Mersey council gets thumbs up despite the 'long-winded' name

St Helens Star: St Helens council leader Barrie Grunewald St Helens council leader Barrie Grunewald

THE Government has backed the creation of a combined council that will make key regional decisions – but confusion surrounds what it will be called.

Previously, it was believed the regional organisation – which includes St Helens Council – was going to be titled the Liverpool City Region.

But eyebrows have been raised after it emerged it has the long-winded name of the ‘Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens, Sefton and Wirral Combined Authority’.

Reports suggested that Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson is dismayed that the pulling power of the city’s name is not being used.

Critics of the scheme have argued that St Helens’ identity is at risk if it aligns itself too closely with Liverpool.

An order is already before Parliament which would enable the combined authority to come into effect on Tuesday, April 1.

Political leaders say the new body will be more effective in supporting businesses to grow and create more jobs through a better decision- making process.

They say it will also encourage residents to set up their own businesses and attract new firms to the area.

They also insist it will not result in the merger of existing council functions and it will not be a ‘super council’.

Its focus will be on economic development, transport and employment and developing skills across the region.

St Helens Council leader Barrie Grunewald turned to Twitter to label the naming issue “a manufactured row”, insisting that “all had previously agreed on the name Liverpool City Region”.

But he emphasised it will be what the regional council does – rather than its name – that matters.

He said: “This will put the city region in a much better position to support businesses to grow and create jobs.

“A new joint venture company, jointly owned by Langtree and the council, has acquired the freehold of Parkside, one of the most strategic sites in the north west, which I am sure will be one of the projects to benefit from a combined authority.”

In response to queries about the name, a spokeswoman from the Department for Communities and Local Government said: “A number of responses to the consultation requested a change of name.

“Having taken account of all of the comments which have been made, the legal name in the draft Order now laid before Parliament is ‘the Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens, Sefton and Wirral Combined Authority’.

“If the authority wants to use something snappier as short-hand, that’s a matter for them.”

Comments (36)

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1:13pm Fri 21 Feb 14

anthonywilson says...

Is there to be any forms of scrutiny process to the decisions made and how will each of the Council leaders be made accountable? This new combined authority is extremely undemocratic and smacks of leaders making decisions behind closed doors in smoked filled rooms with zero accountability. It makes other councillors nothing more than powerless officials. We might as well have the CEO's of BP, Shell, Peel Holdings, Tesco, making all the decisions for the area as it would be no different.
Another question. Where any of the comments sent into the Cabinet Office ever taken into account. No of course not.
Is there to be any forms of scrutiny process to the decisions made and how will each of the Council leaders be made accountable? This new combined authority is extremely undemocratic and smacks of leaders making decisions behind closed doors in smoked filled rooms with zero accountability. It makes other councillors nothing more than powerless officials. We might as well have the CEO's of BP, Shell, Peel Holdings, Tesco, making all the decisions for the area as it would be no different. Another question. Where any of the comments sent into the Cabinet Office ever taken into account. No of course not. anthonywilson

1:34pm Fri 21 Feb 14

Mark120359 says...

So now there's confusion over the name for the so called Combined Council of Merseyside!

So let's start at the beginning of how this totally undemocratic process has got through without one word or vote, referendum from the public that make up the 'Merseyside' region.

Approx population of Merseyside. 1.38 million.

Responses to vote 168. That's 0.012% of the population.

Of which 80% where in favour , that's 134 votes out of 1.38 million that are in favour of the creation of this 'Liverpool City Region'

The Major of Liverpool once called St. Helens 'A town of Luddites' because we had the audacity of not agreeing totally in the concept, now he is dismayed that the Liverpool brand will not be exclusively used in naming the region but will be called the Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, St. Helens, Sefton and Wirral Comdined Authority, and breath!

Barrie Grunewald stated 'All had agreed on the Liverpool City Region name' that again would be 134 people out of 1.38 million giving their massive backing to this project.

Also Mr. Grunewald said it was not a merger of councils or will not become a super council but it is a regional council, not sure how that works!!

Mr. Grunewald also tried to alleviate St. Helens people that our identity would not be at risk by becoming evermore a sub district of Liverpool, I agree because the identity of this town was lost in 1974 when the defunct Merseyside County Council was formed and we were dragged into it, again no referendum.

I look at other north west towns that are way ahead of St. Helens in all areas, Warrington has no affinity to anyone just a unitary authority looking after it's own, Wigan still promotes itself as a Lancashire town and does'nt fly the Greater Manchester flag, even Widnes seems to get more investment than St. Helens, has being part of Merseyside helped St. Helens? I think not, will this new authority do any better? I think not.

St. Helens needs to look at the rest of the North West towns and take lessons from them, again Warrington is the perfect template to work from.

Barrie Grunewald is a politician who has no affinity to St. Helens, does not understand the pride of identity that our townsfolk have because he was not born here. I work all over the country and everyone assumes St. Helens is in Liverpool. Merseyside tag had a big impact, Liverpool City Region will be even bigger on the destruction of St. Helens identity.

