Manifesto for Mayor of the Liverpool City Region


I want to be an ambassador for an open world beating City Region that shows off its huge assets and wins for local people.


That is why our place in the world, the connectivity of our region and the beauty of our local green spaces will be priorities in my campaign.


I won't allow the government to give more and more to London and the South East and I won't apologise for putting our region and our residents before Westminster and local councils, working for the people and not the politicians.  


My vision is new, fresh and my approach is in stark contrast to the same old candidates.





Defending and Expanding our Place in the World


The Liverpool City Region voted to Remain in the June 2016 EU Referendum. Since then, we have been pulled down the road of a ‘hard’ Brexit by this Tory government, but that option was not on the ballot in June last year. This government’s strategy of pulling us out of the Single Market would be a disaster for the Liverpool City Region. As Liberal Democrats, we believe that official government policy should be to join to the European Economic Area as soon as possible after Brexit to protect the jobs and economy of our region and our country.


As a Liberal Democrat Mayor, I will:


  • Lobby government to ensure our status in the Single Market is not lost.

  • Work with Northern Ireland and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to establish an embassy in Brussels Develop permanent trade missions in key markets for our industries in places like India, the USA and China Pool our resources in terms of marketing and trade budgets to maximise our effectiveness in attracting new businesses into our region.

  • Fight to safeguard the Erasmus scheme for students at Universities in the Region, regardless of our position in the EU.



A Connected City Region


If we want to make sure our region is successful, then we have to ensure that its transport networks are strong, sustainable and functioning correctly. This means improving the links across the region; bringing our busses, river crossings and trains all under the same system; and working towards creating a 24 hour transport network across the region.


As a Liberal Democrat Mayor, I will:


  • Expand the Walrus card system, creating an ‘Oyster-like’ system across the region, to include busses, trains, ferries, tunnels and bridges. Unifying our transport network into one single contactless payment.

  • Reduce the Mersey tunnel tolls for commuters to and from the Wirral and lobby government to make the tunnel tolls free like that of London.

  • Improve the bus network, prioritising poorly connected, often disadvantaged areas throughout the region.

  • Use strategic powers to develop a City Region wide approach to connect all major areas of employment, leisure and retail. Including exploring more 24 hour busses and trains.

  • Expand the City Bike scheme across the region.

  • Encourage more national and international airlines to invest and travel to and from John Lennon Airport.


Protecting the Environment


We are incredibly lucky to live in a region with incredible natural assets. From our park space across Liverpool, to the magnificent Sefton coast.  However, we have to acknowledge that our planet is suffering from changes in our climate, and that we must do all we can to protect and defend our natural environment, both from climate change, and unnecessary building.


As a Liberal Democrat Mayor, I will:


  • Work with all six councils to try and protect our green space, green belt and high grade agricultural land.

  • Establish a Brownfield Development Cooperative to work in conjunction with a new Merseyside Land Commission to ensure Brownfield sites are brought forward for development and to protect our green belt.

  • Commission an annual monitoring of air quality throughout the city region.

  • Promote and aid the development of a tidal lagoon off the coast of Southport and promote the use of innovative renewable energy.


Building Better Infrastructure


How our region operates and runs is changing at rapid speed. Modern technology is making it more important to keep infrastructure developments up-to-date; be it through new housing, the digital economy, or including our incredible sporting venues.

As a Liberal Democrat Mayor, I will:


  • Encourage new house building programmes, but put pressure on councils to ensure developments are a suitable mix of build to promote jobs and support local economies.

  • I will put pressure on councils to ensure that no new housing is built on our green spaces, green belt or high grade agricultural land.

  • Promote and aid in the development of a tidal energy lagoon off Southport and promote the use of innovative renewable solutions.

  • Support the region's digital economy and work with leading technology businesses to turn the Liverpool City Region into the UK's premier digital hub.

