What are 6 powers the new Liverpool City Region Mayor will have?
What are 6 powers the new Liverpool City Region Mayor will have?
As there is some interest in what a Metro Mayor (or Liverpool City Region Mayor) will do I thought, despite the fact that everyone registered to vote will have received a booklet (or should shortly receive one) I’d answer some questions.
There are however some errors in the booklet I’d like to point out here. The booklet also omits that the Mayor will end up being paid £77,500 a year (a decision made last Friday by Cllr Phil Davies, Mayor Joe Anderson and others).
In the booklet it states the City Region Mayor “will not be responsible for … setting Council Tax.”
(Another decision made on Friday was to hire a temporary Comms/Engagement person for 3-6 months).
First, I’d better describe the current arrangements. The executive arm of the Combined Authority (Merseytravel) levies each of the district councils (based on population) in addition to money it receives from other sources (such as Mersey Tunnel tolls).
I presume (if the Mayor decides to go down this route) it’ll be an extra line on everyone’s council tax bill like the lines for police (decided by the Police and Crime Commissioner and Police and Crime Panel) and fire (decided by the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority) at the moment.
So yes, the Combined Authority (although this will almost certainly go up next year) for example this year has a budget of £139.371 million of capital spending and £255.5 million of revenue. (Predictions are of a underspend in the revenue budget at year-end of £81.2 million (I feel obliged to point out that Labour councillors repeatedly state they’re not given enough money)).
However, for a taste of one of the matters the new Mayor will be doing (chairing Liverpool City Region Combined Authority public meetings) you can watch my video below of the 15 minute meeting (there are about one of these a month).
So that’s 3-4 hours a year of work (probably more if the meetings are longer).
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Liverpool City Region Combined Authority 21st April 2017
Unlike in London, where there are 25 elected London Assembly Members to scrutinise the Mayor this won’t happen in the Liverpool City Region.
There will still be a Scrutiny Committee, but it’ll be made up of councillors nominated by the district councils as before. At the moment there are 14 councillors on that Committee (12 Labour, 1 Lib Dem and 1 Green).
On the opposition front, out of the last three Scrutiny Committee meetings in public, the Lib Dem councillor has sent her apologies for two of them, the Conservative councillor (from Wirral) resigned years ago and no-one else was appointed instead and the sole Green councillor (Liverpool would normally under proportionality rules nominate all Labour councillors but Liverpool decided they wanted at least some opposition) has been to the last three meetings. He’s also the Green Party candidate in the election.
There will be some decisions made solely* by the newly elected Mayor which I will summarise below:
a) matters devolved from the Homes and Communities Agency around land and infrastructure such as housing, regeneration, infrastructure, powers about burial grounds and consecrated land, powers in relation to statutory undertakers,
b) deciding on grants to the local councils in the LCR region,
c) reviewing the local transport plan (at least every five years),
*interestingly decisions on these planning applications will also require the consent of the member of the Combined Authority for the area the application for planning permission was made,
e) matters relating to the spatial development strategy and
f) matters to do with Mayoral development areas.
Originally I know the plan had been was for the Combined Authority to combine Merseyside-wide authorities such as the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority, Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority to give two examples (similar to old Merseyside County Council).
Even when just talked about, these sorts of proposed changes caused so much resistance from certain existing Labour councillors (who angrily and vocally were against any such changes) that as far as I can tell such plans at the present time were dropped by the negotiating team and the government.
Polling day for over a million people in the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority area (Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens, Sefton and Wirral) is on 4th May 2017 (although postal voters may receive their ballot paper before this date).
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What were top 7 most viewed articles and top 7 most viewed videos for May 2016?
Well just over a month has passed since polling day the election for a Merseyside PCC and local councillors on the Wirral and on the 23rd June 2016 there will be a referendum about membership of the EU.
As I’ll be at Wirral Council’s Cabinet meeting on Monday morning, instead I thought I’d look back at the most read stories of last month (May 2016) and some of the most watched videos. Both are in order of most viewed (so the top number 1 slot was the one that attracted the most interest).
Since I wrote this story question marks have also been raised about the election of two further Wirral councillors not referred to by name in the article, which leads to unanswered questions about over a quarter of the 23 councillors elected. If all six elections had been (or are in the next 2 years) declared null and void*, no political party would have a majority on Wirral Council.
*Highly unlikely considering how this country works or doesn’t work and I’d like to point out that councillors/candidates are innocent until proven guilty and that trial by media doesn’t count.
What are the election statements of the 4 Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner candidates?
Each candidate for Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner has produced a statement outlining what they would do if elected, which can be read on the Chose My PCC website. However I doubt many of the 1.4 million people on Merseyside who can vote in this election have heard of that website, so I have copied their election statements below. Candidates are listed in alphabetical order by surname. For those voting in this election at their polling station, polling stations will be open for voting from 7 am to 10 pm on Thursday 5th May 2016.
David Robert Burgess-Joyce (Conservative Party candidate)
For over 30 years I have supported law and order locally, nationally and internationally in Merseyside Police as a former Special Constabulary Chief Officer, and as a member of the National Crime Squad and the Serious Organised Crime Agency. However, the most important post is the one I am applying for now, that of Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner. This is not just a wish to get back into the policing world but a genuine belief that the communities of Merseyside have not felt their police force has prioritised their needs in recent years.