Regards,

Mark
So now there's confusion over the name for the so called Combined Council of Merseyside! So let's start at the beginning of how this totally undemocratic process has got through without one word or vote, referendum from the public that make up the 'Merseyside' region. Approx population of Merseyside. 1.38 million. Responses to vote 168. That's 0.012% of the population. Of which 80% where in favour , that's 134 votes out of 1.38 million that are in favour of the creation of this 'Liverpool City Region' The Major of Liverpool once called St. Helens 'A town of Luddites' because we had the audacity of not agreeing totally in the concept, now he is dismayed that the Liverpool brand will not be exclusively used in naming the region but will be called the Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, St. Helens, Sefton and Wirral Comdined Authority, and breath! Barrie Grunewald stated 'All had agreed on the Liverpool City Region name' that again would be 134 people out of 1.38 million giving their massive backing to this project. Also Mr. Grunewald said it was not a merger of councils or will not become a super council but it is a regional council, not sure how that works!! Mr. Grunewald also tried to alleviate St. Helens people that our identity would not be at risk by becoming evermore a sub district of Liverpool, I agree because the identity of this town was lost in 1974 when the defunct Merseyside County Council was formed and we were dragged into it, again no referendum. I look at other north west towns that are way ahead of St. Helens in all areas, Warrington has no affinity to anyone just a unitary authority looking after it's own, Wigan still promotes itself as a Lancashire town and does'nt fly the Greater Manchester flag, even Widnes seems to get more investment than St. Helens, has being part of Merseyside helped St. Helens? I think not, will this new authority do any better? I think not. St. Helens needs to look at the rest of the North West towns and take lessons from them, again Warrington is the perfect template to work from. Barrie Grunewald is a politician who has no affinity to St. Helens, does not understand the pride of identity that our townsfolk have because he was not born here. I work all over the country and everyone assumes St. Helens is in Liverpool. Merseyside tag had a big impact, Liverpool City Region will be even bigger on the destruction of St. Helens identity. Regards, Mark Mark120359

3:13pm Fri 21 Feb 14

Sankey says...

What a shambles !

Reading between the lines they have obviously had an almighty bust up and will no doubt spend the time squabbling from now about who gets what in a dysfuntional mess. They have never had any democratic mandate from the public and by the proposterous name clearly they can agree anything among themselves.

The sooner this ridiculous exercise is put to the long grass the better
What a shambles ! Reading between the lines they have obviously had an almighty bust up and will no doubt spend the time squabbling from now about who gets what in a dysfuntional mess. They have never had any democratic mandate from the public and by the proposterous name clearly they can agree anything among themselves. The sooner this ridiculous exercise is put to the long grass the better Sankey

4:31pm Fri 21 Feb 14

Alder Hey Roader says...

From now on, when I go watching The Saints and the opposing fans chant to us "Scousers, Scousers", I may well join in with them.
From now on, when I go watching The Saints and the opposing fans chant to us "Scousers, Scousers", I may well join in with them. Alder Hey Roader

4:34pm Fri 21 Feb 14

Sankey says...

Alder Hey Roader wrote:
From now on, when I go watching The Saints and the opposing fans chant to us "Scousers, Scousers", I may well join in with them.
Well as long as they don't chant the full combined authority name be thankful for small mercies
[quote][p][bold]Alder Hey Roader[/bold] wrote: From now on, when I go watching The Saints and the opposing fans chant to us "Scousers, Scousers", I may well join in with them.[/p][/quote]Well as long as they don't chant the full combined authority name be thankful for small mercies Sankey

1:48pm Sat 22 Feb 14

Bill Bradbury says...

I see the "doom & gloom" merchants are out in force again. I prefer to wait and see what benefits accrue. As the Bible states I might have the gift of ecstatic utterencies but not of prophecy!
Did like Sankey's comment. The title is daft. Could run a competition for a suggestion How about the South Lancashire/West Cheshire regional Authority? I am still a Lancastrian as my address always states and so are scousers if the truth is known.
Just to digress just returned from Warrington and amazed at all the building going on. From where do they get the money?
I see the "doom & gloom" merchants are out in force again. I prefer to wait and see what benefits accrue. As the Bible states I might have the gift of ecstatic utterencies but not of prophecy! Did like Sankey's comment. The title is daft. Could run a competition for a suggestion How about the South Lancashire/West Cheshire regional Authority? I am still a Lancastrian as my address always states and so are scousers if the truth is known. Just to digress just returned from Warrington and amazed at all the building going on. From where do they get the money? Bill Bradbury

2:49pm Sat 22 Feb 14

Hughwithaview says...

I hate to be a "glass half empty" individual but I cannot help being doubtful about how our town will fare within this collaboration. We certainly have not seen any benefit up to now from being swallowed up by Merseyside. It is true that wherever you go, be it on holiday or on business, everyone thinks St Helens is a suburb of Liverpool but please let us try and forge a bit of our own identity in this partnership. Whilst Liverpool Mayor, Joe Anderson, is endeavouring to further "build his part" we need our Council to be actively shouting our cause from the rooftops - or am I expecting too much!
I hate to be a "glass half empty" individual but I cannot help being doubtful about how our town will fare within this collaboration. We certainly have not seen any benefit up to now from being swallowed up by Merseyside. It is true that wherever you go, be it on holiday or on business, everyone thinks St Helens is a suburb of Liverpool but please let us try and forge a bit of our own identity in this partnership. Whilst Liverpool Mayor, Joe Anderson, is endeavouring to further "build his part" we need our Council to be actively shouting our cause from the rooftops - or am I expecting too much! Hughwithaview

3:45pm Sat 22 Feb 14

Markpenny45 says...

When I was growing up we were a town near liverpool and now we are basically a town in liverpool,it should never have been allowed to happen,St. Helens folk are nothing like scousers and most have no wish to be.and it's not an anti scouse thing it's an identity thing but a little to late I think.
When I was growing up we were a town near liverpool and now we are basically a town in liverpool,it should never have been allowed to happen,St. Helens folk are nothing like scousers and most have no wish to be.and it's not an anti scouse thing it's an identity thing but a little to late I think. Markpenny45

3:46pm Sat 22 Feb 14

anthonywilson says...

