WIRRAL council leader Phil Davies has been appointed as the chair of Merseyside’s new “super council”.

Addressing the combined authority’s inaugural meeting at Mann Island in Liverpool today, Tuesday, Cllr Davies said it was “an honour and a privilege to be appointed”.

The Labour councillor will now head the region’s combined authority, with Knowsley leader Cllr Ron Round taking up the vice chair seat.

Cllr Davies said: “I believe that we have huge potential to take the city region forward around the growth plan.

“I sincerely believe that we can be a formidable force in the job we have got ahead of competing with other city regions not just in the UK but elsewhere.”

Controversy had surrounded the proposed name for the authority after the Government favoured the “tongue twister” title of Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens, Sefton and Wirral Combined Authority’.

The meeting at Mann Island saw members instead opt to use the name ‘Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’ after a motion as put forward by St Helens Council leader Barrie Grunewald, who said the Government had imposed the “unworkable title” despite all councils agreeing on the simpler name.

Around 50 people attended the meeting – described by Cllr Davies as a “landmark event”.

Merseytravel and other regional bodies will now be answerable to the authority, which will co-ordinate efforts to boost trade and co-operation between the different councils in the region, as well as creating thousands of jobs.

The next meeting of the combined authority will take place on June 13 at Mann Island, Liverpool.