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Supercouncifrajelistic... Nick Clegg urged to sort out 'mess' of new combined authority

There's the name for a start: Halton-Knowsley-Liverpool-Sefton-St Helens-Wirral-Combined-Authority

Written by . Published on February 18th 2014.

Supercouncifrajelistic... Nick Clegg urged to sort out 'mess' of new combined authority

DEPUTY Prime Minister Nick Clegg was last night urged to referee a territorial pillow fight that has erupted on Merseyside over the Government's agreement to set up a so-called super cabinet for Liverpool City Region. 

The aim of the combined authority body is to enable Liverpool and its neighbours, Wirral, Sefton, Knowsley, St Helens and Halton, to join forces to stimulate economic development and jobs. 

The new body is set open for business on April Fool’s Day, but tonight it was already being branded as a joke by some. 

Joke One: the councils can’t agree a name for the new body. Ideally it ought to be Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, although even that's a bit of a mouthful. 

 Preferred is the tongue-twisting Haltonknowsleyliverpoolseftonsthelens

Joke Two: Mayor Anderson ought to be the heir apparent to head the new body, but it appears that job will go to Cllr Phil Davies, Labour leader of Wirral Council. And, like it it not, Liverpool is THE political centre of gravity. 

Now The Lib Dem leader of Liverpool City Council has called on Nick Clegg to be a marriage-mender to bring all sides together. 


Cllr Richard Kemp, in his letter to Nick Clegg, wrote: “With a pigs’ breakfast for a name and clear divisions at the very top of the body, I cannot begin to see how it might fulfil the roles of leadership which are desperately needed to bring jobs and prosperity to our region.

"What we need now is clear vision and purpose to develop economically viable strategies. What we have is a Labour leadership in Greater Liverpool fighting like ferrets in a sack. Would you please intervene in this matter and try to mediate with the six leaders to talk some sense that is clearly so badly needed?” 

The Government is now paving the way for the legal formalities to create the new combined authority. It will have sub-regional powers over transport, economic development, housing, employment and skills. 

Richard KempRichard KempBy joining forces, the aim is to attract massive funding packages to create thousands of jobs across the city region, in a way that has transformed Manchester and its nine near neighbours.  

Last night Cllr Kemp said: “For the past four years I have campaigned for the creation of a combined authority for the six councils that make up the Liverpool conurbation. 

“We need the body because we need be able to sell the advantages and strengths of our area which are obvious to us but not so obvious top those outside. As I travel the world I have been able to talk about Liverpool and I always meant the city region. An area composed not only of the city by the engineering and glass making of St Helens, the chemicals of Halton, the Port of Liverpool, Grand National and beaches of Sefton and the ship building of the Wirral.

“It is an area that hangs together, but for too long we have been amateurs at working together. We have played second fiddle to Greater Manchester where the 10 authorities have worked together for two decades and have had a combined authority for the past three years.

(Click here to add text)Welcome to Haltonknowsleyliver-
“They have been far more successful at getting investment than we have because they have spoken as one, because they have sold their conurbation together. Now the Liverpool conurbation has decided to play catch up but what a mess they are making of it.

“They haven’t even been able to agree a name.”

He goes on: “Then in a massive snub for the Mayor of Liverpool it would appear that they have decided to have a permanent chair who will be not Joe Anderson but Phil Davies the Leader of Wirral Council. This does not surprise me. I know that Mayor Anderson is not well liked in the Party outside Liverpool but this enmity between Labour leaders will badly affect us all.

“We need leadership to be visionary, practical and diplomatic. Whether Mayor Anderson has those attributes is not for me to say but what is clear is that the Liverpool city region needs to be steered by Liverpool. Like it or not Joe Anderson is the leader of the most important part of the conurbation and that fact must be recognised.


“Nationally the economy is starting to pick up. We have seen those signs of growth in the whole of the area but especially in Liverpool where we are still building on the legacy of Capital of Culture and expanding our city centre’s  retail and tourist offers.

“Now is NOT the time to let squabbling about pecking orders dish our chances of creating the sustainable growth that the city needs.

“The needs of our unemployed are too important to be left to squabbling and bickering from Labour prima donnas. Grow up, act your age and find ways of settling your differences to ensure that Greater Liverpool gets the leadership it both needs and deserves.” 

The Laz Word: What's wrong with the word Liverpool?

For years I have watched as the ‘hissing’ cousins of across Merseyside have failed miserably to pull together. I have seen senior elected politicians come almost to blows with each other over rivalries between different authorities, and who gets what.

If these leaders were children somebody could call social services. We have paid the price of these squabbles by being one of the poorest sub-regions in the country.

Whether we like it or not Liverpool is a brand name people would die for. If the name was auctioned at Sotherbys it would raise enough to wipe out our debt.

