Devolution will be ‘gold’ for region
METRO mayor candidate for the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram has again said he believes devolved powers from Whitehall will be a ‘gold opportunity’ for the area in 2017.
Speaking in a New Year message recording, he said powers being transferred from Westminster can help to close the North-South divide.
The Labour MP for Walton added that the city region must make the most of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.
He said 2016 seemed to change the political landscape at home and abroad ‘dramatically’, from Brexit to Donald Trump’s election victory to ‘the rise of the far right across mainland Europe’.
Mr Rotheram said it had been a ‘difficult year’ for Labour also.
He said future opportunity must be seized and he called on residents with ideas to con- tact him. He said: “We have to make the most of Brexit and what it presents for the 1.5m people across Merseyside and Halton.
“While the Government in Westminster seemingly has no plan for Britain’s future outside the European Union, if I’m elected as metro mayor I’ll fight to ensure that whatever comes out of our Brexit negotiations, we have a strong voice that delivers the best possible future for our area to ensure we are not left behind yet again.
“Devolution is our chance to wrestle power from Whitehall, and bring decision making back to our towns and communities so that we can start to close the North-South divide that has widened under this Tory Government.
“We need to be able to take local decisions on housing, transport and skills to secure the economic growth we need to create the jobs, apprenticeships and wealth to take our city region forward.
“And as we enter a brand new year, I am starting a big conversation with you.
“I want to find out about your priorities and concerns.
“So - over the coming months, I will be touring the region to meet you and share my plans to get our area moving in a new and positive direction.” ●
Labour metro mayor candidate Steve Rotheram MP