Sefton Council – Response to Leader’s endorsement of the Merseyside devolution of powers deal

The Champion newspaper in its edition of 25th November carried an article where the present Leader of Sefton Council endorsed what I call Merseyside’s 3rd rate devolution deal. Here is my response to Cllr. Ian Maher……

Devolution powers so poor they are not worth having

Reacting to the Labour Leader of Sefton Council Cllr. Ian Mayer’s endorsement of the devolution deal for Merseyside the Borough’s former Lib Dem Council Leader Tony Robertson says the devolution deal for the Liverpool City Region/Merseyside is rubbish.

Tony, a long-time campaigner for devolution of powers from Government to the diverse communities of Sefton and Merseyside says the deal that Sefton Council voted for is poor and he sees nothing in it for Sefton or the Boroughs surrounding Liverpool.

“We get a Metro Mayor imposed on us, whom we will have to pay the wages of, for little or nothing in return that will be of any use to us.”

“We Lib Dems passionately believe in devolution of government powers to the lowest possible level of governance commensurate with the effective delivery of services for our diverse communities. However, that does not mean we will accept 3rd rate devolution – no control over the Police or the NHS like in Manchester comes to mind. But holding a gun to our head and being told you can only have your 3rd rate devolution powers if you accept a Metro Mayor to lord it over you is utterly ridiculous. We will not even get a referendum on these issues.”

“This is not devolution it is imposition and there’s nothing good going to come from this for the people of Sefton my view. I was delighted that the Lib Dem opposition Group on Sefton Council stood their ground and opposed this poor deal for the diverse communities of Sefton”

*****ENDS*****

Editors Note – Tony was Leader of Sefton Council from 2004 until 2011

At the time of posting this article the Champion had not printed my opposing view.

Liverpool City Region – Sefton Council Lib Dem Group opposes 3rd rate devolution deal and imposed Metro Mayor

Great to see the opposition Lib Dem Group on Sefton Council standing up for Merseyside and effectively saying take this 3rd rate devolution deal and stick it where the sun don’t………!

Sefton Logo

I have commented on the poor deal previously as I see nothing in it for the Boroughs surrounding Liverpool. We get a Metro Mayor imposed on us, whom we will have to pay the wages of, for little or nothing in return that will be of any use to us.

Sadly Sefton Council Tories backed Labour in endorsing the deal, but of course Labour and Tories in Sefton have always had a close relationship.

We Lib Dems passionately believe in devolution of government powers to the lowest possible level of governance commensurate with the effective delivery of services for our diverse communities. However, that does not mean we will accept 3rd rate devolution – no control over the Police or the NHS like in Manchester comes to mind! But holding a gun to our head and being told you can only have your 3rd rate devolution powers if you accept a Metro Mayor to lord it over you is utterly ridiculous. We will not even get a referendum on these issues.

Sorry but this is not devolution it is imposition and there’s nothing good going to come from this for the people of Sefton my view. However, I await all the publicity/propaganda that will tell me how wonderful it is going to be!

Liverpool City Region devolution – The deal is rubbish and should be rejected out of hand.

My two most recent postings on this subject are available via the links below:-

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

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2015/11/03/liverpool-city-region-was-that-submission-for-devolved-powers-from-government-deliberately-poor/

The Liverpool City Region settlement announced today falls far behind the one negotiated for Greater Manchester.

The Liverpool City Region has been given far fewer powers than was Greater Manchester.

Manchester will have control over the Police and over the Health Service Liverpool will not! These are two huge areas where Manchester will be able to better coordinate at a sub-regional level the work of the public sector across their huge conurbation. Crime and the NHS are probably our greatest local challenges so what’s the point of a devolution deal that does not empower the Liverpool City Region to address them?

In addition one of the new Liverpool City Region powers, to regulate buses is probably little more than whistling in the wind. The North-East combined authority has already decided not to make use of this devolved ‘power’ because they would have to pay over £230 million in compensation to the existing bus operators.

This is not a good deal, it’s in no way a historic deal but it is just about the best deal our often publicly bickering Merseyside Council Leaders could get with their poor quality, seemingly last minute application. We could have had a much better, potentially worth having, deal had the 6 Merseyside council leaders been working together for the past few years in the way that the 10 council leaders in Greater Manchester have been doing.

In my opinion the deal is not worth a carrot, it will probably get us an unwanted and costly Metro Mayor and Merseyside is hardly likely to move forward. Not radical just ridiculous and it should be rejected out of hand.