Steve Rotheram
Rotheram has slammed Whitehall's funding support during the pandemic as a "disgrace"

Liverpool sets up Covid-19 taskforce

Sarah Townsend

The city region has set up an economic recovery taskforce aimed at lifting the local economy after a bruising from the lockdown.

The taskforce, chaired by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, comprises council leaders, business leaders, members of the local enterprise partnership, representatives from central government, and other national bodies.

Its priority will be to “maximise the impact of economic recovery funding to help individuals, businesses, third sector, public and community organisations build back better in the aftermath of the pandemic,” the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority said in a statement to media.

Rotheram has already slammed Whitehall’s financial support to Liverpool during the coronavirus pandemic as a “disgrace” and claimed the city region has a £137m funding black hole as a result.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week pledged to review central Government funding to Liverpool and Knowsley councils – the latter claims to have a £44m black hole as a result of the pandemic  – after both authorities said the level of support has been inadequate to properly support citizens and businesses.

The task force is expected to meet regularly, initially once a month, for the next 12-18 months. It will be staffed by combined authority officers, maintaining close links with member councils.

Rotheram said: “I am doing all I can to help local businesses survive in the here and now, but it’s important to begin planning for how we rebuild and grow after the coronavirus.

“Before this pandemic struck, the Liverpool City Region had the fastest gross value added (GVA) growth in the whole of England, at 3.5%, and well above average productivity growth.

“We can [still] make a huge contribution to national economic recovery but the scale of the challenge is such that we will need major support from Government.”

The task force will enable the city region to “gain a clear understanding of national funding so we can maximise its impact across the city region, while making sure that national funding programmes understand and reflect our local needs”, Rotheram added.

“It will also give our region a single, united voice to lobby Government for the funding and programmes that we need.”

The city region has yet to publish its practical strategy for releasing the city from lockdown. A spokesperson for Liverpool City Council told Place North West  that plans were being devised.

 

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Great move from Steve R; we cant trust this lot down south; remember when they said……..this Covid 19 thingy…..just spend what you need,…we will cover it;………..and then just a few months later, its all different, with funds being withdrawn, and support for London Transport……but not for other cities………BET DOMINIC has made a few bob out of it!!!!!
ITS NOT TIME FOR A BOARDER…..its time for independence!

By Anonymous

How much is this going to cost us in council tax hike

By Andrew Moore

Ok then how much will he pay himself I wonder

By Andrew Moore

I can imagine, the usual useless LEP, the useless city region clique. Majority never ran a business. They are part of the problem and never the solution.

By John Smith

Rotheram and Burnham are like two turkeys voting for Christmas..
Both Liverpool and Manchester’s economies are very heavily reliant on hospitality and leisure and yet they both have ratcheted it up the fear factor with their constant scaremongering. This over reaction will set both city centres back ten years …. Ghost towns in the making…

By VOR

Sigh. I have no doubt Bandwagon Burnham has something much better up his sleeve.

By Michael McDonut

I’m gonna support Steve Rotheram to come good. Please do not censor this message. Remember freedom of speech.

By George

A good idea but should they not have done this 12 weeks ago? They’ve lost a lot of time here.

By Red5

I suspect they are just playing the game to help ratchet the pressure in the government to get a better deal but it does sniff a bit of playing party politics which nobody wants at this time.

By Schmikael

Is it any wonder Knowsley Council has no money when an employee was convicted this week for pocketing £260k of money meant for care homes. Perhaps they ought to get their own house in order before complaining about a lack of funding.

By MD

Well Liverpool is always led to believe it’s a boutique offshoot to what other cities want to do or indeed have done already. Liverpool builds something and Manchester builds a bigger one. Manchester builds something and Liverpool is told not to bother because there’s another one down the road that’s all sewn up now.

Sigh.

By Michael McDonut

A sensible move.

By Pier Head