Liverpool Combined Authority looks at devolution plans

The next meeting of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is set to go ahead next Friday, with proposals for greater devolved powers and funding on the agenda.

Following the announcement of Greater Manchester's devolution deal with central government earlier this month, a report will be presented which sets out Liverpool's outline plans to obtain greater control of powers and funding options for the region.

An update will be presented on the implementation of the £230m Growth deal that Liverpool was awarded in July. The deal included a transport package, enhancements to the connectivity and attractiveness of the city centre as a place to visit, do business and live, a range of activities to ensure educational establishments are providing training and learning which are aligned to the needs of businesses.

Transport updates will include reports on One North, which outlines the case for sustained investment in the North of England's transport infrastructure, and the Mersey Gateway, which will create a six lane toll bridge over the Mersey between Runcorn and Widnes, relieving traffic congestion.

An update on how the Liverpool city region's affordable homes programme is progressing will be presented, with £36.8m granted for the development of 1,900 affordable homes between 2015 and 2018.

In addition, there will be a proposal to amend the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority's constitution in order to make provision for associate membership of the combined authority.

The meeting will take place at 11am on Friday 21 November at Mann Island, Liverpool.

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Sooner or later the new "Combined Authorities" will each require specific "strategic funding". Such a definition was promoted in Whitehall before the 1974 local governmnet reorganisation – and without this it was clear that the then proposed "Metropolitian Counties" could not function. However there was insufficient Ministerial and official agreement to take this forward- Downing Street then blaming this on senior Whitehall (DOE) personnel. So Merseyside, Greater Manchester and the other Metropolitan Counties were all doomed! Moreover this "strategic funding", we then argued, required a specific guarantee within the country’s annual public expenditure plans (then PESC, now CSR). And, for good measure that strategic local funding required Parliamentary validation. That was always the way to do it! Time we began!! (If you would like info on the relevant still unpublished internal Whitehall review email me at

By Des McConaghy