St Helens councillors to vote on closer ties with Liverpool

Councillors will tonight vote on plans dubbed 'Devo Scouse'
Councillors will tonight vote on plans dubbed 'Devo Scouse'

Councillors in St Helens will vote tonight on a historic move to create even closer political ties with Liverpool.

The specially-convened full meeting of the council was called following the announcement of a devolution deal for the Liverpool city region.

Council leader Barrie Grunewald is backing the devolution plans

Council leader Barrie Grunewald is backing the devolution plans

The recommendation, which will be made at Thursday’s meeting, follows months of negotiations involving all six councils in the city region.

Council leader Barrie Grunewald is backing the move and it is almost certain most councillors will vote in line with the Labour leader.

He said: “The deal includes almost £1 billion of extra funding over the next 30 years, greater control and decision-making powers in terms of local priorities for economic development, transport and skills, and the introduction of an appropriate governance structure. I believe that it is the best deal we can secure for the Liverpool City Region.”

Local authority Leaders, along with Mayor of Liverpool, have been negotiating collectively with the Government on the devolution deal.

The agreement signed on Monday is still subject to the spending review and ratification from the Liverpool City Region’s individual local authorities.

It is also subject to the enactment of the necessary legislation (The Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill and the Buses Bill) and to parliamentary approval of the secondary legislation implementing the provisions of the agreement.

Coun Grunewald added: “Our concerns around an elected Mayor are well known, but I, along with my colleagues at St Helens Council, believe that the prize is worth the price – and we must all work together in a positive, constructive manner to get the best possible deal for the people of the Liverpool City Region.”