Mayor’s top five priorities for the Budget

Ahead of the Budget on Wednesday (March 18), Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, outlines his five key priorities for the City.

1. Fair funding deal

“Between 2010 and 2017, government grants to Liverpool City Council will be cut by 58 per cent – some £330 million. This is a hammer blow to our finances and forces the council to innovate in the ways we operate and provide services. But innovation only gets us so far. The scale of cuts we are dealing with is unprecedented and unsustainable beyond 2017. In fact, if we were just facing the average national funding cut, we would be £80 million a year better off.”

We are asking for a fair funding formula from Government, not one that penalises cities like Liverpool

2. HS2

“Under current plans, there is no proposal to extend the HS2 line to Liverpool. This is a massive mistake. As well as an estimated £8.3bn boost to the Liverpool City region, HS2 would bring 14,000 new jobs, raise an estimated £30 million in extra business rates, boost the visitor economy and help us capitalise on our plans to become a global logistics hub, linking our Superport proposals with the rest of the UK.”

Extend HS2 to Liverpool – 20 more miles than currently planned

Mayor's five priorities

3. “Devo Scouse” package

“If cities like Liverpool are to become part of the “Northern Powerhouse” we need the powers and economic levers to match the aspiration. Greater control over transport to improve connectivity. Powers over spatial planning and housing to drive regeneration and sustainable development. The ability to work with business to deliver the skills base we need to compete. But Manchester shows where the bar is now set. We need the same package of measures they have in order to develop our potential to the full. In order to properly integrate NHS services with social care, we need to see the real devolution of decision-making and budgets. To make this package truly transformational, we also need real political clout. That’s why I remain committed to a metro-mayor for the Liverpool city-region.”

Real powers, new budgets and a fresh approach to city-region governance: Give us ‘Devo Scouse’

4. Rescue social care

“From April, councils like Liverpool will implement the Care Act, bringing with it a new national standard for assessing care needs. But with an ageing population, the pressures on social care budgets are now relentless. Cuts to our grant mean we are reducing adult social care spending by £42 million by 2017. If we are to bridge the aspirations of the Care Act with the reality of a shrinking budget, then the Government needs to act.”

Urgently review social care funding allocations to match resources to need

5. Ring-fence children’s centres

“If we are serious about tackling deprivation, then we need to address it in childhood. Despite the budget cuts we face and despite the fact children’s centres are primarily a discretionary area of spending, we have decided to guarantee an extra £2.2 million to keep all our 17 children’s centres open until 2017. If the government is equally serious about giving our kids the best start in life and practical support for families there is a simple remedy for all parties.”

Ring-fence funding for children’s centres