Bill Bradbury wrote:
I see the "doom & gloom" merchants are out in force again. I prefer to wait and see what benefits accrue. As the Bible states I might have the gift of ecstatic utterencies but not of prophecy!
Did like Sankey's comment. The title is daft. Could run a competition for a suggestion How about the South Lancashire/West Cheshire regional Authority? I am still a Lancastrian as my address always states and so are scousers if the truth is known.
Just to digress just returned from Warrington and amazed at all the building going on. From where do they get the money?
Bill, the doom and gloom merchants (and I'm happy to be labelled as such on this occasion) are only expressing what they are because at the heart of it they only want what's best for St Helens. The town if we are really honest hasn't benefitted all that much as being part of the now long, largely defunct concept of "Merseyside". The area a few years ago was awash with European Objective One funding and sadly most of it was completely wasted on crackpot short term schemes and dubious projects. Warrington does fine and has kept its own identity and perhaps this as well as much more forward thinking politicians and business leaders is one reasons why it has largely thrived at the expense of St Helens and has attracted much more inward investment and has a much better long term plan. Where is the long term economic, cultural, and environmental vision for St Helens beyond the idea of a combined authority? The answer is simple: there simply isn't one! St Helens is big enough with a population not far short of 200,000 to punch above its weight and stop living in the shadows of Liverpool as its done us no favours whatsoever. This is not meant to be an anti- Liverpool thing at all by the way. Liverpool is a fabulous city and its rightly ranked in the top three cities to visit in 2014. That doesn't mean to say St Helens should always be only getting crumbs that have fallen off Liverpool's table when it comes to local economics and decision making.
[quote][p][bold]Bill Bradbury[/bold] wrote: I see the "doom & gloom" merchants are out in force again. I prefer to wait and see what benefits accrue. As the Bible states I might have the gift of ecstatic utterencies but not of prophecy! Did like Sankey's comment. The title is daft. Could run a competition for a suggestion How about the South Lancashire/West Cheshire regional Authority? I am still a Lancastrian as my address always states and so are scousers if the truth is known. Just to digress just returned from Warrington and amazed at all the building going on. From where do they get the money?[/p][/quote]Bill, the doom and gloom merchants (and I'm happy to be labelled as such on this occasion) are only expressing what they are because at the heart of it they only want what's best for St Helens. The town if we are really honest hasn't benefitted all that much as being part of the now long, largely defunct concept of "Merseyside". The area a few years ago was awash with European Objective One funding and sadly most of it was completely wasted on crackpot short term schemes and dubious projects. Warrington does fine and has kept its own identity and perhaps this as well as much more forward thinking politicians and business leaders is one reasons why it has largely thrived at the expense of St Helens and has attracted much more inward investment and has a much better long term plan. Where is the long term economic, cultural, and environmental vision for St Helens beyond the idea of a combined authority? The answer is simple: there simply isn't one! St Helens is big enough with a population not far short of 200,000 to punch above its weight and stop living in the shadows of Liverpool as its done us no favours whatsoever. This is not meant to be an anti- Liverpool thing at all by the way. Liverpool is a fabulous city and its rightly ranked in the top three cities to visit in 2014. That doesn't mean to say St Helens should always be only getting crumbs that have fallen off Liverpool's table when it comes to local economics and decision making. anthonywilson

4:29pm Sat 22 Feb 14

barrie timpson says...

Bill Bradbury wrote:
I see the "doom & gloom" merchants are out in force again. I prefer to wait and see what benefits accrue. As the Bible states I might have the gift of ecstatic utterencies but not of prophecy!
Did like Sankey's comment. The title is daft. Could run a competition for a suggestion How about the South Lancashire/West Cheshire regional Authority? I am still a Lancastrian as my address always states and so are scousers if the truth is known.
Just to digress just returned from Warrington and amazed at all the building going on. From where do they get the money?
I'm with Bill on this one. A name is just a name - it's what's in your heart that makes the difference.

As for St Helens people being any different to scousers or Geordies , I'm not so sure. We all have common traits. A change of name won't change peoples character.
[quote][p][bold]Bill Bradbury[/bold] wrote: I see the "doom & gloom" merchants are out in force again. I prefer to wait and see what benefits accrue. As the Bible states I might have the gift of ecstatic utterencies but not of prophecy! Did like Sankey's comment. The title is daft. Could run a competition for a suggestion How about the South Lancashire/West Cheshire regional Authority? I am still a Lancastrian as my address always states and so are scousers if the truth is known. Just to digress just returned from Warrington and amazed at all the building going on. From where do they get the money?[/p][/quote]I'm with Bill on this one. A name is just a name - it's what's in your heart that makes the difference. As for St Helens people being any different to scousers or Geordies , I'm not so sure. We all have common traits. A change of name won't change peoples character. barrie timpson

4:42pm Sat 22 Feb 14

Sankey says...

It's not the name that's the issue but the indication there is division. It was always going to be called the liverpool city region then at the 11th hour the name is changed to incorporate the names of the six boroughs this indicates some form of division or dispute. The whole set up is to attract grants which coud be done by other means and I feel the whole project has got off to a very bad start.

This is compounded by hostility by the public who rightly feel excluded by the cack handed way it was introduced. 168 responses from a population of 1.4 million something is very wrong there democracy wise unless we have adopted the North Korean model of accountability and democracy.
It's not the name that's the issue but the indication there is division. It was always going to be called the liverpool city region then at the 11th hour the name is changed to incorporate the names of the six boroughs this indicates some form of division or dispute. The whole set up is to attract grants which coud be done by other means and I feel the whole project has got off to a very bad start. This is compounded by hostility by the public who rightly feel excluded by the cack handed way it was introduced. 168 responses from a population of 1.4 million something is very wrong there democracy wise unless we have adopted the North Korean model of accountability and democracy. Sankey

4:49pm Sat 22 Feb 14

Keva68 says...