On my travels I have asked people in faraway countries to name as many English cities as possible. The answers have invariably been…. London, Liverpool, Edinburgh (sic). Manchester is mentioned, but Leeds, Bristol, Birmingham might as well be on the moon.

Yet we seem to be reluctant to use the brand name Liverpool so we can all reap the rewards.

When 20,000 jobs were created in Liverpool ONE, half of them went to people living in the neighbouring boroughs. Yet the angry slanging matches when Liverpool asked for wider funding to kick-start Liverpool ONE could be heard from the beaches of Sefton to the golf links of Hoylake.

This should be our chance to play catch up with our neighbour Manchester where the 10 councils stand shoulder to shoulder, rather than back to back as we do.

Maybe the leaders of the six councils – all of them Labour – get along. But there is far too much disharmony, and we all pay the price.

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41 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Andi ArmitageFebruary 18th 2014.

I've been trying to get friends talking about a 'Greater Liverpool' or 'Liverpool Bay' district for years. I even suggested an elected mayor a not necessarily a politician but a forward thinker. Still a great idea but year up the plan and start from scratch. Politics and damn politics. Remove the mayors position it's pointless and politically driven. Each council should have an elected leader who is then to report to the elected director of the unified body like greater London. God help us if the wit, intelligence, and diplomacy of Joe Anderson leads us into the next two decades! Pity Paul Brant stepped down.

AnonymousFebruary 18th 2014.

The West Alliance Team Strategy provides a catchy acronym.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Tricky WooFebruary 18th 2014.

"TWATS". Yes it does

AnonymousFebruary 18th 2014.

Why do we have to have this Liverpool v Manc rivalry? Does not make sense to me, bring back Regional Development Agencies and make the North West work together as one.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 18th 2014.

I agree! being so close together we should combine our efforts and unite to destroy the Welsh.

LiverpolitanFebruary 18th 2014.

'Greater Liverpool' of course. It worked for Manchester but some idiots decided we had to have the grey, apologetic, stream of sour sibilants that is dreary 'Merseyside' in 1974. Now is the chance to put it right

1 Response: Reply To This...
John BradleyFebruary 18th 2014.

The area was known as Merseyside, like Tyneside, even in the original report, GM was down as SelNec. en.wikipedia.org/…/Redcliffe-Maud_Report…

AnonymousFebruary 19th 2014.

The area is NOW OFFICIALLY called LIVERPOOL CITY REGION. It is defined as the 6 full council areas of the City of Liverpool and the 5 boroughs of Wirral, Knowsley, Sefton, Halton, and St Helens. The government of the area should be named after the area it governs, i.e. LIVERPOOL CITY REGION COMBINED AUTHORITY. If this is not the case it leads to more confusion over whether 'Greater Liverpool' is the same as Liverpool City Region, which is not what we want given that 'Merseyside' baffles or confuses investors and tourists alike as it is already. We already have LIVERPOOL CITY REGION LOCAL ENTERPRISE PARTNERSHIP, and the 6 councils of Liverpool City Region all agreed from the beginning that the combined authority should be called the same as the area, like Liverpool City Council governs the city of Liverpool, and Wirral Borough Council, the same for the majority of the Wirral Peninsula. This whole "row" though is utter nonsense really because it's almost entirely manufactured, with politicians playing to their own galleries, and throwing their dummies out of the pram over a controversy which doesn't really exist. Some of the articles written about it get all the facts wrong - it is National Government, no-one else, who have changed the name twice to the utter rubbish of 'Greater Merseyside' and then the one citing all the 6 Liverpool City Region councils. The CA for Sheffield and South Yorkshire is also named after the councils of their City Region in a similar way to ours - this is the DCLG's silliness. NG were also honest enough to say that people hated the name 'Greater Merseyside' and wanted Liverpool, including ALL of the statutory consultees of the 6 councils and the Integrated Transport Authority - this information was published last week by DCLG on the gov.uk website where the public can view the concluding report of the national consultation. Somebody has also changed at the last minute the role of chairman of the combined authority to what was consulted: the roles of chairman and vice-chairman should rotate around the mayor and 5 council leaders every 6 months or so with every local authority being involved rather than the permanent chairmanship now being proposed to be given to Wirral, which sadly has one foot in, and one out - should be interesting when the Tories gain control of Wirral Council again given that they oppose the combined authority.

Leon KayFebruary 19th 2014.

why don't they just call it Badly run ,overpriced ,waste of time or better still Peel holdings you know what I mean JOEY Boy

Leon KayFebruary 19th 2014.

or Council Run At Peel

1 Response: Reply To This...
Leon KayFebruary 19th 2014.

crap for short

SaladDazeFebruary 19th 2014.


mickeydrippin'February 19th 2014.

