The 6 Lib Dem Council Group Leaders from across the Liverpool City Region attended a meeting of the City Region Board at the request of the Chair of the Board Joe Anderson, the Labour Mayor of Liverpool.
Cllr Richard Kemp CBE of Liverpool said:
"Brexit has made a desire to improve the standard and work of the Liverpool City Region into a necessity. We can no longer look to Westminster or Europe for the resources that are still needed to improve the standard of life for some many of our citizens.
In the short term we must come together to fight for resources from Westminster to replace those being taken away. We must work with Europe to see what can be salvaged from almost a £1 billion of capital and revenue programmes when other support inputs are costed on. If necessary we must change the priorities for the money that we have available to meet gaps and fulfil different needs.
In the longer term we need to up our game to a Liverpool Assembly which meets the needs of our people and businesses. The City Region bid to the Government was mediocre and only accepted because the Government wished to support the concept of mayors. We now need to:
· Develop a long term vision and strategy for the City Region which reflects its strengths and opportunities.
· Bring together from all sectors of the Community; business; public and academic sectors joint actions to work together in a way never yet achieved to future proof our City Region and prepare it for tough times ahead.
· Bring in to the officers supporting the City Region expertise from the Foreign and Business Departments of Central Government
· Harness the strategic thinking of the 3 Universities of the Region to develop a new range of products and services which will make our communities and our businesses fit for purpose in changing times.
· Upgrade our office in London and create one in Brussels so that we can continue to create strong links with our major economic partner.
· Review the governance structures of the proposed City Region to enhance transparency and scrutiny and involve as many people as possible in key decisions about the Region’s Future.
Liberal Democrats will help with these initiatives and whilst we continue to oppose some things both at City Region and Council level will seek to do so in a spirit of cooperation as we recognise the serious challenges facing the 1.7 million people of the region".