Liverpool’s metro mayor election – what the candidates are promising

Elena Magrini looks at the key themes from the Liverpool City Region mayoral manifestos

The Liverpool City Region metro mayor manifestos are out, with every candidate from the main parties (apart from Tony Caldeira of the Conservatives) setting out their ideas for each policy area the new mayor will have powers over. However, not all the manifestos offer a clear, achievable strategic plan on how the candidates intend to make their vision a reality.

Skills and training

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A major issue in all the manifestos is the urgent need to improve skill levels across the city region, as highlighted in our Liverpool mayoral briefing, which showed that 12 per cent of residents across the city region have no formal qualifications (compared to 9 per cent nationally), while productivity is also lower than average. But while there is consensus on the importance of addressing this issue, candidates have different strategies: Steve Rotheram (Labour) is planning to introduce an easily accessible apprenticeship portal, and develop a ‘Pathways to excellence’ programme to create connections between employers and people across the region. Carl Cashman (Liberal Democrats) pledges to address staff needs of employers through the apprenticeship hub, and Tom Crone (Green Party) promotes digital skills and opportunities for life-long learning.

Transport

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Transport is another major priority for candidates. Steve Rotheram has mainly focused on the Merseyrail system, promising expanded services for the city region and new stations in the city centre. Carl Cashman also wants a better transport system, but he will work towards improving the bus network by integrating the existing Walrus card to a multi-modal ‘Oyster-like’ system. As our briefing highlighted, improving buses in poorly connected areas will disproportionately benefit poorer residents. Finally, Tom Crone of the Green Party is promoting healthier modes of transport, including cycling and walking.

The environment

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A third hot topic among candidates is the environment. Each manifesto has a section devoted to it, with candidates promoting the use of renewable energy (Rotheram and Cashman) and claiming that they will protect green areas (Cashman and Crone). Rotheram goes even further in setting a bold goal for Liverpool City Region to become a zero-carbon city by 2040.

Housing

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Where candidates have less clear strategies is on housing, despite the fact that the metro mayor will have significant strategic planning powers to address this issue. To design a clear housing strategy, Steve Rotheram will convene a high-level housing summit in his first 100-days in office, while Carl Cashman and Tom Crone will focus on brownfield development. Crone has also pledged to tackle homelessness in the city and create new council housing, a top priority for residents of Liverpool City Region according to recent polls.

Whoever becomes metro mayor for Liverpool City Region will need to forge strong relationships with local leaders and the national government, as well as work closely with the existing city mayor for Liverpool. Having a clear vision and set of priorities will be invaluable in helping them achieve this, and in enabling the new metro mayor to navigate their first few months post-election. This will also be critical in establishing an organising framework for the rest of their mayoralty.

Watch this space for more analysis on the metro mayor manifestos in other city regions in the coming days

The Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Manifestos – Summarised

Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Manifestos from Centre for Cities

 

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