It’s 20 years since the first steps in a new wave of devolution started in the UK. 1999 saw the election of the first Scottish Parliament and first Welsh Assembly and one year later London had its first elected mayor and assembly.
Since then some areas across England have seen councils, or local communities, choose to have elected mayors.
And in a further move, larger areas have combined, often around big cities, to elect city region mayors.
Here in the North West, two new Combined Authority mayors were elected in 2017 – Steve Rotheram for the Liverpool City Region and Andy Burnham for Greater Manchester.
Since their election, both mayors have called for greater powers and freedom to pursue change for their areas – and for northern England more widely.
Back in 1999, devolution was a Labour initiative, however the push for elected mayors has continued strongly under the Conservatives.
But is there the appetite to cede more power to city regions? And if so, what should these powers be?
Steve Rotheram, the first ever elected Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region is the former MP for Liverpool Walton, and a former city councillor who held the ceremonial title of Lord Mayor during Liverpool in its as Capital of Culture in 2008. In his current role he represents the local authority areas of Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and the Wirral – a population of 1.5million.
The Metro Mayor’s responsibilities are strategic in their nature, but impact the lives of everyone living in the city region – with economic growth, transport, air quality, apprenticeships and skills, energy, culture, spatial planning all falling in Steve’s remit.
Steve Rotheram joins us to explore the health of the current devolution arrangements, and what more might, or should, be done.
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16:15 event close
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