The fact that it was poor now seems to be a fact not just my opinion – see my previous posting at:-
But the more I have thought about it the more I have come to the conclusion that the 6 Council Leaders must surely have known what a poor effort it was. That then leads you to consider why it was poor?
* Simply done too late and therefore rushed and ill-considered?
* Bearing in mind the now legendary bickering that has gone on between our esteemed Council Leaders on Merseyside could they not agree a more radical/credible submission?
* Was it an attempt to kick this uncomfortable matter into the long grass by seemingly making a submission (playing the game so to speak) but one that they hoped would be unlikely to be agreed by George Osborne?
* Were the majority of other 5 Council leaders trying to stop Joe Anderson becoming a City Region Mayor by attempting to slow down the devolution process via a poor submission?
* Or was it simply that our 6 Council leaders did not realise how poor the submission was?
How will this be outed I wonder?
And to finish this posting which is of course related to George Osborne’s Northern Powerhouse strategy (whatever that may be in reality), which in itself seems to be built on John Prescott’s Northern Way (remember that?), a comment from a Labour Party friend of mine seems to be appropriate. For Northern Powerhouse read Northern Poorhouse! Seems to sum up our position in the north under the Tories quite well.
The Liverpool Echo has the story – see link above
Just as I predicted recently – see link below –
Joe and Jane Public are not getting any say at all over what the 6 Labour Council Leaders on Merseyside think are our priorities as they lurch us nearer to an unwanted Metro Mayor.
Of course we want powers devolved locally to the communities of Merseyside so that we can decided our own destiny but we don’t want this decided by 6 middle aged men from Merseyside and a Tory Chancellor in Whitehall. What we actually want is to be consulted before the 6 middle aged white blokes tell the Chancellor what they think we want.
This is not democracy, it’s imposition!
The BBC has the story – see link above
Council leaders have agreed to submit a bid for a devolution deal that could pave the way for an elected mayor in the Liverpool City Region.
‘We need to come up with a really ambitious package’
So what’s going to be in the devolution package? Who is going to be consulted about it? Will Joe and Jane Soap here on Merseyside get any chance to have a say on the package before it is sent off to the Tory Government?
All we know is that the 6 Labour Council Leaders across Merseyside want a package and that they want it to be ambitious but based on their now legendary inability to get on with each other what hope can we have?
Devolution of powers? YES, as a Liberal it is what I have fought for all my political life and in times when neither Tories nor Red Tories (Labour) believed in it at all.
A Metro Mayor? NO – I don’t want the communities of Merseyside to run from Liverpool Town Hall by Joe Anderson or anyone else for that matter.
Here are Lib Dem Cllr. Richard Kemp’s views via the Liverpool Echo:-
I don’t know about you but all this will they, won’t they over whether we are to have a Elected Merseyside Mayor is getting to be tedious. As far as I can see there is no groundswell of support for an elected mayor across Merseyside with only the Labour Party in Liverpool and Sefton wanting one.
And what of Joe Anderson’s statement when earlier this year he said critics of plans to devolve more powers to the region were “bringing the area into disrepute”.
I do not care for Joe Anderson’s approach to being Liverpool’s Elected Mayor and feel that he shines Liverpool in a poor light. So if Joe was to be the Elected Mayor for all of Merseyside!!!!! But why did he say this? Possibly because he was frustrated because few people agree with him over this matter. But anyway no one that I know is being critical of the principle of devolving more powers to the Liverpool City Region.
As a Liberal my whole political life has been one of trying to get powers devolved from Westminster to cities, towns and local communities and I have spent much of this time being opposed by Tories and indeed the Labour Party!
The issue with the Tory Government and indeed Liverpool Labour Party (supported by Sefton Labour so it would seem) is that they want any powers that could be devolved to be in tandem with Merseyside having an Elected Mayor. It is the Elected Mayor that we don’t want!
And another independent perspective about this imposition of Metro Mayors:-
The link above to Southport Lib Dems web site gives details of John Pugh’s position on a Metro Mayor for Merseyside. He does not pull any punches and he is right.
The County of Merseyside and its County Council were created as a consequence of the Conservative’s hugely controversial local government reorganisation of 1974. It took many communities out of Lancashire and into this newly invented beast and it has probably been the most unpopular act associated with local governance of living memory.
Unloved and often hated from the start (I mean the County of Merseyside but you can read into this sentence another connotation!) Margaret Thatcher then killed off or put down Merseyside County Council in the 1980’s.
But on an isolated lane in Melling on the border with West Lancashire, Cunscough Lane to be precise, there sits to this very day a symbol of that once short-lived County Council together with its crest or coat of arms:-
What was once – A short lived County Council
The photo is amongst my Flickr shots at:-