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Thread: Merseyside City Region

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    Senior Member Howie's Avatar
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    Default Merseyside City Region

    Slow off the mark
    Apr 14 2008
    by Haydon Wood, Liverpool Daily Post

    MERSEYSIDE needs to get its act together. A year ago, a government minister, Phil Woolas, announced he’d knocked heads together and the Merseyside City Region would become a reality.

    Insiders try to assure me that, under the guidance of Knowsley council leader Ron Round, work is being done to create the organisation that would be given new powers to boost skills and tackle unemployment.

    Survey after survey has shown that one of the main reasons why unemployment and low pay remain worse here than other parts of the country is lack of skills.



    So you would expect local politicians to bite the hand off a government offering to devolve power and cash to Merseyside to tackle these issues.

    But, as far as I can see, there has been little progress since Mr Woolas did his head banging.

    Instead, we see Greater Manchester’s City Region so far down the track that they are no longer talking about how nice it would be if Wigan and Stockport, Bury and Manchester could get together for a chat about things.

    Representatives of their City Region are in intensive talks with senior civil servants from the Treasury and three other key ministries to put the whole thing on a statutory basis.

    Before offering my explanation for the tardiness of Merseyside, I need to explain what these City Regions and their associated Multi Area Agreements are all about.

    As with so many issues around the way we are governed, they may seem irrelevant and dry as dust to the public. In fact, they are very important. Without structure the people perish, in my opinion.

    Believe it or not, the Government has been persuaded to release its total grip on centralised funding and decision making. It is prepared to give up some of its power to the major City Regions. So the millions of pounds spent annually on Merseyside by the unaccountable Learning and Skills Council could, in future, be decided locally. Big transport projects like a tram system or second crossing of the Mersey could be given a tremendous boost if it was jointly agreed by councils here.

    My career in journalism began on the day the now defunct Merseyside and Greater Manchester Councils were created in 1974. I reported endless rows between the proud cities of Liverpool and Manchester with these upstart counties. The spirit of unity was then no more in evidence on the Irwell than the Mersey. But, under Margaret Thatcher’s threat to privatise the jointly-owned Manchester Airport, Labour and Tory councils united to see her off. A tradition of working together was born.

    It’s taking a lot longer on Merseyside, although the need is arguably greater. Insiders who want to see the Merseyside City Region delivering on transport and skills are frustrated by the lack of progress. There’s a feeling that the core city of Liverpool is more interested in building structures to help itself, rather than marshalling behind it the united strength of Sefton, Wirral, Knowsley, St Helens and Halton.

    Source: Liverpool Daily Post

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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Rather half baked. A proper city state should be created like Hamburg. The Wirral, Knowsley and Sefton should be incorporated into Liverpool and run as one. Southport and St Helens can go back to Lancashire where they belong.
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    Senior Member Howie's Avatar
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    April 14, 2008
    Manchester in minority on city-region bodies
    By Simon Binns

    Manchester is one of only five of 13 metropolitan areas considering creating legally binding city-region bodies, which would have increased powers over funding, and is the only region to have discussed it with government, according to research by Local Government Chronicle magazine.

    City regions, or multi-area agreement funding deals, will create statutory bodies that can allocate funding and drive their own economic development.

    Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Bristol and Blackburn-Burnley are believed to be in favour of the proposals, but Newcastle, Hull, Middlesbrough, Southampton-Portsmouth, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Liverpool and Birmingham say they had no plans to create a city region.

    Source: Crain's Manchester Business

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    Senior Member Howie's Avatar
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    Default Frank Mckenna's Business Blog

    'Liverpool United' could still match Manchester
    By Frank Mckenna on Apr 14

    Last week I took a trip over to the 'dark side', attending the annual dinner of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce at the G-Mex centre as a guest of my good friend, and Liverpool Daily Post columnist, Jim Hancock.
    There is much to admire about the lot from the other end of the East Lancashire road. From a tired and dull industrial town, Manchester has transformed itself into arguably the UK's second city.

