To receive updates from the Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor.
Metro Mayor S Rotheram provided the LCR Combined Authority with a summary of some of the key activities he had undertaken in recent weeks.
The Metro Mayor expressed his concern following the recent announcement from Jaguar Land Rover regarding further job losses. He reported that Jaguar Land Rover where one of the biggest employers in the City Region and a vital source of high-quality, high-skilled employment. He advised that along with Councillor G Morgan, Leader of Knowsley MBC, they had met with both management and workers at the Halewood plant to discuss the current situation.
The Metro Mayor explained that the Halewood plant had a number of fundamental strengths, however, there were a number of strategic economic reasons for the company’s currently challenges, which ranged from a slump in diesel sales, to the US-China trade war and the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Brexit. He went on to explain that the Combined Authority’s role in addressing these issues was limited, however, he had offered the full assistance and support of the Combined Authority and Knowsley MBC to support the company and its workers during this difficult time. The Metro Mayor went on to highlight how the latest news from Jaguar Land Rover underlined the importance of avoiding a no-deal Brexit.
The Metro Mayor reported that both Councillor Morgan and he had been asked by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Gregg Clark MP, to represent the City Region on a national task force to consider the support the national government could provide to Jaguar Land Rover. The Metro Mayor also reported that Councillor P Davies and Mayor J Anderson OBE would be working with the key stakeholders to support Cammell Laird over the coming months.
The Metro Mayor reflected upon the continued chaos and misery which passengers on Northern Rail had experienced during 2018, which had been exacerbated by the recent fare increase of 3.2%. He reported that he had recently met with the Chief Executives of both Northern Rail and Network Rail along with a delegation of local MP’s to express concerns regarding their promise of incremental change during 2019, which was unacceptable.
The Metro Mayor highlighted how the chaos on Northern trains had caused huge damage to the economy of the north and to people who rely on railway travel. He also explained how he had made it clear to the management of Northern trains that if they do no improve their performance then he would be putting pressure on the Government to remove the franchise and he had also reiterated this point to Transport for the North, as had Councillor L Robinson, Portfolio Holder for Transport and Air Quality.
In conclusion, the Metro Mayor referred to his recent visit to the new Royal Liverpool Hospital, where he was accompanied by Dame Louise Ellman MP. He paid tribute to the work of Mayor J Anderson OBE and other politician’s from across the political spectrum who had persuaded central Government to identify an alternative funding stream, following the collapse of Carillon. He emphasised how the development of a new hospital could improve the health and wellbeing of residents across the City Region. He paid tribute to the staff working at the Royal Liverpool hospital, who were working in some terrible conditions.