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Combined Merseyside authority plan moves a step closer
9:37am Wednesday 11th September 2013 in News
Proposals for Merseyside councils to form a combined authority took a step closer at a meeting of the Liverpool City Region cabinet yesterday.
There was unanimous agreement between leaders of the councils and Merseyside Integrated Transport Authority that the move towards a more formal joint body to make strategic decisions would “help to improve both the local and national economy.”
As part of a governance review, a consultation on the preferred options for a combined authority saw 168 “feedback” forms returned, more than 80% were in favour.
A joint statement on behalf of the cabinet said: “A combined authority would allow Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral councils, Merseytravel and the Local Enterprise Partnership to formalise their working relationship around strategic decisions and use this joint influence to draw-down powers and resources from central Government for local use.
“This would improve the economy, create jobs and benefit all communities across the Liverpool City Region.”
Wirral Council leader Cllr Phil Davies said: “Given the financial situation facing all Merseyside authorities it is more important than ever that we work together and become a stronger unit.
“This proposal will in no way mean us losing local powers, but will mean we are much better equipped to operate on the national stage and truly punch our weight when it comes to major issues such as transport, investment and jobs.”
Each local authority is expected to make decisions at their cabinet and council meetings over the next couple of weeks, with Merseyside Integrated Transport Authority and the Local Enterprise Partnership also considering the proposals.
It is expected if all parties are support the proposals, a formal submission will be made to Government on September 30.
A special meeting of Wirral Council has been called to discuss the merger next Thursday.
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