Liverpool metro mayor and combined authority unveil 100-day plan

Liverpool’s city region metro mayor, Steve Rotheram and the combined authority have published what they describe as “an ambitious 100-day plan to ensure that its historic devolution deal makes an immediate and tangible impact on communities across the six boroughs”.

Rotheram, who was elected mayor on 4 May 2017, has made more than 50 pledges to be delivered over the next three months that span a number of policy areas including transport, economic growth, skills, housing, environment and infrastructure.

An action plan brings together existing combined authority policy commitments, parts of the city region devolution deal as well as manifesto commitments from Rotheram himself. “Devolution is a massive opportunity for our city region and it is absolutely vital that we begin to grasp that opportunity and engender real momentum and energy into our programme,” said Rotheram. “It’s clear from my early discussions with government that devolution is the only show in town and they see the new mayoral combined authorities as the vehicles for delivering transformational change and rebalancing the UK economy,” he said.

Rotheram also said that he was keen to move quickly in order to get priority consideration from the government. His 100-day plan was not a wish list, he said, but “a coherent set of actions that align with our vision for the city region.”

The mayor’s pledges have been grouped together under five key themes that underpin the future vision for the city region - ambitious, fair, green, connected and together. Some of the key actions in the plan include:

  • Appointing an internationally respected industry expert to head-up the special purpose vehicle to plan and deliver a Mersey Tidal Barrage.
  • A rapid review of economic strategy undertaken by Lord O’Neill to inform a blueprint for future economic prosperity, including the ambition to become one of the world’s leading tech cities.
  • Creating a fairness and social justice advisory board to ensure securing inclusive growth becomes a connecting thread across all aspects of policy, including a commitment to a real living wage by public and sector employers across the region.
  • Delivering a skills revolution through a city region-wide commission to ensure people are equipped with the academic and technical skills needed for the jobs of tomorrow.
  • Breaking down barriers for young people and apprentices to access work by progressing work on a free travel scheme for apprentices across the city region
  • Taking decisive steps towards the vision of a green and zero carbon city region through a major initiative to improve air quality, including the potential adoption of clean air zones, and embracing a local journey strategy to promote cycling, walking and sustainable transport.
  • Embracing a housing first approach as the basis for a city region-wide strategy to tackle homelessness and street sleeping
  • Delivering and campaigning for radically improved rail connectivity by commencing work on the Halton Curve to expand services to North Wales, and by continuing to present a robust case for a new Liverpool to Manchester connection as the first phase of Crossrail for the North, also known as Northern Powerhouse Rail.

Rotheram was keen to emphasise the broad support for the plan and the key role played by combined authority members and also the Liverpool City Region LEP in helping to focus on a clear set of early objectives.

“The devolution deal and the creation of a mayoral combined authority is our chance to deliver a step change in performance and ambition,” he said.

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