I always wonder why people born and bred in St Helens fret over losing their identity.What identity is it your losing one that you can't tell anyone in the Uk never mind the world where you are from without saying "near Liverpool or Manchester.
Your no different than a scouser or a mancunian it's just people know where they come from.
I always wonder why people born and bred in St Helens fret over losing their identity.What identity is it your losing one that you can't tell anyone in the Uk never mind the world where you are from without saying "near Liverpool or Manchester. Your no different than a scouser or a mancunian it's just people know where they come from. Keva68

5:20pm Sat 22 Feb 14

jumperr says...

If we don't move forward or to try something we will be called Luddites ,I noticed that Jim O' Neil is in the region we may now see the region going forward .
If we don't move forward or to try something we will be called Luddites ,I noticed that Jim O' Neil is in the region we may now see the region going forward . jumperr

12:19am Sun 23 Feb 14

Bill Bradbury says...

Keva68 wrote:
I always wonder why people born and bred in St Helens fret over losing their identity.What identity is it your losing one that you can't tell anyone in the Uk never mind the world where you are from without saying "near Liverpool or Manchester. Your no different than a scouser or a mancunian it's just people know where they come from.
Good point Keva but in my many travels throughout this country and the world when asked from where I come I say Billinge and to a man & woman they say "we know it well isn't it betwen Wigan & St.Helens? Do they still put the pig on the wall?"
[quote][p][bold]Keva68[/bold] wrote: I always wonder why people born and bred in St Helens fret over losing their identity.What identity is it your losing one that you can't tell anyone in the Uk never mind the world where you are from without saying "near Liverpool or Manchester. Your no different than a scouser or a mancunian it's just people know where they come from.[/p][/quote]Good point Keva but in my many travels throughout this country and the world when asked from where I come I say Billinge and to a man & woman they say "we know it well isn't it betwen Wigan & St.Helens? Do they still put the pig on the wall?" Bill Bradbury

12:47am Sun 23 Feb 14

Keva68 says...

Bill Bradbury wrote:
Keva68 wrote:
I always wonder why people born and bred in St Helens fret over losing their identity.What identity is it your losing one that you can't tell anyone in the Uk never mind the world where you are from without saying "near Liverpool or Manchester. Your no different than a scouser or a mancunian it's just people know where they come from.
Good point Keva but in my many travels throughout this country and the world when asked from where I come I say Billinge and to a man & woman they say "we know it well isn't it betwen Wigan & St.Helens? Do they still put the pig on the wall?"
I made the mistake once bill and they tied me to a chair and threw me in the canal,they stated if I drowned I was lying and if I floated they would burn me at the stake.luckily I floated downstream and escaped never again to make the mistake of stating I'm from billinge.
[quote][p][bold]Bill Bradbury[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Keva68[/bold] wrote: I always wonder why people born and bred in St Helens fret over losing their identity.What identity is it your losing one that you can't tell anyone in the Uk never mind the world where you are from without saying "near Liverpool or Manchester. Your no different than a scouser or a mancunian it's just people know where they come from.[/p][/quote]Good point Keva but in my many travels throughout this country and the world when asked from where I come I say Billinge and to a man & woman they say "we know it well isn't it betwen Wigan & St.Helens? Do they still put the pig on the wall?"[/p][/quote]I made the mistake once bill and they tied me to a chair and threw me in the canal,they stated if I drowned I was lying and if I floated they would burn me at the stake.luckily I floated downstream and escaped never again to make the mistake of stating I'm from billinge. Keva68

4:48pm Sun 23 Feb 14

barrie timpson says...

If anybody is on Facebook , there's a fantastic page called St Helens back in the day. Some wonderful photographs , well worth a look.
If anybody is on Facebook , there's a fantastic page called St Helens back in the day. Some wonderful photographs , well worth a look. barrie timpson

11:31pm Sun 23 Feb 14

moonman77 says...

It's simple. If you are from Kirkby. Huyton. Kensington. Roby. Etc and you meet someone from down south, when the question comes 'where you from' inevitably you will say 'Liverpool ' asked the same question to a sintelliner, categorically they will either say , 'St. Helens' , Or 'In between Manchester and Liverpool'. That's why this stupid alliance will never be in true
Sintelliners hearts.
It's simple. If you are from Kirkby. Huyton. Kensington. Roby. Etc and you meet someone from down south, when the question comes 'where you from' inevitably you will say 'Liverpool ' asked the same question to a sintelliner, categorically they will either say , 'St. Helens' , Or 'In between Manchester and Liverpool'. That's why this stupid alliance will never be in true Sintelliners hearts. moonman77

12:04pm Mon 24 Feb 14

Mark120359 says...

One of the basic facts is that NOT one of the councils that form the administrative area of Merseyside offered any information, consultation or any other form of news bulletin of what they were planning on doing.
This was all done behind closed doors by politicians who are all on a career ladder and who think know better than us plebs who actually vote these people in.
My point is that this has been a totally undemocratic process, every voter should have had a say on this, but they decided not to because I think it would have been voted out.
This is just like a mini EU, faceless, unaccountable , unelected beaurocrats making our decisions for us.
They keep saying this is good for the region, it will attract more investment, jobs etc etc but they don't tell us how.
One of the basic facts is that NOT one of the councils that form the administrative area of Merseyside offered any information, consultation or any other form of news bulletin of what they were planning on doing. This was all done behind closed doors by politicians who are all on a career ladder and who think know better than us plebs who actually vote these people in. My point is that this has been a totally undemocratic process, every voter should have had a say on this, but they decided not to because I think it would have been voted out. This is just like a mini EU, faceless, unaccountable , unelected beaurocrats making our decisions for us. They keep saying this is good for the region, it will attract more investment, jobs etc etc but they don't tell us how. Mark120359

12:47pm Mon 24 Feb 14

Sankey says...