    Some say that this has been achieved because of the city's ability to take advantage of the opportunity to regenerate its town centre following the IRA bombing it suffered in the summer of 1996. Others would point to the 'Madchester' music movement that was built around my old mate Tony Wilson's Hacienda superclub, and the factory record label that was established at the same time.
    The full-time political leadership the city council enjoys must also be seen as a factor, whilst the contrast between how Manchester won and delivered the international event that was the Commonwealth Games, compared with how we have managed the European Capital of Culture, offers an example to the outside world of a 'can do' city.
    But what was strikingly obvious, sat alongside the other 800 guests who attended Wednesday night's affair, was that this bunch has a magnificent ability across their city-region to put parochial differences to one side for the good of the wider region that is Greater Manchester.
    Not for them public spats over the route that their tram system should take; just a solid determination that the existing network will be extended and funded by central government.
    They see the location of Manchester United outside of the city boundary as a positive that enables the Manchester brand to impact on a wider audience.
    All sixteen Greater Manchester local authorities generously fund and support its inward investment agency Midas, and the political leaders meet regularly to work up strategies and future plans via a vehicle called the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA).
    The Chambers of Commerce themselves have followed suit. Where we have independent Chambers throughout Merseyside, our neighbours have established a single, powerful entity that works in partnership with the political leadership. They are about to establish a sixteen-strong business leadership group that will directly feed into and influence the AGMA agenda of the future.
    I would argue that this public presentation of a 'one for all, all for one' approach has been the single most important element of the Manchester success story. And it is one that the Liverpool city-region must adopt sooner rather than later if we are to compete with Manchester and our other competitor cities.
    Liverpool united would be more than a match for any provincial European city - Manchester included - and business and political leaders must step up to the plate and make it happen.
    In the short term, what should be done?
    First, get rid of the 'M' word, once and for all. The term Merseyside may have had its uses during the dark days of the 70's and 80's, but it should be dumped along with the image that our region had back then. In marketing terms Liverpool is the brand. Liverpool city-region should be the term adopted with immediate effect.
    The re-named, Liverpool City Region Partnership, (currently the Mersey Partnership), should be developed into a properly funded, and genuinely supported strategic agency, that acts as the promotional and marketing vehicle, nationally and internationally, for the entire area.
    And we should be getting on with establishing our own Business Leadership Group, not only for the city of Liverpool, but for the wider city-region. An amalgamation of our own Chamber movement could only assist in delivering this aspiration.
    A collective approach to the marketing and governance of the Liverpool city region is not only preferable, it is essential, if we are to catch, and eventually overtake, Manchester. And that must be our medium term objective.
    For though its pragmatism and cunning have given Manchester the edge for over ten years now, as Mr Manchester Tony Wilson himself often told me 'In the UK, Manchester is the (northern) brand. But in the world it is Liverpool.'

    Source: LDPBusiness.co.uk

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    Senior Member Broliv's Avatar
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    Its more than annoying the inability for the various different councils to sit round a table and do something like this.

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    ‘Super cabinet’ to boost city region’s economy
    Jun 3 2008
    by David Bartlett, Liverpool Daily Post



    A MERSEYSIDE “super cabinet” is to be set up in an attempt help the region raise its game and boost economic growth.

    Each of the six council leaders in the Liverpool city region will be given a portfolio of responsibility in the new cabinet, which hopes to persuade the government to devolve powers to the region and cut bureaucracy.

    It aims to increase the region’s economic output by better strategic planning and working together to increase productivity.

    The Liverpool city region prospectus, which has been compiled by the Merseyside Policy Unit, identifies a number of challenges the area needs to meet.

    Last night, leaders from across the region said better working across the local authorities in the area was crucial to narrow the gap with the rest of the country.

    Wirral council leader Steve Foulkes said that, by working together, major projects could be delivered and fall-outs like the one that contributed to the scrapping of Merseytram could be avoided.

    He said the region would be “unstoppable” if the local authorities collaborated more.

    The report identifies a number of problems currently afflicting the Liverpool city region.

    Its relative economic position is still low, and projected future growth is not enough to close the productivity gap with average cities in the UK, Europe, USA, Asia and China. Perceptions of the region nationally are also an issue as “Liverpool city region is still seen as a region that has been defined by its problems rather than its successes”.

    The skill profile of the region is also poor and self-employment rates are lower than elsewhere – less than half that of the UK average.

    Poor health and low quality housing stock are also identified as key issues for the region.

    In order to meet these challenges, the region must “raise its game – accelerating the performance of the city region and increasing its competitiveness and productivity is key”.

    It is hoped that the new cabinet will help the local councils co-ordinate their efforts to improve the economy.

    The current chairman of the cabinet is Knowsley Council leader Ron Round; a leader for the cabinet will be chosen and will hold the position for two years.

    Last night, Liverpool Council leader Warren Bradley said setting up the cabinet and getting it running was important to show the Government the region meant business.

    He said the only contentious issue there had been among the leaders was what to call the region.

    “For me, calling it the Liverpool city region was a no-brainer, because Liverpool is a magnet and known everywhere, whereas Merseyside is not in the same way.”

    He said after that it had been important to be honest about the challenges facing the area.

    “The first thing was to admit that there is a gap; yes, the Liverpool economy is growing faster than other core cities, but we were miles behind.

    Cllr Foulkes said there was no indication from government currently that devolution of power was on its way.

    “It’s very much a suck it and see how and when powers are devolved.”

    A Communities and Local Government spokesperson said: “We are working closely with Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral councils to agree a multi-area agreement (MAA). “Negotiations, which include discussion of the partnership’s economic priorities and its sub-regional governance arrangements, are positive and progressing well.

    “MAAs are a long-term commitment, and signing-off an agreement is just the beginning of the process of improving outcomes for local citizens.”

    Responsibilities of the six councils

    LIVERPOOL – Economy and Europe

    WIRRAL – Environmental sustainability

    SEFTON – Safer, healthier communities

    HALTON – transport

    KNOWSLEY – Skills and employment

    ST HELENS – housing and spatial planning

    Source: Liverpool Daily Post

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    Senior Member Howie's Avatar
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    Region needs to tackle challenges
    Jun 3 2008
    by Alan Weston, Liverpool Daily Post

    ON THE face of it, it sounds like a grand idea: a Merseyside “super cabinet” to help the region raise its game and boost economic growth...


