Metro Mayors assess their first year in office at Liverpool devolution conference

Liverpool city region’s Steve Rotheram and Greater Manchester’s Andy Burnham will both speak at the event hosted by the University of Liverpool’s Heseltine Institute. Tony McDonough reports

Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, left, with Greater Manchester counterpart Andy Burnham

 

Mersey and Greater Manchester Metro Mayors Steve Rotheram will take a look at what has gone well and not so well during their first year at a major conference in Liverpool this week.

In an event called by University of Liverpool Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Janet Beer and hosted by the University’s Heseltine Institute, speakers will also outline the next steps in the devolution journey.

Both Mr Rotheram and Mr Burnham were elected to office last May and have had busy first years. Mr Burnham found himself in the national spotlight following the Manchester terror attack last summer and and latterly has been particularly vocal on the Northern Rail debacle.

Mr Rotheram has also put transport and connectivity at the top of his agenda and has also come in for criticism for the lack of female representation on the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority board.

Other speakers at the conference, taking place on Wednesday, July 4, include Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, as well as senior speakers from Government, business and universities.

Mr Rotheram said: “Just over a year since I was elected as Metro Mayor, a position I could not be prouder to hold, this conference is an opportunity to take stock and, more importantly, look to the future.

We are already making a real difference to people’s lives through devolution – improving transport through the opening of the first new station on our network in 20 years at Maghull North and enabling new apprenticeships and future careers through schemes such as our £3.4million investment with Alstom.

“Our new £460 million state-of-the-art, publicly-owned, train fleet will be operational in 2020 and we are supporting other major investments to projects happening now, such as Paddington Village, and a new cruise terminal.”

Conference Chair Professor Michael Parkinson said: “It promises to be a high-powered, serious attempt by key players to assess how the crucial process of devolution has developed in its first year and what Liverpool and other city regions might expect to gain from the process during the coming years.”

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