Each year thousands of residents and businesses lose large sums of money through hackers and scammers who prey on their trust. More sinister too are the threats from paedophile gangs. I will ensure Merseyside is a hostile environment for those seeking to harm our children and vulnerable people.
It is clear to many people that the police have retreated from our streets. One of my first decisions will be to redress this by making all officers available for front-line duties. I don’t want to see any ‘forgotten’ areas in Merseyside; we all deserve access to sensible levels of policing.
I believe a re-organisation of current resources is more important than increasing council tax and guarantee we can get more out of our police force without necessarily putting more money in.
Local police and fire services work well together. As Police and Crime Commissioner I will merge much of their work, saving money to put where it is needed most: protecting law-abiding citizens and arresting criminals.
My priority will always be to make Merseyside safer for the law-abiding and hostile to the criminal.
Prepared by Simon Eardley on behalf of David Burgess-Joyce both of Wirral West Conservative Association, 24 Meols Drive, Wirral, CH47 4AN.
Christopher David Vincenzo Carubia (Liberal Democrat Party candidate)
Chris Carubia – working to cut crime and protect frontline policing in Merseyside.
Chris was elected as a Liberal Democrat Councillor in Wirral in 2014 – where he lives with his wife and daughter. Chris has spent over 35 years working in electrical engineering and I.T. management both in the UK and abroad.
Chris’s priorities for Merseyside are:
– Maintain a visible presence by defending front line policing
– Protect neighbourhood policing and fully support our PCSOs
– Ensure swift and effective response to reports of anti-social behaviour
– Prioritise tackling domestic violence and sexual exploitation
– Champion the rights of the victims and the use of restorative justice
“I am standing for Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner to work hard and make Merseyside the best police force in the country.
Policing faces many funding challenges and I believe this post needs a fresh, practical approach. One that is not influenced by existing culture.
I believe to be effective in this role you need to listen to residents of Merseyside. The Commissioner should be the voice of the community within the police force – not the police force’s voice in the community.
With your support on May 5th I’ll make sure we have an effective, well-funded police force that will help keep you and your family safe.”
This election address was prepared by Kris Brown on behalf of Chris Carubia both at 509 Smithdown Road, Liverpool, L15 5AE.
Traffic policing has not been a key priority for Merseyside Police and, while general crime has been falling, road crime such as dangerous speeding has not. The toll of killed and seriously injured across Merseyside remains high.
I would call on the police to tackle road danger as a key priority, with challenging targets. If needed, I would propose an increase in the police precept to provide resources for road policing.
Other police priorities are widely agreed, such as action on serious and organised crime, domestic abuse, hate crime, burglary, violent crime, support for victims, tackling antisocial behaviour and supporting neighbourhood policing.
As a city councillor from 2002 until 2015, I worked alongside the neighbourhood policing team in my ward, gaining insights into the value of local policing. To make neighbourhood policing more effective and more visible, I would encourage police to use cycles rather than cars for non-emergency patrols.
The illegal drug trade fuels the gun and gang culture on Merseyside: the police and the community need to act against it. The PCC should speak to government about its failure to either reconsider the need for drugs to continue to be illegal or else provide adequate funding to deal with the consequences.
In the meantime, resources should not be wasted punishing people with a medical condition which they manage by cultivating a few cannabis plants.
The PCC should build trust between every part of the public and the police. I would monitor and review local policing to make sure the police were not seen to be acting in an oppressive way against any element of the public, such as ethnic minorities or vulnerable people, particularly the homeless or those in fear of eviction.
This form has been prepared by John Coyne, 86 Belgrave Road Liverpool L17 7AH
Re-elect Jane Kennedy as Merseyside Police & Crime Commissioner
I am asking the people of Merseyside to re-elect me as their Police Commissioner on 5th May.
The Tories have cut police budgets hard and areas like Merseyside have lost a huge number of jobs. Since 2010 we have lost 1600 police officers and staff due to the Tories savage cuts. I fought hard to stop them from cutting the Force even further and thanks to a strong public response last October, over 16,000 people signed my petition in just two weeks.
As a result of public pressure George Osborne promised to stop any further cuts and so we can save our PCSOs, our mounted unit and neighbourhood patrols along with a wide range of other services which were under threat. I am in no doubt that if I had not challenged him about the cuts and if Merseysiders had ignored my petition, we would be in grave danger of reducing the police force to a ‘blue light’ only emergency service.
But there is something to celebrate. In spite of being one of the hardest hit by Tory cuts Merseyside Police have been judged to be one of the best performing metropolitan police forces in England by the independent police inspectorate, HMIC.
As Merseyside Police Commissioner I will:
Work hard with the Chief Constable to maintain this outstanding performance
Build even better services for the victims of crime
Work hard to make our roads safer for all
Fight against further cuts to the police budget
With the support of the people of Merseyside I can do this and more. That is why I am seeking re-election on May 5th 2016.
Promoted by Peter Dowling on behalf of Jane Kennedy at 108 Prescot Road, Liverpool L7 0JA