The six local authorities of Merseyside are joining the growing trend for city-regional policymaking with the creation of a new cabinet.
The council leader from each authority – Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens, Wirral – will take responsibility for a particular policy area.
The breakdown of portfolio will be as follows:
- Halton: transport
- Knowsley: skills and employment
- Liverpool: economy and Europe
- Sefton: safer, healthier communities
- St Helens: housing and spatial planning
- Wirral: environmental sustainability
The decision to form the cabinet follows the publication of a prospectus for improving the region's economy by the Merseyside Policy Unit.
The prospectus found wide-ranging areas, from self-employment levels to public health, where Liverpool and its hinterland were lagging behind other UK and European city regions.
Greater Manchester authorities already work closely on various areas of policy under the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities.
There is growing pressure from Government for local authorities to form multi-area agreements as it seeks to align economic policy with wider city-regional boundaries.
Ministers are currently consulting on plans to give local authority groups more powers to direct their own economic strategies at a level below regional development agencies as part of the Sub-National Review of Economic Development and Regeneration.