Photo: Joe Anderson
A majority Tory government would result in the rapid imposition of Liverpool Labour boss Joe Anderson as an executive mayor of greater Merseyside, with extensive powers to control a ‘Liverpool City Region’ which would include Southport and the Wirral, says John Pugh .
“Talks were far advanced along those lines before the last parliament finished. Michael Heseltine was progressing plans along these lines. George Osborne was pushing this and Greg Clarke, the Tory Minister for Cities, was 100% behind it.”
“The plan will be revived ON DAY ONE if there is a Conservative majority government – and we will have no say in the matter.”
Liberal Democrat John Pugh has revealed that he successfully lobbied Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, during the last parliament, to block this plan – and he shared his concerns with the Labour council leader on the Wirral, Phil Wilson.
“Frankly, it was a very near thing. Without active intervention, it would have been pushed through by the Tories.”
“ Undoubtedly, the areas on the fringes like Southport will get the ‘rough end of the deal’ with such a massive centralisation of power in one person. Already, in the recent tribunal case*, we have got a whiff of the mind-set that sets in when one guy gets all the power.
The real problem is that if the Tories win outright this ‘elected mayor’ will be an imposition, not a choice, for this area.”
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