Update on Liverpool City Region Developments
- Meeting of Business Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Wednesday, 28th November 2018 6.00 p.m. (Item 30.)
A Report by the Policy and Strategy Manager set out a brief overview of latest developments at the Liverpool City Region ( LCR), including activity underway to implement the City Region devolution deal.
The report set out information, regarding the Strategic Investment Fund, LCR Housing First, Tackling poor air quality across the LCR and High Speed 2 and Northern Powerhouse rail update.
The Policy and Strategy Manager provided a presentation, focusing on the information within the report as follows:
Strategic Investment Fund (SIF)
Members heard how the Combined Authority had recently re – launched Strategic Investment Fund (SIF) - £0.5billion fund to help transform LCR’s economy, create high quality jobs and boost living standards for local people.
Members were advised how the underpinning fund is a commitment to social value, with applicants having to demonstrate positive social impact eg local jobs that pay the living wage; recognise trade unions, create apprenticeships; and use local supply chains and labour. I was then reported that around £100million would be available in the first year of the fund, rising to £500 million over four years, to support projects transport infrastructure, economic development, business growth, skills, culture and housing
Members were informed that the Combined Authority were recently awarded a £7.7million Housing First funding award from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
Members heard how Housing First support services should be commissioned jointly across the Liverpool City Region and must include:
· Skilled, well trained and supported staff;
· A responsive on call 24/7 support service;
· Access to appropriate 2nd tier mental health services.
Members then heard how further details on how the funding can be used, what it will fund, and detailed delivery plans currently being developed in partnership with people who lives experience of homelessness, Local Authorities, Landlords, Homelessness support services and other statutory partners.
Tackling poor air quality across LCR
It was explained how City region partners setting up an advisory LCR Air Quality Task Force, in order to tackle poor air quality to build on the Metro Mayor’s key pledge for LCR to be Carbon Neutral by 20140 and to be the greenest UK City Region. Members were advised that there is a growing realisation of need to take urgent action to address challenges presented by poor air quality from nitrogen dioxide ( the main pollutant) at a pan-city region level – mainly from transport.
Members heard how Combined Authority Members are to nominate political representatives onto the group and a preliminary LCR air quality feasibility study is currently being finalised, and an action plan would be developed in response.
High Speed 2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail
Members heard how LCR are campaigning for a direct line between HS2 and Liverpool City Centre, that could be used by both Liverpool – London HS2 trains and Liverpool-Manchester Northern Powerhouse trains.
Members were then advised how further updates are expected in coming months, including an outline business case for Northern Powerhouse Rail in December 2018 and publication of the Transport for the North Strategic Transport Plan in January 2019.
The Policy and Strategy Manager concluded her presentation by expressing how Wirral continues to be involved in developing the devolution as well as wider City Region activity. She also informed that ongoing updates would be presented to this Committee.
In response to a question, Members were informed that Wirral Council does have a fund associated with tackling homelessness, this is in addition to the funding of £7.7million recently awarded to the Combined Authority from the Minster of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
A Member made a comment over the need to invest and prioritise the wider rail service and not make HS2 the focus. Another Member commented how the ambition is to both connect the region to HS2 and also improve our train service right across the country.
Resolved – That the report be noted.