Liverpool City Region Cabinet has welcomed the green light from Government to establish the Combined Authority for the City Region. The Government is supporting the proposal by starting the legislative process by laying Orders in Parliament. This would enable the Combined Authority to come into effect on 1 April 2014. This follows on from a meeting with the City Region's MPs in Parliament this week (11 February 2014).
The Combined Authority was recommended following a review of the strategic governance in the City Region last year, which Government subsequently consulted upon. The creation of a Combined Authority will enable the City Region to be better placed to support businesses to grow and create jobs through more efficient and effective decision making. It will encourage residents to set up their own businesses, existing businesses to grow and attract new businesses into the area.
The Combined Authority will not result in the merger or takeover of existing local authority functions, nor would it be a super council. The Combined Authority will strategically lead work on economic development, transport and employment and skills in the City Region to support businesses to grow and create jobs. This more integrated approach to lead to better outcomes delivered more efficiently.
Rt. Hon. George Howarth, MP for Knowsley, said "This is an opportunity that must be seized if we are to secure jobs for our residents and growth for our businesses. The Combined Authority for the Liverpool City Region will provide the platform for councils and businesses to work together for the good of the City Region as a whole."
Cllr Rob Polhill, Leader of Halton Council said "This is good news for Halton as we will be able to work together better within the City Region to enable businesses to grow and create jobs."
Cllr Ron Round, Leader of Knowsley Council, said "Knowsley businesses and residents will benefit from more improved services and additional funding for economic development, regeneration and transport as a result of the Combined Authority. This City Region works well together, and the Combined Authority allows us to take this to the next level."
Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool, said "Working together in this way will put us in a much stronger position when negotiating with government and enable us to make key strategic decisions supporting jobs, growth and regeneration in Liverpool and the whole City Region."
Cllr Barrie Grunewald, Leader of St Helens Council, said "I am pleased that Government has recommended the creation of the Combined Authority. This will put the City Region in a much better position to support businesses to grow and create jobs. A new joint venture company, jointly owned by Langtree and the council, has acquired the freehold of Parkside one of the most strategic sites in the North West which, I am sure will be one of the projects to benefit from a Combined Authority. "
Cllr Peter Dowd, Leader of Sefton Council, said "We can all see the tremendous opportunities for economic growth and job creation that are in front of us, particularly linked to the Liverpool 2 development. The Combined Authority will enable us to take full advantage of that."
Cllr Phil Davies, Leader of Wirral Council, said "Wirral businesses and residents contribute considerably to the City Region's economy, and the Combined Authority will allow more of this to happen. This will also allow us to ensure that all of the City Region benefits from the economic growth and job creation."