Posts Tagged ‘liverpool’

Merseyside row overshadows Combined Authority launch

03/04/2014, 04:10:25 PM

Word reaches us of a serious family squabble on Merseyside.

This issue of contention is over who should chair Merseyside’s new Combined Authority -designed to pool responsibility among local councils over transport, economic development and regeneration and receive new powers from Whitehall.

Liverpool is clear it should be Mayor Joe Anderson. Most of the other councils disagree, citing the example of Greater Manchester, where Wigan’s council leader rather than Manchester’s chairs the body, avoiding the impression of Mancunian dominance.

Matters came to a head on Monday at a meeting of the six Merseyside leaders representing Liverpool, Sefton, Knowsley, Wirral, Halton and St Helens. With rumours that Anderson and Sefton’s leader, Peter Dowd, were boycotting the meeting in protest at the job not going to Anderson, a vote was taken by the remaining leaders and Wirral Council Leader Phil Davies was duly appointed.

Anderson and Dowd then turned up after the vote had been taken. The mood, say insiders, was sub-Arctic.

There are two structural problems being played out here. First, there has long been a debate about what exactly constitutes ‘Merseyside’. Scousers argue that it’s really nothing more than Liverpool plus satellite areas and therefore it makes sense to play their strongest card.

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Peter Wheeler’s alternative conference guide

24/09/2011, 10:46:57 AM

Conference wouldn’t be conference without Peter Wheeler’s gonzo guide to surviving the week – get your fill of the best boozers, events and eateries Liverpool has to offer. And keep an eye out for Peter on your travels.

PW Conf Guide 2011a

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As the cold war begins, so do the defections

15/09/2010, 11:45:43 AM

What have Liverpool, Exeter, Hull and Rotherham got in common? Football clubs not playing in the champions league tonight? Too easy. All places that charmless hacks would patronisingly dismiss if any poor lamb from the capital were ever forced to live there ? True, but still not quite right.

Add in the midlands authority of Sandwell and the preposterously well informed among you will have guessed we are in the glamorous world of post-election defections. We’ve all heard about the thousands of new members joining Labour since May, but there is one standout group – local councillors crossing the floor to join the party with no leader.

Observers of British politics see local government in the way casual sport fans view county cricket – it’s an interesting diversion but it’s only really important when it affects the national team. This may well be true, but just like in county cricket, what goes on in the provinces can tell us an awful lot about the direction of travel for the wider game.

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