    ...But, while the opportunity for joined-up thinking should not be lost, it is important to ensure that such a Merseyside “super cabinet” should not become simply another layer of bureaucracy and a talking shop.

    Source: Liverpool Daily Post

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    If they could all just get on with each other and get things done, like Manchester seems to do, then it'll be for the better, if.......
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    Updated weekly with old and new pics.

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    Exclamation Mike Storey: Time to dump Merseyside

    Mike Storey: Time to dump Merseyside

    Nov 27 2008 by Marc Waddington, Liverpool Echo

    DEPUTY lord mayor Mike Storey today claimed it was time to ?consign Merseyside to oblivion?.

    The former council leader said he believed it was time to re-brand the ?city region? as ?Greater Liverpool? and dump the Merseyside brand once and for all.

    He said to go anywhere in the world and say ?Merseyside? was to be met by blank faces.

    Cllr Storey said: ?Go back to the 1980s and 1990s and Liverpool was seen as a basket case. Use the name anywhere outside the UK and people still had high regard for it.?
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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Liverpool Bay is a far better name than Greater Liverpool.
    The new Amsterdam at Liverpool?
    Save Liverpool Docks and Waterways - Click

    Deprived of its unique dockland waters Liverpool
    becomes a Venice without canals, just another city, no
    longer of special interest to anyone, least of all the
    tourist. Would we visit a modernised Venice of filled in
    canals to view its modern museum describing
    how it once was?


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    Senior Member taffy's Avatar
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    Default Dump the name Merseyside

    Quote Originally Posted by Kev View Post
    Mike Storey: Time to dump Merseyside

    Nov 27 2008 by Marc Waddington, Liverpool Echo

    DEPUTY lord mayor Mike Storey today claimed it was time to ?consign Merseyside to oblivion?.

    The former council leader said he believed it was time to re-brand the ?city region? as ?Greater Liverpool? and dump the Merseyside brand once and for all.

    He said to go anywhere in the world and say ?Merseyside? was to be met by blank faces.

    Cllr Storey said: ?Go back to the 1980s and 1990s and Liverpool was seen as a basket case. Use the name anywhere outside the UK and people still had high regard for it.?
    Mike Storey is right. Merseyside should be confined to the past. It has too many negative images. This includes all such curious titles as Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside, High Sheriff of Merseyside etc when the county of Merseyside hasn't been in existance for over 20 years. I think most of the other Labour Party 1970s created metropolitan 'side areas have confined their names to history, Avonside is the latest I believe. Nobody uses the term Greater Manchester, just Manchester. So I would prefer Greater Liverpool, knowing full well that the "Greater" part will in time be dropped. The BBC constantly uses the term Manchester for the whole of the greater Manchester metropolitan area and no doubt the same will happen with Liverpool.

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    Senior Member Howie's Avatar
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    Mike Storey will probably be consigned to oblivion (by the Standards Board for England) before Merseyside.

    The latest developments regarding the proposed Merseyside city region were reported in the previous day's Daily Post, (see below).


    Liverpool handed chance for greater control over transport, jobs and homes
    Nov 26 2008
    Liverpool Daily Post

    LIVERPOOL was yesterday handed the chance to bid for dramatic extra spending power ? over transport, job-creation and housebuilding ? to drive forward economic recovery.

    Chancellor Alistair Darling unveiled plans to go further and faster in devolving a wide range of key responsibilities to at least two so-called ?city regions? from next autumn.

    The contest will pitch the six councils in the proposed Merseyside city-region ? Liverpool, Wirral, Sefton, Knowsley, St Helens and Halton ? against the likes of Manchester, Birmingham and Newcastle.

    Mr Darling will pick the two or three best developed proposals for devolving power under a ?multi-area agreement (MAA)?, with an announcement due in March.

    More...

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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by taffy View Post
    Mike Storey is right. Merseyside should be confined to the past. It has too many negative images. This includes all such curious titles as Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside, High Sheriff of Merseyside etc when the county of Merseyside hasn't been in existance for over 20 years. I think most of the other Labour Party 1970s created metropolitan 'side areas
    Merseyside was created under the Tories - Heath from 1970 to 1974.
    The new Amsterdam at Liverpool?
    Save Liverpool Docks and Waterways - Click

    Deprived of its unique dockland waters Liverpool
    becomes a Venice without canals, just another city, no
    longer of special interest to anyone, least of all the
    tourist. Would we visit a modernised Venice of filled in
    canals to view its modern museum describing
    how it once was?


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    Senior Member taffy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waterways View Post
    Merseyside was created under the Tories - Heath from 1970 to 1974.
    Well spotted !! At least Maggie Thatcher had the sense to see the error of Ted Heath's ways and abolish the county of Merseyside in 1986.

    Interesting web site

    NationMaster - Encyclopedia: Merseyside
    Last edited by taffy; 11-28-2008 at 12:31 AM.

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