De­vo­lu­tion will be ‘gold’ for re­gion

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Front Page - BY OLIVER CLAY oliver.clay@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @Oliv­erClayRWWN

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

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