The Liverpool City Region title was apparently agreed by the six Councils but was rejected by Pickles'department and a London civil servant came up with the so-called tongue-twisting name.

AnonymousFebruary 20th 2014.

Generally any sub-region ending in the word 'side' is like saying don't come here we are an industrial wasteland and a dump. Clydeside, Humberside, Tyneside, Merseyside etc, scream .. DON'T come here. Go back to the 1970s and Wirral was shellshocked when it was dragged into Merseyside.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 20th 2014.

They did alright with that title in Suiz

AnonymousFebruary 20th 2014.

There are still bewildered people in Wirral who really think that their nearest city is the urine-scented shopping mall that is Chester.

John BradleyFebruary 20th 2014.

Chester was in the Original proposal for Merseyside.

LiverpolitanFebruary 20th 2014.

Hear hear! Names ending in '-side' give an impression that it is a marginal hinterland adjacent to - but apart from - the interesting, attractive, exciting bit.

1 Response: Reply To This...
LiverpolitanFebruary 20th 2014.

Would 'Thamesside' ever have been considered as a name for Greater London? I very much doubt it.

AnonymousFebruary 20th 2014.

Liverpool, Liverpool City Region (the former 'Merseyside' and Halton together) are not industrial wastelands and/ or dumps, including the docks in Birkenhead. Wirral didn't exist as a community 'together' as today until it was created, and constituted a founding part/ borough of the then new metropolitan county and its county council by National Government - the Wirral Peninsula area did exist, but consisted of the independent councils and separate communities of Birkenhead, Wallasey, Bebington, Hoylake (and West Kirby) and a council centred on Heswall called interestingly Wirral Urban District Council. The whole of the Wirral wasn't even made part of 'Wirral', i.e. Neston and Ellesmere Port. Birkenhead and Liverpool's Port facilities there, and Wallasey owe much of their modern development and population growth within the last 100 to 200 years to Liverpool, the areas are so interconnected, like it or not, to the person directly above this post. Nobody was dragged into doing anything they didn't want and so no-one was shell-shocked - after all Widnes lobbied at the time not to be included in 'Merseyside', while Southport lobbied to be included in the new county.

mickeydrippin'February 20th 2014.

People don't seem to realise that since well before World War 2, the name Merseyside was always used to describe the geographical area which contained Liverpool and all towns along the banks of the Mersey estuary. In the 70s, when local government was reorganised, certain Wirral residents objected and wanted to remain part of Cheshire. They, and other people from Southport, Formby etc certainly did not want to be called Greater Liverpool and therefore, the title Metropolitan County of Merseyside was chosen as being a well-known and impartial name.

scouse690February 20th 2014.

.....drop "Merseyside"...it means nothing to potential Investors from abroad. ALSO, Scrap all the "other" titles, and put them ALL under the one heading. It's confusing here, in the area, so why do we make it more difficult for ourselves, out there in "the global marketplace?" GREATER LIVERPOOL REGION....that keeps it simples, includes all, and leaves no one in any doubt as to where we all are...x

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 22nd 2014.

Those snobby Wirralians were most affronted by having an 'L' postcode and they successfully campaigned for CH postcodes (linking them to Chester). Wonder what they would have said if Merseyside had offered a 50% discount for Wirral tunnel users from 'L' postcode areas. That would have shut them up.

AnonymousFebruary 21st 2014.

Why not call it, Even More Corruption, and done with it

AnonymousFebruary 21st 2014.

Merseyside County Council has a good ring to it.

Paul FosterFebruary 21st 2014.

Even less of a democratic mandate for this nonsense than for Jane Kennedy as Police Commissioner or on whether Liverpool has a mayor.

AnonymousFebruary 23rd 2014.

