The first metro mayor for Liverpool City Region will be taking on strategic powers over an area which has many of the amenities and much of the physical infrastructure that makes it primed for growth. It has an excellent cultural offer and built environment, a well-run rail system and relatively affordable housing. In May, the metro mayor will take on strategic powers over housing, transport and planning and will need to manage and sustain the city region’s strengths in these areas. However the employment rate (68 rather than 74 per cent) and the weekly pay (£476 rather than £525 per week) is lower in the city region than the national average.
In order to ensure that both the economy and residents across the city region thrive, the metro mayor will need to focus his or her policies on enabling more people to work in more and better jobs. Alongside supporting businesses to form and grow, the mayor must support those residents that currently miss out on access to the jobs and resources around the city region by improving skills and transport.
This briefing sets out three priorities that address the biggest issues facing Liverpool City Region.
A ‘quick win’ will help the mayor to set the tone for delivery right from the start. Delivering results quickly will build trust, and show what the metro mayor is able to do for the city-region. The best ‘quick wins’ in these circumstances are high profile and of value to citizens.
Decisions about major strategic issues set the framework for delivering the metro mayor’s vision and should take advantage of the new geography that enables decisions to be taken at the city region level. While the mayor will be keen to show progress towards his or her vision, delivering on major strategic priorities will often take longer. Regular monitoring and careful evaluation is needed to allow for flexibility in the way this is being delivered, as well as to demonstrate progress.
A long term vision for the city should be the key election platform. This is what the mayor is working towards while in office. This should be ambitious, but reflect the real needs and potential of the city. Some aspects of the vision will be achievable within the mayor’s term in office, while others will build momentum or signal a change in direction. It is important to be clear and strike the balance of where each policy lies on this spectrum.