  • Make the region a centre for sport with specific work to promote sporting events in the region such as ‘The Open’ in Birkdale and the ‘Grand National’ at Aintree

  • Bid to attract new sports to the region including bidding for the 2026 Commonwealth Games

  • Establish a Mayor's Fund for Sport - helping young people from across the region engage in activity in their community


Jobs and Economy


Liberal Democrats believe in fair and free trade in an open economy. However, that is now at risk thanks to the government lurching into a ‘hard’ Brexit and removing us from the Single Market.


As a Liberal Democrat Mayor, I will:


  • Ensure that the Liverpool City Region is a global region, attracting more international investment.

  • Lobby Government and fight to maintain our position in the Single Market.

  • Use new powers to provide an alternative to the government's work programme where individuals can volunteer to carry out work with community groups rather than for big companies.

  • Consult with employers and explore the option of a Merseyside Minimum Wage set at £8.50 per hour.

  • Improve links between councils, business and key educational institutions across the region.

  • Further involve the academic and research capabilities of universities in the city region more in developing training and placement links for undergraduates and graduates within local businesses.

  • Develop apprenticeship, training and other facilities in a combined and cohesive system to help out-of-work residents to access more jobs across the city region by improving their skills.

  • Use the apprenticeship levy to better match businesses with skills providers across the city region and improve the quality of schemes through the apprenticeship hub.


A Healthy Region


Our NHS is facing some of its biggest challenges to date.  Funding cuts and crises in the social care sector mean that we need to protect our health services now more than ever.  The best way we can do that, is by ensuring that health powers are properly devolved.


As a Liberal Democrat Mayor, I will:


  • Negotiate with the government for new powers over health and social care, like those powers of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

  • Establish centres of excellence for all disciplines throughout the Region so that all residents get the best possible care throughout the Liverpool City Region.

  • Ensure public health objectives for preventing illness and conditions are put in place using the common media and support facilities from across the region.

  • Ensure social care is joined up across local authority boundaries to ensure that people needing care, especially the elderly, can live where most appropriate and are not constrained by artificial local government boundaries.

  • Develop a common social care strategy across the Region which can readily expand its scale thus taking out of hospital quickly the 30% of people who do not need to be there and whose follow up care would be better provided at home or in the community.

  • Create a health innovation centre with our universities to ensure that full advantage is taken of new technologies and methodologies to improve health experiences and help monitor conditions.


An Open and Democratic City Region


The deal struck between government and the Liverpool City Region is substandard. The money promised is not enough. The structures are not democratic enough. The the position of Mayor itself is focusing too much power into one person.


As a Liberal Democrat mayor I will:


  • Look to hold a referendum on the position of Elected Mayor of the City Region.

  • Renegotiate the devolution deal, with the aim of increasing the available funding, incorporating the powers of the Police and Crime Commissioner, and incorporating powers over Health and Social Care.

  • Restructure the Liverpool City Region Governance Structure to allow for regular meetings of members drawn from each constituent Council, during which the Mayor will report on the progress of the City Region and outline the issues emerging in the Forward Plan and other strategies.

  • Allow for a ‘Mayors Questions’, where residents and business people from across the Region can ask questions in person, or by mail/email.  These meetings will be held regularly throughout the six constituent boroughs.

  • Make the decision making process open to the public and press scrutiny. Every attempt will be made to prevent decisions being made ‘behind closed doors’. This transparency will will allow communities to be able to understand and have input in the workings of the City Region.

  • Extend membership of the Combined Authority to representatives from all elected political parties in the region.

  • Ensure that the scrutiny panel is able to effectively scrutinise the Mayor and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, and hold them to account. The best way to achieve this is to set up a proportionally representative assembly based on the number of councillors per political party in the City Region. This Panel should meet regularly and publicly to hold the Mayor, Board Members with sectoral responsibilities, officers and partners to account.

  • Ensure that the Liverpool City Region is more visible and accountable, and does not just become a glorified but anaemic County Council. Thus, a Regional Assembly, much like that in London, should be set up. We would hold elections to this Assembly every four years, and Assembly Members would have similar roles to those currently in the Greater London Assembly.

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