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.
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!
Liverpool’s elected Mayor Joe Anderson says he wants to be Mayor for the whole of Liverpool City Region. Its time we said ‘NO’ to him and indeed anyone else who wants to run the affairs of communities outside of Liverpool from Liverpool.
No good will come from places like Prescot, Southport, Lydiate, Wallasey, St Helens, Maghull, Birkenhead or any other of the numerous communities that make up the Liverpool City Region being run from Liverpool Town Hall.
Neither will any good come from putting power into the hands of just one person to Lord it over so many diverse communities.
Whether it be the personal ambitions of Joe Anderson or anyone else the firm answer from our City Region communities has to be ‘NO’.
We want power devolved to communities so they can decide their own future not power concentrated in the hands of one person who will remotely decide the future of communities they may well never have set foot in.
Communities like Southport, Formby, Maghull, Aintree, Crosby, Lydiate etc. would be run for the benefit of Liverpool City. Much of Sefton Borough’s boundary is with West Lancashire and City Region deals, should one be replicated in the Liverpool City Region, will put more bricks in the wall between Sefton and West Lancs. Stop this nonsense now.
A smoke filled room comes to mind having read this on the Liverpool Echo web site – see link above.
The big question is will Bootle Labour Party, who run Sefton Borough, give in to the demands of Liverpool Labour Party who want to be in the big boys club. Historically Bootle Labour and Liverpool Labour have not got on so there may be some hope; we shall see.
Putting power in one person’s hands is never a good idea and those that want such power are usually, in my view, the very people who should not be given the opportunity to exercise it.