Currently Labour MP for Liverpool Walton, Mr Rotheram is favourite to be elected as the city’s region’s first Mayor in the spring. Tony McDonough reports.
Regional devolution and Brexit could Merseyside and the North West narrow the north-south divide, Liverpool City Region Mayoral candidate Steve Rotheram.
Currently Labour MP for Liverpool Walton, Mr Rotheram is favourite to be elected as the city’s region’s first Mayor in the spring.
And in his New Year message he says devolved powers from Whitehall present a “golden opportunity”.
And he also says the city region has to make the most of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.
In his video message, available to view on his Twitter feed @Steve4LCRMayor, Mr Rotheram says: “2016 was a year that seemed to change the national and international political landscape dramatically – from the historic vote to leave the EU, Donald Trump’s unexpected election victory in America and the rise of the far right across mainland Europe.
“And let’s be honest, it was a difficult year for our party also.
“However, with the turn of the New Year – I believe 2017 presents many opportunities for the Liverpool city region.
“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 EU, 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.”