Agenda and minutes

Budget Meeting, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority
Friday, 1st February, 2019 1.00 pm

Venue: Authority Chamber - No.1 Mann Island, Liverpool, L3 1BP. View directions

Contact: Trudy Bedford 

Items
No. Item

135.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

            Apologies for absence were received from Mayor J Anderson OBE, Mr A Hamid MBE, Rt Hon J Kennedy (Portfolio Holder: Criminal Justice), Councillor W Simon (Substitute for Mayor J Anderson OBE), Councillor I Moran (Associate Member), Councillor T O’Neill (Associate Member), Councillor S Powell (Deputy Portfolio Holder: Culture, Tourism and Visitor Economy), Councillor L Robertson-Collins (Deputy Portfolio Holder: Education, Employment, Apprenticeships and Skills), Councillor E Spurrell (Deputy Portfolio Holder: Criminal Justice), Professor Dame J Beer (Mayoral Advisor: Higher Education), L Berger MP (Mayoral Advisor: Mental Health), Reverend Canon Dr E Loudon (Mayoral Advisor: Community and Voluntary Sector), G Ben-Tovim OBE (Mayoral Advisor: Natural Environment), B Spicer (Mayoral Advisor: Social Housing Growth) and S Wilde-McKeown (Mayoral Advisor: Visitor Economy).

136.

Minutes Silence

Minutes:

Metro Mayor S Rotheram referred to the recent sad passing of Sandra Abbey, the wife of Councillor Ron Abbey, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council, who was a long standing member of the Transport Committee.

 

The Combined Authority observed a minute’s silence as a mark of respect to Sandra Abbey.

 

         

137.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

            It was reported that no declarations of interest had been received.

138.

Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Announcements

Minutes:

Metro Mayor S Rotheram informed the LCR Combined Authority that the previous night he had slept rough at Liverpool Lime Street Station as part of the Big Station Sleep out, in aid of the Railway Charity.

 

The Metro Mayor reported that the aim of the sleep out was to raise money for the Charity, who supported vulnerable young people who ran away and found themselves in train stations and needing support. He advised that the Charity provided wrap around support for young vulnerable children and to date he had raised £2,200 which had contributed towards the total raised at Liverpool Lime Street station of £6,000.

 

In conclusion, he reflected upon how the Local Authorities in the City Region had created best practices to support people who were sleeping rough and emphasised that the City Region would continue to strive to address the fundamental issues of homelessness.

 

The Metro Mayor informed the LCR Combined Authority that Transport for the North (TfN) had published its blueprint for the future of the North’s transport infrastructure. This blueprint included the Combined Authorities priority plan to ensure that the City Region was connected into the Northern Powerhouse Rail and HS2 through a new twin-track rail line between Liverpool and Manchester. The Metro Mayor reported that the proposals would be considered by the TfN Board as part of its Strategic Transport Plan at its next meeting. He reflected upon the significant economic importance the proposals would deliver for the City Region and wished to place on record his thanks to the Leaders and Chief Executives from each of the constituent Local Authorities along with key stakeholders for supporting the proposals.

 

Metro Mayor S Rotheram announced that following an appropriate procurement exercise, the preferred technical consultants had been identified to develop the next phase of the business case for the Tidal project. The Metro Mayor also advised that the preferred company and their key partners were organisations with a global presence and reputation, and that the work would be developed and delivered from their officers within the Liverpool City Region.

 

The Metro Mayor also advised that St Helens and Liverpool were both chosen to host matches as part of the Rugby League World Cup in 2021. As part of the Liverpool City Region Borough of Culture, Wirral would be hosting two top level cycling events, firstly with the Tour of Britain visiting for the first time and secondly Hamilton Square providing the circuit for an OVO Energy Tour in May. He acknowledged the hard work undertaken by Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council to secure both of these events. The Metro Mayor also reported that the Women’s Netball World Cup was to be held at the Marks and Spencer Bank Arena. These events would showcase the great events which the City Region could host and help to capitalise on increasing visitor numbers.

139.

Minutes of the meeting of the LCR Combined Authority held on 11 January 2019 pdf icon PDF 180 KB

Minutes:

            RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting held on 11 January 2019 be approved as a correct record.

140.

Mayoral Combined Authority Budget Setting Report 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To consider the report of the Director of Corporate Services.

Minutes:

          Metro Mayor S Rotheram informed the LCR Combined Authority that the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Wednesday 30 January and the Transport Committee on Thursday 31 January had, had the opportunity to scrutinise the budget presented for Members consideration today.

 

          The Metro Mayor reported that this was the first time in which the Overview and Scrutiny Committee had, had the opportunity to scrutinise the budget. A summary of the discussions from both Committees had been circulated to Members of the LCR Combined Authority for their consideration.

 

          The Metro Mayor reflected upon the achievement of signing the Devolution Agreement in 2015, which brought with it funding of £900million over a 30 year period. He also reported that the City Region had been hardest hit as a consequence of the austerity cuts. This had been confirmed by a recent report from Centre for Cities who identified that Liverpool was one of the worst cities to be affected by the cuts to local government funding over the past decade. However, the Metro Mayor signalled how devolution had provided the City Region with the opportunity to begin to turn the tide on austerity by bringing some much needed investment back into the City Region. As a consequence of continued hard work in partnership with the Leaders and Mayor of the constituent Local Authorities a further £189million in additional funding had been secured.  

