What is the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority?
The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority – covering the local authority areas of Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens, Sefton and Wirral - was established on 1 April 2014. The Combined Authority aims to improve the local area for residents, businesses, visitors and investors by dealing with things that are best addressed across existing Council boundaries. It’s about working together and recognizing our common interests as a City Region. This includes ensuring we have the best (efficient and effective) transport across the City Region as well as a thriving economy that creates opportunities for all our communities.
In November 2015, we secured a Devolution Agreement with Government, securing £900m of funding along with the devolution of powers and responsibilities from Whitehall in London. Devolution is an important opportunity for our City Region to take control over our own future and prioritise the things that matter most to our area. This Agreement was further developed in March 2016, securing more powers and responsibilities for transport, piloting 100% business rates retention, as well as working with the Government to progress further devolution in areas including children’s services, health, housing and justice. The Devolution Agreement provides us with more resources, freedoms and flexibilities to deliver our strategic priorities around economic development, transport, strategic housing and employment and skills.
Part of the Devolution Agreement was to have a directly Elected Mayor for the Liverpool City Region. The election took place on 4 May 2017. Steve Rotheram was elected and now provides the City Region with a directly accountable leader who will chair the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and help give our area enhanced profile and influence.
The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is made up of the Elected Mayor and the Leaders of the six authorities working together for the benefit of the whole region. There are three additional non-voting members of the Combined Authority who are the Chair of the City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and the Chair of The Liverpool City Region Transport Committee
What is the new role of Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor?
Electing a Liverpool City Region Mayor was part of the Devolution Agreement signed by the Government and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority in November 2015. Having a directly elected Mayor for the City Region ensures we have clear accountability over the powers, functions and funding that is devolved from national government to a local level. It is also gives our City Region the kind of strategic leadership and visibility that London has enjoyed for many years.
As Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram has responsibility (decision making and funding control) for a number of priority areas across the Liverpool City Region including transport, employment and skills, business support and other areas. He also chairs the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and manages the £900m of funding secured through our Devolution Agreement over the next 30 years.
What powers does the Liverpool City Region Mayor have?
A range of powers have been passed from central Government to the Liverpool City Region Mayor covering employment and skills, strategic housing and planning, transport and highways, business growth, energy and environment, culture, finance, European funding, information sharing, constitutional and governance issues. The Mayor also has responsibility for the £900m of funding from central Government over the next 30 years. In March 2016 further powers and responsibilities were announced giving the Liverpool City Region additional responsibilities and freedoms 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.
The Liverpool City Region Mayor and Combined Authority provides the focus and accountability which is key to the devolution agenda ensuring that local leadership can effectively deliver the functions, powers and resources from Government to our area.
Will the Mayor have responsibility for local authorities?
Our six local authorities will continue to provide the services needed and used by their local communities. The Liverpool City Region Mayor will make decisions that impact on and improve the Liverpool City Region as a whole and those key areas of policy in transport, skills, investment and regeneration where we need to operate strategically and across borders. This may include transport improvements in your area, for example, but your local council will continue to be responsible for council services such as bin collections or setting Council Tax.
What is the difference between a Liverpool City Region Mayor, Liverpool Mayor and the Lord Mayor of Liverpool?
The Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor is elected by residents across the whole of the Liverpool City Region, and is responsible for providing strategic leadership and making decisions on the key priority areas outlined in the Devolution Agreement. (details can be found above). Having an elected Mayor for the Liverpool City Region is a key part of the Devolution Agreement, which means additional funding has come into our region, as well as decisions being made a local level by those who understand our region’s needs and ambitions.
The Mayor of Liverpool is elected by Liverpool residents only and is responsible for leading Liverpool and Liverpool City Council only. He continues to exercise all his existing powers and responsibilities under the Devolution deal.
The office of Lord Mayor of Liverpool is elected by fellow Councillors and represents Liverpool City Council in a ceremonial role. He or she does not exercise any personal decision-making power or responsibility for policy.
Each District Council will also continue to have their own ceremonial role of Mayor representing their own local authority area and they are also elected by fellow Councillors.
What is the term for the Liverpool City Region Mayor?
The term is three years and there will be another election in 2020. The successful candidate will then be elected for a four year term. Elections will subsequently take place every four years.
Are we the only area to have a directly Elected Mayor?
No, as part of Devolution Agreements with the Government a number of other areas elected a Mayor on 4 May 2017. These areas are Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, Greater Manchester, Tees Valley, West Midlands and West of England.