The Liverpool City Region consists of the six local authority areas covering Halton, Knowsley, St Helens, Sefton, Liverpool and Wirral. The Combined Authority is made up of the Mayor of Liverpool and Leaders of Halton, Knowsley, St Helens, Sefton and Wirral local authorities, along with the Chair of the Local Enterprise Partnership.
The Combined Authority’s purpose is to bring about closer partnership working to lead large-scale city-regional strategies on transport, housing, economic development and skills, build on strong links with businesses, and access and make statutory decisions over funding opportunities to support growth across the Liverpool City Region.
As a result of the devolution agreement agreed on 17 November 2015, the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has greater control (in terms of resources and decision making) over transport, employment and skills, business support and other areas.
Part of the deal was also to have a directed elected Mayor for the Liverpool City Region in May 2017 and this was agreed by each of the constituent local authorities on 19 November 2015. The Cities and Local Government Devolution Act has been passed, enabling an existing Combined Authority to be changed into a Mayoral Combined Authority through a further Order from the Secretary of State.
A governance review has been undertaken to establish that the additional powers and governance changes proposed for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and Liverpool City Region Mayor would be likely to improve the exercise of statutory functions in the area and lead to an improvement in the economic conditions in the City Region.
A requirement of is Act is to consult with the public where additional functions are to be conferred upon the Combined Authority.
The governance review and scheme can be accessed HERE.
There are a range of powers being conferred under the functions of employment and skills, housing and planning, transport and highways, business growth, energy and environment, culture, finance, European funding, information sharing, constitutional and governance issues. The governance review and scheme set out these powers in detail and can be viewed HERE.
The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and directly elected Mayor will give the direct accountability and streamlined decision making which is a requirement of the devolution of functions, powers and resources from Government to the Liverpool City Region. A governance structure of a directly elected Mayor and Combined Authority provides strong and democratic leadership, whilst protecting the integrity and the existing role and functions of local authorities.
The additional powers and governance arrangements will assist in accelerating economic growth, reforming public services and improving the social outcomes and promoting better health and wellbeing of local residents. The governance review and scheme sets out how these powers will work and can be viewed HERE.
This will be a mix between the directly elected City Region Mayor and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. The governance review and scheme sets out who will exercise these powers and can be viewed HERE.
In November 2015, the Government and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority reached an agreement that in order to improve the ability of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to deliver growth and reform for residents and businesses, a range of powers need to be devolved to the new directly elected Mayor and Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.
The position of a directed elected Mayor is not a legal requirement of a Combined Authority, but it was a condition of the devolution agreement. By agreeing to a directly elected Mayor, £900 million of funding over the next 30 years has been secured for the benefit of the Liverpool City Region.
Furthermore, in March 2016 further powers and responsibilities were announced giving the Liverpool City Region additional new powers over transport, piloting the 100% business rate retention approach across the Liverpool City Region, plus working in partnership with the Government on children’s services, health, housing and justice.
Having the ability to control budgets and decisions at a local level means that they are aligned to the needs of our residents, business and region. Through the devolution agreement, we hope to create more jobs, improve the skills and employment prospects of our residents and allow them a greater say over the future of their communities. It provides for the transfer of significant powers for economic development, transport, housing and planning and employment and skills which will positively impact on the lives of all of our residents and businesses.
You can complete the online form at www.liverpoolcityregion-ca.gov.uk, you can email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can write in to Lucy Horne, Liverpool City Council, Municipal Buildings, Dale Street, Liverpool, L2 2DH.
The consultation will run from Friday, 24 June 2016 through to 5 August 2016.
Once the consultation date has passed, the responses will be reviewed by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. It will then submit a summary of the responses relating to the Governance Review and Scheme to the Secretary of State by 28 August 2016.
If the Secretary of State is satisfied with the outcome of the Governance Review and consultation, then a Liverpool City Region Order will be drafted which must be formally approved by individual local authorities and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority in October 2016.