wants a Metro Mayor for Merseyside? No one that I know wants yet another politician living off the taxpayer’s purse.

But many who do know about us getting a Metro Mayor don’t want Joe Anderson even though Liverpool voters seem to love him if the recent Mayoral election is anything to go by. In my view Joe has been a huge drag on Liverpool moving forward and he would be no better for Merseyside. And I don’t say this because he represents the Labour Party; I would hold this view whichever Party he stood for. But maybe it’s one of those situations where whomever Labour put on the ballot paper next year Merseyside electors will approve them. I hope not but the Liverpool result must indicate that despite Joe being seemingly quite unpopular, when it comes to the ballot box, tribal Labour loyalty is all that matters.

But, as the Echo article above points out, many folks don’t even know that a Metro Mayor is going to be forced on Merseyside. In Sefton Borough we are told that 61% of electors know nothing of us getting a Metro Mayor in 2017.

So many don’t know and many don’t want to know but getting a Metro Mayor we are because of a strangely close partnership between Labour on Merseyside and the hated Tory Government and the 3rd rate devolution deal they struck for us.

Southport – Planning for a positive future

birkdalefocus.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/the-british-lawnmower-museum-and-town.html

Above is a link to the blog site of my good friend Cllr. Iain Brodie Brown, please take a moment to click the link and read his posting. It is pure community politics to my mind.

Southport viewed from the end of its pier

Southport viewed from the end of its pier

Click on the photo to enlarge it

There can be little doubt that the towns/boroughs surrounding Liverpool have not benefited from being a part of the Liverpool City Region. Indeed, my own view is that centralising power in Liverpool as both Tories and Labour are planning for, with a Metro Mayor, could well be the road to ruin for places like Southport St. Helens, Birkenhead, Maghull, Formby, Prescot etc.

Whilst Iain’s posting is all about what needs to be done to give Southport a bright future his fundamental concerns could well be about any of Liverpool’s satellite communities that sit outside of the Liverpool City Council boundary.

Centralising power and influence in Liverpool will just not work, except for Liverpool itself. Unlike the Greater Manchester communities, which mostly seem look towards Manchester, the same can’t be said of Merseyside. Southport has always seen its connections with Preston and Lancashire as being of great importance but it was wrenched away from such historical links by local government reorganisation in 1974. Much of Wirral Borough has historic connections with Chester and Cheshire but it too was forced into Merseyside.

Merseyside because of its odd geographic shape was never likely to be a runner as a viable unit of local government and the years that have passed since 1974 have only proved that theory correct. Sefton, itself a strange collection of diverse communities, realised this some years ago and it began a process of decentralisation. Bizarrely though Labour then slammed this process into reverse when its Bootle based party took control of the Council. What was their motivation to say ‘the Borough will work well as a one size fits all because we say it will’ not least because this approach had failed miserably when first tried?

Presently we are seeing the start of a process to take 1000’s of civil service jobs out of Netherton, St Helens and Bootle for them all to be centralised in Liverpool. Liverpool’s gain will be big losses for Sefton and St Helens Boroughs.

Make no mistake the Tories are wedded to cities being made more powerful at the expense of their surrounding towns and boroughs. What’s more Labour are pretty much behind this process, why else did the 6 Labour Council Leaders on Merseyside sign up to a 3rd rate devolution deal?

Towns surrounding big cities need investment, public and private, not dependency on the nearest City because that is the road to ruin except for the big cities of course.

The photo above is amongst my Flickr shots at:-

www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

Liverpool City Region – Was that submission for devolved powers from government deliberately poor?

The fact that it was poor now seems to be a fact not just my opinion – see my previous posting at:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/10/07/liverpool-city-region-underwhelmed-by-lackluster-submission-for-delegated-powers-2/

But the more I have thought about it the more I have come to the conclusion that the 6 Council Leaders must surely have known what a poor effort it was. That then leads you to consider why it was poor?

* Simply done too late and therefore rushed and ill-considered?

* Bearing in mind the now legendary bickering that has gone on between our esteemed Council Leaders on Merseyside could they not agree a more radical/credible submission?

* Was it an attempt to kick this uncomfortable matter into the long grass by seemingly making a submission (playing the game so to speak) but one that they hoped would be unlikely to be agreed by George Osborne?

* Were the majority of other 5 Council leaders trying to stop Joe Anderson becoming a City Region Mayor by attempting to slow down the devolution process via a poor submission?

* Or was it simply that our 6 Council leaders did not realise how poor the submission was?

How will this be outed I wonder?

NORTHERN POORHOUSE

And to finish this posting which is of course related to George Osborne’s Northern Powerhouse strategy (whatever that may be in reality), which in itself seems to be built on John Prescott’s Northern Way (remember that?), a comment from a Labour Party friend of mine seems to be appropriate. For Northern Powerhouse read Northern Poorhouse! Seems to sum up our position in the north under the Tories quite well.

Metro Mayors – John Pugh MP leads the charge against them

southportlibdems.org.uk/en/article/2015/1086254/john-pugh-to-lead-debate-on-metro-mayors

John Pugh MP for Southport

The link above to Southport Lib Dems web site gives details of John Pugh’s position on a Metro Mayor for Merseyside. He does not pull any punches and he is right.