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Mersey councils band together in super-strength cabinet plan

Debate and decision-making would go public for first time

Written by . Published on August 7th 2013.


Mersey councils band together in super-strength cabinet plan
 

MERSEYSIDE'S six main political leaders will band together and make decisions in public, under proposals for a new “super cabinet”, Liverpool Confidential has learned. 

The six, who would decide on key issues affecting around 1.8m people, will be made up of Liverpool’s elected mayor Joe Anderson and the five elected leaders of Sefton, Wirral, St Helens, Knowsley and Halton. 

Incentives

They already have a leader’s alliance – meeting in private - but the super cabinet goes one further by giving the Liverpool City Region Cabinet legal powers to determine transport, economic development. 

The logic for setting it up is to ensure Liverpool City Region works closer together to better compete with its rivals, particularly when Government money and incentives are up for grabs. 

Sefton Council
Each of the six would nominate a cabinet colleague to deputise in their absence, but apart from expenses none of them will get any extra pay. 

Today a spokeswoman for Knowsley Council, the authority co-ordinating the plan, told Liverpool Confidential: “It will produce agendas and all of the meetings will be held in public, apart from items deemed confidential, as happens now with our local councils.” 

The proposed “Combined Authority” would not mean the creation of a Merseyside-wide “super-council” - the aim is to formalise existing, informal arrangements and provide clear leadership and greater transparency, while creating a legal entity which would be in a position to attract funding and devolved powers from the Government. 

However, many people support the idea of a Liverpool City Region government which would go one further and see all six authorities merging into one big council. 

Such a move is not even on the radar - yet. 

The “Combined Authority” proposal is now at the consultation stage and Merseysiders have until  September 6 to comment  on the idea by emailing here

A final recommendation will go to each of the six  council cabinet and council meetings in September. If agreed by all  six City Region Councils, a formal submission will be made to Government on September 30. 

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Fairy NuffAugust 7th 2013.

Does "us" have a name JB, or is it sweeping generalisation? Tomorrow the world, I have no particular take one way or the other, I eagerly anticipate the response, there's not much on the box. The morris dancing has been cancelled this week.

Sifta SamAugust 7th 2013.

That's a relief, I didn't fancy scurrying around pastures new, annexing them under cover of darkness. My SBS days are long since gone, these days I prefer a more genteel paddle.

AnonymousAugust 8th 2013.

We are already decades behind Manchester, but I suppose its worth a shot. Won't make much difference though, the old Cheshire lot (ie Wirral) are not big fans of Liverpool (the city not the club!). The councils in Manchester willingly walked into an alliance years ago. Our lot will be dragged kicking and screaming into a Merseyside alliance.

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