The link above takes you to a Liverpool Echo article which is worth a read. Readers of this site will know how utterly opposed I am to the communities of Sefton being run from Liverpool Town Hall by a Metro Mayor.
And let’s be honest it’s no surprise that Merseyside’s Labour leaders are kicking lumps out of each other yet again in public:-
One thing that had slipped my mind as Labour Council Leaders across Merseyside have been kicking lumps out of each other about whether our area will be bossed around by a Liverpool centric Metro Mayor is that there has actually been a vote on Sefton Council on this very matter.
It happened at a meeting I missed on 20th November but the result is quite illuminating. This is the what was being debated:-
It was moved by Councillor Brodie – Browne, seconded by Councillor Dawson:
“This Council believes that there should be no elected Mayors imposed upon communities such as the Borough of Sefton without the clear consent for such a constitutional change being agreed by the votes of the communities concerned.
The Council is concerned to avoid a piecemeal approach being adopted to the subject of devolution of government power to the North West Region and calls for the early establishment of a North West Constitutional Convention.”
ALL SEFTON’S LABOUR COUNCILLORS PRESENT VOTED AGAINST THIS MOTION!
The links above are to the Liverpool Echo and Independent newspapers and they paint a grim picture for Joe Anderson and indeed they do nothing for Liverpool and Merseyside.
Joe my well want to be the elected Mayor of Merseyside or the Liverpool City Region (call it what you will) but it must be pretty obvious to just about everyone that his views are not shared or supported much beyond his own campaign team.
This horrible row is no surprise though. Merseyside’s Labour Council Leaders sadly have a history of kicking lumps out of each other but I think we all wish they would put a sock in it. Do we really want to read week in, week out, that our local Leaders are at war with each other? Do they think their public rows are good for Liverpool and its surrounding communities?
This is not Toy Town politics it Toy City Region politics and no good will come of it.
Has Joe Anderson’s ambition to be Mayor of the whole Liverpool City Region come unstuck again? Well it seems so.
Only days after Labour Council Leaders from St.Helens, Knowsley and Wirral poured cold water on Joe’s plans to take over Merseyside David Cameron has also seemingly put the boot in by saying that Merseyside/Liverpool City Region does not have to have a Metro Mayor to have powers devolved to it from Whitehall.
Interestingly, Sefton Council Leader Peter Dowd seems to be keeping his head down over this Metro Mayor lark, but he is of course going to be in the House of Commons from May as Bootle’s new MP. On that basis the backing or sacking of Joe Anderson will fall to another and presently unknown Labour Councillor from Sefton. Maybe Sefton Labour Party don’t know which side of the fence they are on but I think they should realise that we should be told where they stand.
The Liverpool Echo has the story – see link above.
You can look at this both ways i.e. it yet again highlights the dysfunctional nature of Labour Party politics on Merseyside (fighting like ferrets in a sack), which is clearly the case, or that on this occasion the inability of our local leaders to get along with each other has this time worked to the advantage of the rest of us. Both perspective are probably correct.
Of course as a Liberal I want as much power exercised as close to the people as possible but no way do I see having a Metro Mayor Lording it over us from Liverpool Town Hall as an acceptable way of supposedly getting that devolution of power. What do we gain by taking power from Westminster and handing it to one person on Merseyside – none at all. Manchester’s Council leaders may think it is a great idea, despite Manchester residents seemingly being very much of the opposite view but here on Merseyside the answer to governments of any colour has to be, devolution of powers yes, but in a way that the diverse communities of the Liverpool City Region are happy with. Don’t impose, that is not localism, it is big brother telling us what is good for us and we have had enough of that from our Labour-led Councils.
Meeting to discuss appointing mayor
Greater Manchester’s 10 council leaders are to meet today to discuss the region’s devolution agreement – and the process of appointing an interim mayor. Councils across the region have held meetings on the deal, which will see money and new powers over planning, skills funding, transport and house-building handed to the region’s combined authority, with, according to the Manchester Evening News, leaders broadly adopting a similar position – reluctant acceptance of an elected mayor in return for unprecedented devolution.
The Manchester Evening News ran this story.
The Liverpool City Region seems to have been put in the queue for this lark as well. No good will come from trying to run Sefton, St. Helens and the Wirral etc. from Liverpool Town Hall. Forget it I say!