Rotheram ‘excited’ as former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg offers help for Metro Mayors

Mr Bloomberg and former UK Chancellor George Osborne have pledge assistance to the new English regional mayors through Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Northern Powerhouse Partnership. Tony McDonough reports.

Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Labour candidate, Steve Rotheram

Liverpool City Region’s new Metro Mayor will have the backing of former Mayor of New York and billionaire Michael Bloomberg following May’s election.

Mr Bloomberg and former UK Chancellor George Osborne have pledged to offer assistance to the new English regional mayors through their respective organisations, Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Northern Powerhouse Partnership.

And the hot favourite to win the Liverpool City Region vote, Labour candidate Steve Rotheram, said he was “excited” at the prospect of working with the tycoon.

Globalisation

In a joint article in The Times, Mr Bloomberg and Mr Osborne say that strong local Government can best tackle the wave of anger against the effects of globalisation.

And in a clear reference to politicians such as US President Donald Trump and former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, they write: “ … populist leaders have offered only a false promise that in retreating behind our borders we can recover a past that is gone forever.

“We see it differently. We believe that a better response to globalisation lies in localisation.”

Technical assistance

On the English Metro Mayors, they add: “It’s up to local people to decide who should be their mayors.

“It’s important that whoever they choose gets off to a strong start. To help them do some will offer them opportunities to access technical assistance, share best practices. strengthen their management skills and explore ways to to promote innovation and use data to shape policy.”

North-South divide

Mr Rotheram, currently the Labour MP for Walton, welcomed the intervention, adding: “Given his unquestionable experience and expertise, I would obviously welcome the opportunity to meet former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to discuss how he might provide Metro Mayors with technical assistance and support, should I be elected.

“One of my top priorities will be to tackle the North-South divide that has held the Liverpool city region back for far too long.

“Mayor Bloomberg presided over a period of unprecedented growth and improvement during his tenure and I would be delighted to learn any lessons he might have to take our area to the next level.

“I would be interested in how he believes Metro Mayors can wrestle further powers from Whitehall to ensure that we deliver on the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity devolution affords us.”

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