Whenever this has been put to the people it's been rejected this is nothing new John Prescott tried to introduce it in the north east and it was rejected unanimously
.
Hence the cloak and dagger approach by the career politicians we have so called serving us today

Make no mistake the secrecy is no oversight it's quite deliberate
Whenever this has been put to the people it's been rejected this is nothing new John Prescott tried to introduce it in the north east and it was rejected unanimously . Hence the cloak and dagger approach by the career politicians we have so called serving us today Make no mistake the secrecy is no oversight it's quite deliberate Sankey

2:34pm Mon 24 Feb 14

barrie timpson says...

Mark , Sankey - totally agree - no consultation at all.
Mark , Sankey - totally agree - no consultation at all. barrie timpson

3:19pm Mon 24 Feb 14

jumperr says...

No voter participation, don't bother to listen to them who asks,that's what happens .
No voter participation, don't bother to listen to them who asks,that's what happens . jumperr

8:09pm Mon 24 Feb 14

Radman2014 says...

The new authority will be run on majority voting and not on the basis of unanimity. That means that St. Helens could find itself having to go along with decisions that are not in its best interests. In what way is that democratic and accountable?

The Council's have been forced into this unholy alliance by the government who will only release the grants that the area is entitled to if the Council's agreed to the new body being set up.

This is the thin end of the wedge and will be the first step on the way to a single Council for the whole of "Merseyside" in the future with the corresponding loss of identity and huge number of local jobs once everything is centralised in Liverpool.

Just look back to 1974 to see what happens to the smaller areas. How many Council offices are there in places like Newton-le-Willows, Haydock or Rainford now?

In a couple of decades or maybe sooner there will be a "local office" in St. Helens and nothing more.
The new authority will be run on majority voting and not on the basis of unanimity. That means that St. Helens could find itself having to go along with decisions that are not in its best interests. In what way is that democratic and accountable? The Council's have been forced into this unholy alliance by the government who will only release the grants that the area is entitled to if the Council's agreed to the new body being set up. This is the thin end of the wedge and will be the first step on the way to a single Council for the whole of "Merseyside" in the future with the corresponding loss of identity and huge number of local jobs once everything is centralised in Liverpool. Just look back to 1974 to see what happens to the smaller areas. How many Council offices are there in places like Newton-le-Willows, Haydock or Rainford now? In a couple of decades or maybe sooner there will be a "local office" in St. Helens and nothing more. Radman2014

9:32pm Mon 24 Feb 14

jumperr says...

If and when this goes ahead it surely has to be centralised geographically
If and when this goes ahead it surely has to be centralised geographically jumperr

9:43am Tue 25 Feb 14

Sankey says...

Radman2014 wrote:
The new authority will be run on majority voting and not on the basis of unanimity. That means that St. Helens could find itself having to go along with decisions that are not in its best interests. In what way is that democratic and accountable?

The Council's have been forced into this unholy alliance by the government who will only release the grants that the area is entitled to if the Council's agreed to the new body being set up.

This is the thin end of the wedge and will be the first step on the way to a single Council for the whole of "Merseyside" in the future with the corresponding loss of identity and huge number of local jobs once everything is centralised in Liverpool.

Just look back to 1974 to see what happens to the smaller areas. How many Council offices are there in places like Newton-le-Willows, Haydock or Rainford now?

In a couple of decades or maybe sooner there will be a "local office" in St. Helens and nothing more.
You are absolutely right this is the governments aim ultimately rationalising central government
[quote][p][bold]Radman2014[/bold] wrote: The new authority will be run on majority voting and not on the basis of unanimity. That means that St. Helens could find itself having to go along with decisions that are not in its best interests. In what way is that democratic and accountable? The Council's have been forced into this unholy alliance by the government who will only release the grants that the area is entitled to if the Council's agreed to the new body being set up. This is the thin end of the wedge and will be the first step on the way to a single Council for the whole of "Merseyside" in the future with the corresponding loss of identity and huge number of local jobs once everything is centralised in Liverpool. Just look back to 1974 to see what happens to the smaller areas. How many Council offices are there in places like Newton-le-Willows, Haydock or Rainford now? In a couple of decades or maybe sooner there will be a "local office" in St. Helens and nothing more.[/p][/quote]You are absolutely right this is the governments aim ultimately rationalising central government Sankey

9:43am Tue 25 Feb 14

Sankey says...

Rationalising local government
Rationalising local government Sankey

12:28pm Tue 25 Feb 14

mikeperry109 says...

Joe Anderson stated on Radio Merseyside that there would be no additional cost to the council tax payer if this ridiculous scheme was passed through Parliament. I quote from the consultation paper, "The costs of the combined authority in relation to the exercise of its economic development and regeneration functions and all start-up costs would be met by the constituent councils. These costs will be apportioned between the constituent councils in such proportions as they may agree or, in default of such agreement, on a per capita (population) basis". In other words, there will be a cost, so Anderson was either lying or had been misinformed.
Joe Anderson stated on Radio Merseyside that there would be no additional cost to the council tax payer if this ridiculous scheme was passed through Parliament. I quote from the consultation paper, "The costs of the combined authority in relation to the exercise of its economic development and regeneration functions and all start-up costs would be met by the constituent councils. These costs will be apportioned between the constituent councils in such proportions as they may agree or, in default of such agreement, on a per capita (population) basis". In other words, there will be a cost, so Anderson was either lying or had been misinformed. mikeperry109

12:39pm Tue 25 Feb 14

mikeperry109 says...

Mark120359 wrote:
So now there's confusion over the name for the so called Combined Council of Merseyside!

So let's start at the beginning of how this totally undemocratic process has got through without one word or vote, referendum from the public that make up the 'Merseyside' region.

Approx population of Merseyside. 1.38 million.

Responses to vote 168. That's 0.012% of the population.