From one Anonymous to another Anonymous above(!) there are many people who live on the Wirral Peninsula, or 'Wirralians' if some wish (though it sounds like aliens), whether born there out of random circumstance or are Liverpudlians who have chosen to move from the city, who are not at all snobbish, and did not change their 'L' postcode districts to 'CH' because they wanted to disassociate themselves from Liverpool and associate with Chester (NOT Cheshire as some others think when writing about this), it was the Royal Mail and the Post Office that did this independently of any so-called snobbery (they have nothing to be snobby about). It only happened in 1999 I think it was, and many people living on the Wirral, because it affected Wirral, and Ellesmere Port and Neston, complained greatly about this completely unnecessary change. Some of these campaigners also attributed it wrongly to the so-called blue-rinse brigade of older ladies in places such as Hoylake and one or two other places on the Dee-side of the Peninsula, but this is wrong in my opinion because it ignores the facts - it's interesting the same Anonymous mentions the vehicular tunnels as this was part of the problem I think, as mail was being transferred to the Birkenhead, Wallasey, Wirral (a post-town covering Bebington, Heswall, and some other diverse places, I think), Neston, and Ellesmere Port post-towns from the central Liverpool main sorting-office, then at Copperas Hill, thereby paying the tolls that inhibit our cross-river community socially and economically, et cetera in so many other ways, too. The Royal Mail and Post Office, at this time bizarrely calling itself Consignia, had wanted to shut Copperas Hill for years, blaming building maintenance costs, etc., but people campaigned against it, so they cynically decided to move the mail to - I think, what was then a relatively new sorting office at - Chester, with the rest of Liverpool's mail and postal districts planned to move to another office at the very edge of Warrington, almost bordering the old county of Merseyside. I do agree, though, it would be better if the tolls were reduced by 50% but for everyone living in Liverpool City Region, not just those in the borough of Wirral, and, furthermore, they shouldn't even be chargeable these days anyway as it was written into the legislation of the first, Queensway Tunnel that the tolls were for a set-time-period only. As Paul Foster recognises above in his comments, and as the rest of us all know the public's views are treated as an inconvenience by politicians and civil servants sometimes, and the 'rules' were changed afterwards, a format they then copied for the Kingsway Tunnel. Both of the offices he cites as examples for his statement were not asked for by the people of Liverpool and 'Merseyside', and the people occupying them were then voted in with between 1 to 2 in 10 people voting for these candidates out of the whole eligible populace in each circumstance(!) - the state of our democracy locally and nationally, because these are part of national efforts and impositions by Central Government across England. I do, however, disagree with Paul Foster if he thinks the The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is "nonsense" or a bad thing, as, generally speaking, I'm willing to give it a chance to see if it's effective.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 23rd 2014.

I'm sure you make some good points mate, I just don't know what they are in amongst all that verbosity What's up, TV on the blink?

AnonymousFebruary 23rd 2014.

Lol, what are you so offended by?! Why so moody? Using a big word like "verbosity" you should be able to work out exactly what "good points" are being made, "mate". You mentioning TV makes me think for a moment... Is the TV the only thing that keeps you occupied? There isn't much on these days, maybe that's why you're being sarcastic on here. Never mind, read a book, play music, take up a hobby... You may then have a more pleasant attitude with other people.

AnonymousFebruary 24th 2014.

Take it easy Princess, the keyboard should have cooled down by now, so off you go again.....blah, blah blah

disgruntled wirral residentFebruary 24th 2014.

The only difference made by the change in postcode is that Wirral dwellers used to have their post sorted in Liverpool, whereas now they have it stolen in Chester.

AnonymousFebruary 23rd 2014.

Things can be changed if it's not working as we want it to.

AnonymousFebruary 24th 2014.

There are some weird people on here with chips on their shoulders over nothing.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
Tricky WooFebruary 24th 2014.

Who mentioned chips?

AnonymousFebruary 24th 2014.

They do some really good chips in Southport, and the fish is great too. There's a really good review on here by Rock Sammons.

AnonymousFebruary 24th 2014.

And the above windbag who posts about the Wirral seems to be all over the Plaice, eel have to get a thicker skin or his head will be battered

AnonymousFebruary 27th 2014.

They're playing your song again Bradley.

AnonymousFebruary 24th 2014.

Doesn't he live in Perch Rock?

AnonymousMarch 13th 2014.

Hahaha love it !!!! We all part of the picture so why don't they call it " United Liverpool or Mersey Regions I live in Maghull it's a nice area and it's got a L postcode and that's excellent . The so called alien sorry I meant wirrallian needs to realise that's what the so called butt heads we got running this country are 100% sure about is that we in the North always put up a fight and then they get to decide for us cos we can't make a decision as one ! So what your from over the water but to you so am I and the only really good thing about the Wirral was New Brighton and the snobs destroyed that to turn it into a bloody stupid bus terminus so stop moaning your probably from this side originally anyway Oh and by the way my telly on the blink know any good Wirral tv repair guys ??? This book I'm reading called the Wirral route very boring got no real meaning!!!!!!!!!!

Beryl MillsMarch 22nd 2014.

Somebody did mention chips yes but that's Blackpool where you can buy some great fish & chips. You lot are so funny but some Lancashire people don't like being called Merseyside eitherbut they had to put up with a new name , same old story!that's just some people don't like change but some changes are inevitable but a name by any other name will still smell the same. Like a rose what did Shakespeare write oh that's right a rose----- by any other name would still smell as sweet! A new name is not the answer in my opinion so there! Changes yes, such as working together for the benefit of the cities, & so on, could go on but have something more important to do so that's all for now.Bye.

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