A meeting to scrutinise plans crucial plans for how hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayer money will be spent around the region over the coming year was abandoned after not enough councillors showed up.

The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is in the middle of a budget setting process for the next financial year, with investment proposed for the region’s trains, ferries, buses and high streets.

But the budget overview and scrutiny committee, one of the few elements of public scrutiny held during the budget process, was cancelled this morning after only 12 of the 20 committee members turned up.

Committees at councils and the combined authority require a minimum number of attendees in order to make key decisions, often around two thirds of the total membership.

The attendance required for yesterday's meeting was 14, meaning it became impossible for five of the nine things the committee were set to decide to be considered.

After discovering the meeting was inquorate, chair Tom Crone decided to abandon it.

Councillor Crone said: “I would like to thank members of the committee that have turned up as well as officers and also members of the public that are here.

“I would like to apologise that the meeting is inquorate yet again on this occasion.”

The minimum 14 members were not technically required to discuss the budget – but democratic services officer Shauna Phillips warned that any opinion the committee wished to express on the budget would be weaker because of the low attendance.

Stopping the meeting means public scrutiny of the budget, which includes funding for new railway stations, is likely to be pushed back a number of weeks but there is no suggestion the approval of the budget itself will be delayed.

It includes some of Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram’s most important spending pledges, including a new station at Headbolt Lane in Kirkby, procurement to replace the ageing Mersey ferries and plans to invest in struggling town centres.

The budget also sets the mayoral precept and transport levy, which every resident of our region is obliged to pay.

Ms Phillips said she hoped that another meeting could be organised within the next three weeks.