Of which 80% where in favour , that's 134 votes out of 1.38 million that are in favour of the creation of this 'Liverpool City Region'

The Major of Liverpool once called St. Helens 'A town of Luddites' because we had the audacity of not agreeing totally in the concept, now he is dismayed that the Liverpool brand will not be exclusively used in naming the region but will be called the Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, St. Helens, Sefton and Wirral Comdined Authority, and breath!

Barrie Grunewald stated 'All had agreed on the Liverpool City Region name' that again would be 134 people out of 1.38 million giving their massive backing to this project.

Also Mr. Grunewald said it was not a merger of councils or will not become a super council but it is a regional council, not sure how that works!!

Mr. Grunewald also tried to alleviate St. Helens people that our identity would not be at risk by becoming evermore a sub district of Liverpool, I agree because the identity of this town was lost in 1974 when the defunct Merseyside County Council was formed and we were dragged into it, again no referendum.

I look at other north west towns that are way ahead of St. Helens in all areas, Warrington has no affinity to anyone just a unitary authority looking after it's own, Wigan still promotes itself as a Lancashire town and does'nt fly the Greater Manchester flag, even Widnes seems to get more investment than St. Helens, has being part of Merseyside helped St. Helens? I think not, will this new authority do any better? I think not.

St. Helens needs to look at the rest of the North West towns and take lessons from them, again Warrington is the perfect template to work from.

Barrie Grunewald is a politician who has no affinity to St. Helens, does not understand the pride of identity that our townsfolk have because he was not born here. I work all over the country and everyone assumes St. Helens is in Liverpool. Merseyside tag had a big impact, Liverpool City Region will be even bigger on the destruction of St. Helens identity.

Regards,

Mark
Great post, Mark. The whole concept is Stalinist in its approach. There has also been misinformation put about by supporters of this nonsensical scheme, for example, there will be no cost to the council tax payer - this is untrue. Joe Anderson did not even give the people of Liverpool a referendum on whether or not they wanted a mayor, and Grunewald puts his own political ambition before the interests of St. Helens. He only came to St. Helens as an office boy for the ever absent Woodward, and he could not even do that job properly - he had to accept a police caution for forgery in 2008.
[quote][p][bold]Mark120359[/bold] wrote: So now there's confusion over the name for the so called Combined Council of Merseyside! So let's start at the beginning of how this totally undemocratic process has got through without one word or vote, referendum from the public that make up the 'Merseyside' region. Approx population of Merseyside. 1.38 million. Responses to vote 168. That's 0.012% of the population. Of which 80% where in favour , that's 134 votes out of 1.38 million that are in favour of the creation of this 'Liverpool City Region' The Major of Liverpool once called St. Helens 'A town of Luddites' because we had the audacity of not agreeing totally in the concept, now he is dismayed that the Liverpool brand will not be exclusively used in naming the region but will be called the Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, St. Helens, Sefton and Wirral Comdined Authority, and breath! Barrie Grunewald stated 'All had agreed on the Liverpool City Region name' that again would be 134 people out of 1.38 million giving their massive backing to this project. Also Mr. Grunewald said it was not a merger of councils or will not become a super council but it is a regional council, not sure how that works!! Mr. Grunewald also tried to alleviate St. Helens people that our identity would not be at risk by becoming evermore a sub district of Liverpool, I agree because the identity of this town was lost in 1974 when the defunct Merseyside County Council was formed and we were dragged into it, again no referendum. I look at other north west towns that are way ahead of St. Helens in all areas, Warrington has no affinity to anyone just a unitary authority looking after it's own, Wigan still promotes itself as a Lancashire town and does'nt fly the Greater Manchester flag, even Widnes seems to get more investment than St. Helens, has being part of Merseyside helped St. Helens? I think not, will this new authority do any better? I think not. St. Helens needs to look at the rest of the North West towns and take lessons from them, again Warrington is the perfect template to work from. Barrie Grunewald is a politician who has no affinity to St. Helens, does not understand the pride of identity that our townsfolk have because he was not born here. I work all over the country and everyone assumes St. Helens is in Liverpool. Merseyside tag had a big impact, Liverpool City Region will be even bigger on the destruction of St. Helens identity. Regards, Mark[/p][/quote]Great post, Mark. The whole concept is Stalinist in its approach. There has also been misinformation put about by supporters of this nonsensical scheme, for example, there will be no cost to the council tax payer - this is untrue. Joe Anderson did not even give the people of Liverpool a referendum on whether or not they wanted a mayor, and Grunewald puts his own political ambition before the interests of St. Helens. He only came to St. Helens as an office boy for the ever absent Woodward, and he could not even do that job properly - he had to accept a police caution for forgery in 2008. mikeperry109

1:54pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Bill Bradbury says...

Well considering by most posters on this site that St.Helens has a "crappy Council" I would have though we would be better Governed from anywhere else. but it appears all Cllrs. of every hue and authority (especially scousers and Joe Anderson) are Stalinists as they failed to consult Mike et al and get their permission.
Do not be surprised, probably long after I have gone, we will be subsumed into a NW regional Authority tried once and failed.

