I had an enjoyable trip down to Prescot this morning to see Carl Cashman, the Lib Dem candidate to become Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, launch his manifesto. The venue was packed out and I only just managed to squeeze in.
Some great green policies and a realistic approach to housing need too. First time I have heard a senior politician acknowledge that environmental, planning and housing policy needs to be joined up rather than the present daft system where they are not joined up at all.
Carl’s backing for a tidal lagoon off Southport to produce clean energy was very welcome news.
He also spoke about the mad situation in the Maghull & Lydiate part of Sefton Borough where the very highest grades of agricultural land (the land that grows our food!) are to be built upon because of Labour-led Sefton Council’s Local Plan.
Carl is big on tackling disadvantage and poverty. He majored on buses and the need to stop the decline in local bus services which he obviously sees as being a big issue for those on low incomes who can’t afford to run cars. And on low incomes he wants to bring in a Merseyside Living Wage of £8.50 per hour which Merseyside employers would be incentivised to support. Nice to see someone who really wants to tackle poverty rather than just manage it.
What also struck me was the support that Carl clearly builds from virtually everyone who meets him particularly people who have previously felt that they did not have a voice amongst politicians.
As I have said before this young man is going places.
A while back I posted this (see link below) about a party political matter in a Merseytravel staff briefing:-
And of course I in effect issued a challenge to Merseytravel to be party politically balanced in what they say to their staff. Well they seem to have risen to that challenge because in subsequent editions they have name checked the Green and Lib Dem candidates for the position of Mersey Metro Mayor, for which there will be an election next year. This is their latest article:-
New Mayoral candidate
The Liberal Democrats have this week announced that Prescot Councillor, Carl Cashman will be their candidate for the Liverpool City Region Mayoral election in May 2017.
He will stand against Labour Walton MP Steve Rotheram and Cllr Tom Crone for the Green Party who represents the St Michael’s ward on Liverpool City Council. Other parties, including the Conservatives, are yet to confirm their candidates.
A Liverpool City Region Mayor is part of devolution plans that will allow more local control over decision making. These powers include areas such as transport, training, skills, and strategic planning.
But why did I raise this in the first place? Whatever a public body does needs to party politically balanced or alternatively not party political at all. After all it is public money that pays their way, so when I saw the first entry in their staff briefing I felt the need to keep an eye on things simple as that really.
Wonder why they have not mentioned the other candidates selected for Manchester’s Metro Mayor post though? Although you could equally ask what on earth did they mention the first declared candidate for Manchester for to start with?
Here are some photos from Carl Cashman’s Merseyside Metro Mayor launch event held in Prescot last Saturday:-
Click on the photos to enlarge them – Photo above by Charlie Green
Kris Brown, Chair of Liverpool Lib Dems, introducing Carl Cashman
Carl making his launch speech to a packed out gathering of his supporters.
What struck me most about this launch event was the number of young people there. Politics can often be a place where the middle aged and elderly predominate but Carl is pulling young people into his campaign and that has to be good for our democracy and indeed the Liberal Democrats.
Here’s what the Liverpool Echo has to say about Carl – see link below.
For someone who thinks that the devolution deal that Merseyside got from our present Tory Government was at best 2nd rate and who doesn’t think a Metro Mayor is a sensible way forward for this region you may wonder why I went to launch event of one of the potential candidates for the job earlier today.
Well I went, as did many other of Carl’s supporters, because the candidate in question thinks as I do. He is standing to be a candidate because he knows the devolution deal is poor and he is concerned, like me, about putting too much power in one person’s hands. What’s more I like Carl Cashman and have been supporting him as he has moved through the political gears to becoming the present Lib Dem Leader on Knowsley Council.
Carl is a bright young free thinking Liberal politician whom I greatly admire and if anyone has to be our Metro Mayor I quite frankly could not think of a person more suited to the role. He is strong on environmental issues, such as stopping Labour-run Councils from building on the Green Belt, and he has a keen sense of social responsibility. He cares about people and unlike the vast majority of politicians he really does put people before party politics.
Watch out for this young man he is going places.
I am no Labour supporter (I’m actually backing Cllr. Carl Cashman’s campaign to be selected as the Lib Dem candidate for Merseyside Metro Mayor) but have to say that there must surely be a huge collective sigh of relief across Merseyside that Joe Anderson has not selected as the Labour candidate.
But why is Steve Rotherham MP, who will be Labour’s candidate, backing the Northern Poorhouse policy of George Osborne? Is he another Labour politician who has not realised that the Northern Powerhouse is just Tory spin?
I have commented before on Labour’s odd attachment to the previous Tory Chancellor’s Northern Powerhouse policy. Interestingly, both Steve Rotherham (a Corbyn backer) and his Labour counterpart for the Manchester Metro Mayor Andy Burnham (very much not a Corbynite) are both backing this Tory policy that many of us have seen through a long time ago.
It never ceases to amaze me how close the Tories and Labour really are. Yes I know that my lot had 5 years in coalition with the Tories nationally but I am talking of the unstated but trackable Tory/Labour collaboration going back years here on Merseyside.
Election candidate Carl Cashman braving the wild winter conditions a while back.
This is mad but it made me laugh…..
The Liverpool Echo has the story – see link above
Carl is a great young man with a bright political future ahead of him; pleased to count him as a friend of mine.