 

          The Metro Mayor highlighted the following which had begun to make a real difference to people by:

 

·             Creating 9,000 jobs and over 5,000 apprenticeships;

·             Introducing half price travel for apprentices;

·             Investing £6million to support the City Region’s high streets;

·             Helping 800 families through the Households into Work programme;

·             Investing £8.3million in cycling and walking routes; and

·             Buying state of the art trains for the Merseyrail network.

 

The Metro Mayor explained that as Central Government provided no long-term dedicated funding to cover the costs of a Metro Mayor and a Combined Authority, there was no alternative option but to introduce a precept. Furthermore, he informed the Combined Authority that he wished there was an alternative to the introduction of a precept as he recognised the financial challenge many were facing across the Combined Authority.

 

The Metro Mayor referenced the CIPFA report and how this had identified that a long-term funding solution was required for the Combined Authority. As such work had been undertaken to ensure that any precept was kept as low as possible, this was achieved by reducing the costs of the Combined Authority and sharing services with Merseytravel. As a consequence of this, 95% of households would pay no more than 32p a week for the precept.

 

The Metro Mayor emphasised that this had not been an easy decision but was necessary for the City Region to continue to see the benefits of devolution and deliver the long-term vision for the area.

 

          The Metro Mayor reported that the budget reflected his priorities and those of the Combined Authority Leaders and included the following:-

 

·             A £1 fast tag for City Region  ...  view the full minutes text for item 140.

141.

Transforming Cities Fund: Approval to release up to £500,000 of Development Funding pdf icon PDF 317 KB

To consider the report of the Director of Commercial Development and Investment and the Portfolio Holder: Transport and Air Quality.

Minutes:

            The LCR Combined Authority considered a report from the Director of Commercial Development and Investment and the Portfolio Holder: Transport and Air Quality which sought approval to commit £465,000 of the £500,000 Transforming Cities Fund. This was to enable two schemes to progress to the next stage of design and development.

 

            Councillor L Robinson, Portfolio Holder: Transport and Air Quality, provided Members with a summary of the two schemes seeking approval. These included the Liverpool City Region Green Bus Corridors which was seeking grant approval of up to £215,000 and the Liverpool City Region Cycle and Walking Network of up to £250,000. Councillor Robinson also referred to the scheme which had been declined, the Liverpool City Region Mass Transit Options. He reported that this would have been an exciting scheme for Liverpool and Wirral, however, the design and implementation would have taken longer than the four year timeframe associated with the Transforming Cities Fund.

 

            Members of the Combined Authority welcomed the two schemes, in particular noting the improvements to the cycling routes across the City Region and the health and wellbeing benefits they would bring to residents and visitors.

 

            RESOLVED – That:-

 

(i)            a grant up to £465,000 from the Transforming Cities Development Fund be approved to support the following:

 

·               Liverpool City Region Green Bus corridors (up to £215,000); and

·               Liverpool City Region Cycle and Walking Network (the “Cycle Path Project” up to £250,000);

 

(ii)          support for the Liverpool City Region Mass Transit Options for the reasons noted in paragraph 3.4 of the report now submitted be declined; and

 

(iii)         authority be delegated to the Combined Authority’s Head of Paid Service to conclude satisfactory terms of the ensuing grant funding agreement.

142.

Deputy Portfolio Holder Appointment pdf icon PDF 10 KB

To consider the report of the Monitoring Officer.

Minutes:

The Combined Authority considered the report of the Monitoring Officer which recommended that Councillor Kate Groucutt, St Helen’s Metropolitan Borough Council be appointed as Deputy Portfolio Holder: Inclusive Growth, Economic Development, Digital and Innovation.

 

RESOLVED – That Councillor Kate Groucutt be appointed as Deputy Portfolio Holder: Inclusive Growth, Economic Development, Digital and Innovation.

143.

Public Question Time

Members of the public will be given the opportunity to ask questions which have been submitted in accordance with Meetings Standing Orders No. 11. A period of 30 minutes will be allocated for this item. Copies of valid questions will be circulated at the meeting.

 

Members of the public who wish to submit questions are asked to contact Democratic Services either by:

 

Email: democratic.services@merseytravel.gov.uk

Telephone: 0151 330 1330

In writing: Democratic Services, Merseytravel, PO Box 1976, No. 1 Mann Island, Liverpool, L3 1BP.

 

A proforma will be supplied for the submission of public questions which for this meeting must be returned by 5.00pm on Monday 28 January 2019.

 

Minutes:

            The Metro Mayor reported that no public questions had been received.

144.

Petitions and Statements

Members of the public who wish to submit a single position or statement in accordance with Meetings Standing Orders No. 11 are asked to contact Democratic Services either by:

 

Email: democratic.services@merseytravel.gov.uk

Telephone: 0151 330 1330

In writing: Democratic Services, Merseytravel, PO Box 1976, No. 1 Mann Island, Liverpool, L3 1BP.

 

The single petition or statement for this meeting must be returned by 5.00pm on Monday 28 January 2019.

 

Minutes:

            The Metro Mayor reported that no petitions or statements had been received.

145.

Minutes of the Transport Committee held on 10 January 2019 pdf icon PDF 210 KB

Minutes:

            RESOLVED – That the minutes of the Transport Committee held on 10 January 2019 were received and confirmed by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.