So its Government by referendum as the current EU debate dictates so we should have a refrendum on anything which I do not agree with. Why should only the Scots have a say? I don't know why we have elections for whatever or whoever is in power, (unless it's a Tory), things will get worse. People are even going to vote for UKIP who don't believe in Europe nor turn up at meetings and vote but evidence you can fool people all of the time. History shows that it is the extremes that cause most of the problems and Wars, starting off by "friendly" nationalists as we will see in the Ukraine, a place I have visited and witnessed a strong Russian affinity especially around Sevastopol, home of the Baltic Fleet, and Balaclava where the deposed President is probably hiding in the substatial submarine pens changed into Nuclear bunkers. A lovely fishing port by the way. I digress.
Mike (or Sankey) for President and our Leader-all will be well??!! They will put St.helens back on the map.
Well considering by most posters on this site that St.Helens has a "crappy Council" I would have though we would be better Governed from anywhere else. but it appears all Cllrs. of every hue and authority (especially scousers and Joe Anderson) are Stalinists as they failed to consult Mike et al and get their permission. Do not be surprised, probably long after I have gone, we will be subsumed into a NW regional Authority tried once and failed. So its Government by referendum as the current EU debate dictates so we should have a refrendum on anything which I do not agree with. Why should only the Scots have a say? I don't know why we have elections for whatever or whoever is in power, (unless it's a Tory), things will get worse. People are even going to vote for UKIP who don't believe in Europe nor turn up at meetings and vote but evidence you can fool people all of the time. History shows that it is the extremes that cause most of the problems and Wars, starting off by "friendly" nationalists as we will see in the Ukraine, a place I have visited and witnessed a strong Russian affinity especially around Sevastopol, home of the Baltic Fleet, and Balaclava where the deposed President is probably hiding in the substatial submarine pens changed into Nuclear bunkers. A lovely fishing port by the way. I digress. Mike (or Sankey) for President and our Leader-all will be well??!! They will put St.helens back on the map. Bill Bradbury

9:13pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Sankey says...

Bill at helens time has been and gone the time to put it in the map was 20 years ago step forward Marie rimmer

The town is in terminal decline I notice even the fishmonger has now closed down and of course wh smiths and the shop next to it.

Marie rimmer might have cared about St. Helens but she had no idea she was just a 1970's class war rabble rouser now to add insult to injury we have a bunch of wannabe career politicians in charge who just treat the post as a stepping stone within the slippery pole of the Labour Party. Because people are so stupid as to always vote labour it's a safe testing ground fr them round here. More fool the people of St. Helens as ultimately they asked for this.

It really no longer matters who is in charge now the damage has been done long ago and there s really no way back now. In a sense it's a waste of money having an expensive council for no purpose so they may well absorb it into liverpool there is no reason not to.

As for St. Helens my advice to anyone with a shred of ambition move out of the place it's like Leigh the world has bypassed it.
Bill at helens time has been and gone the time to put it in the map was 20 years ago step forward Marie rimmer The town is in terminal decline I notice even the fishmonger has now closed down and of course wh smiths and the shop next to it. Marie rimmer might have cared about St. Helens but she had no idea she was just a 1970's class war rabble rouser now to add insult to injury we have a bunch of wannabe career politicians in charge who just treat the post as a stepping stone within the slippery pole of the Labour Party. Because people are so stupid as to always vote labour it's a safe testing ground fr them round here. More fool the people of St. Helens as ultimately they asked for this. It really no longer matters who is in charge now the damage has been done long ago and there s really no way back now. In a sense it's a waste of money having an expensive council for no purpose so they may well absorb it into liverpool there is no reason not to. As for St. Helens my advice to anyone with a shred of ambition move out of the place it's like Leigh the world has bypassed it. Sankey

10:57pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Les Teeling says...

i have just learned that Boots on Church St is due for closure this from one of my contacts within Church Square if this is true we should maybe concentrating on our so called High St because if we can,t keep major retailers here we are in serious trouble I would like to hear the Council on this issue seeing they have a vested interest in this shopping centre
i have just learned that Boots on Church St is due for closure this from one of my contacts within Church Square if this is true we should maybe concentrating on our so called High St because if we can,t keep major retailers here we are in serious trouble I would like to hear the Council on this issue seeing they have a vested interest in this shopping centre Les Teeling

12:31am Wed 26 Feb 14

WolfieSmith says...

Sankey wrote:
Radman2014 wrote:
The new authority will be run on majority voting and not on the basis of unanimity. That means that St. Helens could find itself having to go along with decisions that are not in its best interests. In what way is that democratic and accountable?

The Council's have been forced into this unholy alliance by the government who will only release the grants that the area is entitled to if the Council's agreed to the new body being set up.

This is the thin end of the wedge and will be the first step on the way to a single Council for the whole of "Merseyside" in the future with the corresponding loss of identity and huge number of local jobs once everything is centralised in Liverpool.

Just look back to 1974 to see what happens to the smaller areas. How many Council offices are there in places like Newton-le-Willows, Haydock or Rainford now?

In a couple of decades or maybe sooner there will be a "local office" in St. Helens and nothing more.
You are absolutely right this is the governments aim ultimately rationalising central government
I suggest this is the governments aim and that they are just following EU orders.
[quote][p][bold]Sankey[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Radman2014[/bold] wrote: The new authority will be run on majority voting and not on the basis of unanimity. That means that St. Helens could find itself having to go along with decisions that are not in its best interests. In what way is that democratic and accountable? The Council's have been forced into this unholy alliance by the government who will only release the grants that the area is entitled to if the Council's agreed to the new body being set up. This is the thin end of the wedge and will be the first step on the way to a single Council for the whole of "Merseyside" in the future with the corresponding loss of identity and huge number of local jobs once everything is centralised in Liverpool. Just look back to 1974 to see what happens to the smaller areas. How many Council offices are there in places like Newton-le-Willows, Haydock or Rainford now? In a couple of decades or maybe sooner there will be a "local office" in St. Helens and nothing more.[/p][/quote]You are absolutely right this is the governments aim ultimately rationalising central government[/p][/quote]I suggest this is the governments aim and that they are just following EU orders. WolfieSmith

12:58am Wed 26 Feb 14

WolfieSmith says...

Sankey wrote:
Bill at helens time has been and gone the time to put it in the map was 20 years ago step forward Marie rimmer

The town is in terminal decline I notice even the fishmonger has now closed down and of course wh smiths and the shop next to it.

