The Liverpool Echo has the article on its website – see link below:-
Now I don’t recall amongst all the hype from Tories in Government and Labour locally who backed us having a Metro Mayor, on what I called at the time a 3rd rate devolution deal, that there’d be an addition to all the Liverpool City Region council tax bills, do you? But then again it was probably always the case that there’d be more mouths to feed and such has come to pass.
I’d be much happier if the powers devolved to our Metro Mayor had made it worth us putting our hands deeper into our pockets but I’ve been consistent in saying it was a poor deal that should not have been embraced so lovingly by Labour leaders across Merseyside.
It’s not that I’m opposed to devolved powers, indeed as a Liberal, I’ve championed such moves for as long as I can recall when both Tories and Labour nationally and locally would have none of it. It’s just that I’m far from convinced that the limited powers that our Metro Mayor has makes the post worth having (and us paying for) and I’d hold that view no matter who was our Metro Mayor.
And where’s the detailed plan and the vision for say the next 20 years to take our City Region forward, you get the impression that at least initially our money will be going to put that together whereas it should have come before the plea for cash.
Tell us what you are going to deliver – then ask us to chip in not the other way round
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?
Don’t you think this is an odd article to appear in a Merseytravel staff briefing, it even name drops the Labour nomination for Manchester Mayor? I wonder if all the other to be declared candidates will get such publicity from this taxation funded public sector body?
Labour selects Mayoral candidate
Steve Rotheram will be Labour’s candidate in next year’s Liverpool City Region mayoral election. The MP for Walton beat Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson and MP for Wavertree Luciana Berger in a vote of Labour members in the region, with the results announced on Wednesday (10th August). Fellow MP Andy Burnham won the Manchester mayoral nomination for Labour on Tuesday. The other parties have yet to decide their candidates for the election which will be held on 4th May 2017.
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.