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Liverpool mayor steps up to city-region chair ahead of devolution

The Liverpool City Region’s devolution deal and public service reform will now be led by the city-region’s mayor after the chair of the combined authority, Cllr Phil Davies, decided to step down.

Mayor Joe Anderson was unanimously considered the ideal candidate to step up to the role during a momentous time for the city-region, according to other members of the authority.

Davies, who has been chair since the combined authority was formed on 1 April 2014, was responsible for driving negotiations with the government as part of the chancellor’s devolution programme.

Under his watch, the city-region became the fifth northern city to sign a deal in a £900m package.

“I am proud to have played a leading role in delivering our devolution deal, a move that will bring real benefit to the residents of the city-region. It was a historic moment and the combined authority still has much work to do to negotiate the next set of devolved powers and resources and ensure the capacity and capability to deliver devolution is in place,” Davies said.

“Having helped to negotiate the Liverpool City Region devolution deal, I felt now was the right moment to rebalance my time in favour of my duties as Wirral council leader. I have no doubt at all that Joe will build on what we have already achieved. He has a passion for the city-region and a desire to see it succeed as a major economic force within the Northern Powerhouse.”

Anderson said the “intense and challenging period” of devolution agreements brought the city-region’s leadership closer together in preparation for the work to come – “not just on preparing for delivery of the negotiated deal but also in terms of getting more from government in the next phase”.

Other lead responsibilities were announced simultaneously with the mayor’s new job, including Cllr Rob Polhill for transport, Cllr Andy Moorhead for health and wellbeing, Cllr Ian Maher for employment and skills, and Cllr Barrie Grunewald for housing and planning for growth.

(Top image: Mayor Joe Anderson, photographed by Richard Williams c. UK Civil Service)


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