Liverpool’s post-COVID plan a ‘missed opportunity’
Cllr Richard Kemp, leader of the Liberal Democrats on Liverpool City Council says the £1.4bn submission to Government is a ‘missed opportunity to do things better and differently’
I am appalled that I can only comment on this submission based on a five-page summary that I was given last week when it had already been sent to Government. There has been no review of the plan by the elected councillors of the six boroughs within the Liverpool city region.
It is clear however that ‘shovel ready’ means that all that we are presenting is a number of preconceived ideas and projects that do not meet what the people of Liverpool are asking for post-virus.
They want cleaner air, better transport; improved ability to work from home; better use of or parks and facilities in the area; jobs that relate to climate change with all the opportunities that this would give; proposals to generate power from solar, wind and tidal sources.
Today the Government’s Commission on Climate Change has said that recovery must be based on strong climate change actions but in this report we see the token gesture of a handful of homes in Liverpool being retrofitted with insulation and the rest of the schemes being those of the vested interests that have contributed to the report. No wonder they are in favour of it – most will benefit from it.
The idea that we can boldly commission a new cruise terminal when there is clear evidence from within the industry that there is a strong possibility of a long term decline in this area of leisure is daft.
The idea that we can commission more office blocks when there is clear evidence that employers and employees want to do more home working which will reduce the amount of accommodation required is naive.
I hope that through the scrutiny process, the six councils will be able to examine in detail the report and make amendments to it so that the Government finally receives a report and a request which meets the new normal which we live in and not the old normal that the authors and promoters of this report would like us to live in.