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Merseyside transport Chief takes heat out of funding row
REGIONAL transport chief Cllr Liam Robinson has moved to take the heat out of the political row over the allocation of Government funding for Merseyside's major transport schemes.
Responding to strong criticism from senior Wirral Lib-Dem Cllr Stuart Kelly he claimed that Merseyside's political leaders were agreed that the schemes prioritised were the ones that could bring most benefit to the region while making the most effective use of public money.
Cllr Kelly reacted furiously to the decision by the City Region Local Transport Body that the peninsula’s quota from a multi-million pound share-out should be just £6.7m, compared with Liverpool City Council’s £58.5m.
He expressed disappointment that Wirral had been granted only one priority scheme accounting for just 6% of the total funding being asked for.
Claiming that Wirral deserved "a fair deal" Cllr Kelly said: "It's not good enough. Wirral is the second biggest council in the city region after Liverpool.
"But the figures I have seen indicate Liverpool City Council projects account for £58.5m and Wirral’s get just £6.7m of the total.”
Cllr Robinson, chairman of the local transport body stressed that the 12 projects listed related to only one Government funding stream.
Other projects could be considered if and when further funding opportunities became available.
He said: "The major proposals being put forward for funding have been through a rigorous, objective process.
"Leaders from across Merseyside agree, currently, they are the ones that could bring the most benefit to the Liverpool City Region, while making the most effective use of public money.
"This is the first time major schemes have been brought together and considered on a prioritised city region basis.
"This is a brilliant example of how we’ve been working together to boost regeneration and economic prosperity."
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