Marie rimmer might have cared about St. Helens but she had no idea she was just a 1970's class war rabble rouser now to add insult to injury we have a bunch of wannabe career politicians in charge who just treat the post as a stepping stone within the slippery pole of the Labour Party. Because people are so stupid as to always vote labour it's a safe testing ground fr them round here. More fool the people of St. Helens as ultimately they asked for this.

It really no longer matters who is in charge now the damage has been done long ago and there s really no way back now. In a sense it's a waste of money having an expensive council for no purpose so they may well absorb it into liverpool there is no reason not to.

As for St. Helens my advice to anyone with a shred of ambition move out of the place it's like Leigh the world has bypassed it.
Being a Leyther In Exile here in St Helens, I'd like to comment. Maybe the town is going down the pan has Leigh has but the difference is St Helens has only itself to blame, Leigh's councillors' self interest back in 1974 allowed them to accepted positions on Wigan Metropolitan Council without election as opposed to Bolton council or Warrington where they WOULD require being voted in, and it's this self interest that took the money from Leythers and put it in the pockets of WMBC allowing them to invest in their town and to hell with any one else swallowed up in the local regional changes. Haydock, Newton and others probably have the same argument. And before any New Labour supporters cry 'it was Maggie's or the Tories fault' Harold Wilson (early New Labour) set up an inquiry into dividing the counties in 1967.
[quote][p][bold]Sankey[/bold] wrote: Bill at helens time has been and gone the time to put it in the map was 20 years ago step forward Marie rimmer The town is in terminal decline I notice even the fishmonger has now closed down and of course wh smiths and the shop next to it. Marie rimmer might have cared about St. Helens but she had no idea she was just a 1970's class war rabble rouser now to add insult to injury we have a bunch of wannabe career politicians in charge who just treat the post as a stepping stone within the slippery pole of the Labour Party. Because people are so stupid as to always vote labour it's a safe testing ground fr them round here. More fool the people of St. Helens as ultimately they asked for this. It really no longer matters who is in charge now the damage has been done long ago and there s really no way back now. In a sense it's a waste of money having an expensive council for no purpose so they may well absorb it into liverpool there is no reason not to. As for St. Helens my advice to anyone with a shred of ambition move out of the place it's like Leigh the world has bypassed it.[/p][/quote]Being a Leyther In Exile here in St Helens, I'd like to comment. Maybe the town is going down the pan has Leigh has but the difference is St Helens has only itself to blame, Leigh's councillors' self interest back in 1974 allowed them to accepted positions on Wigan Metropolitan Council without election as opposed to Bolton council or Warrington where they WOULD require being voted in, and it's this self interest that took the money from Leythers and put it in the pockets of WMBC allowing them to invest in their town and to hell with any one else swallowed up in the local regional changes. Haydock, Newton and others probably have the same argument. And before any New Labour supporters cry 'it was Maggie's or the Tories fault' Harold Wilson (early New Labour) set up an inquiry into dividing the counties in 1967. WolfieSmith

12:37pm Wed 26 Feb 14

Bill Bradbury says...

Sankey it may be strange to you but I do agree with your sentiments and how St.Helens & Legh are viewed, but as you know I try not get into personanlities of who is to blame as that lies on a number of issues that have happened in the past. But that is gone and we either close St.helens down or try to do something about it and being an avid "Sharpe" fan is remininicent or the "Forlorn Hope" the suicide squads in Napoleonic times.

I see this as a possible solution but who knows nothing may come of it. At least we give it a try and most can say to me in future "We told you so">
Sankey it may be strange to you but I do agree with your sentiments and how St.Helens & Legh are viewed, but as you know I try not get into personanlities of who is to blame as that lies on a number of issues that have happened in the past. But that is gone and we either close St.helens down or try to do something about it and being an avid "Sharpe" fan is remininicent or the "Forlorn Hope" the suicide squads in Napoleonic times. I see this as a possible solution but who knows nothing may come of it. At least we give it a try and most can say to me in future "We told you so"> Bill Bradbury

2:50am Thu 27 Feb 14

chrisw148 says...

Well isn't it sad to hear about St Helens bleating about a "loss of Identity" Why don't you go along to Newton-le-willows, Rainhill, Haydock where all of those places had their own identity. That was until St Helens came along and asset stripped just about every old building to sell the land under it, so all of these outer towns could be made into residential suburbs of st helens. We will not be crying ourselves to sleep out here in the nether regions about Liverpool having a say over St Helens, we Welcome it! Maybe we will get a say in the future for our own towns that have been torn apart for the good of St Helens. Don't worry about identity you have that thing in the field to be identified by.
Well isn't it sad to hear about St Helens bleating about a "loss of Identity" Why don't you go along to Newton-le-willows, Rainhill, Haydock where all of those places had their own identity. That was until St Helens came along and asset stripped just about every old building to sell the land under it, so all of these outer towns could be made into residential suburbs of st helens. We will not be crying ourselves to sleep out here in the nether regions about Liverpool having a say over St Helens, we Welcome it! Maybe we will get a say in the future for our own towns that have been torn apart for the good of St Helens. Don't worry about identity you have that thing in the field to be identified by. chrisw148

12:40pm Thu 27 Feb 14

mikeperry109 says...

chrisw148 wrote:
Well isn't it sad to hear about St Helens bleating about a "loss of Identity" Why don't you go along to Newton-le-willows, Rainhill, Haydock where all of those places had their own identity. That was until St Helens came along and asset stripped just about every old building to sell the land under it, so all of these outer towns could be made into residential suburbs of st helens. We will not be crying ourselves to sleep out here in the nether regions about Liverpool having a say over St Helens, we Welcome it! Maybe we will get a say in the future for our own towns that have been torn apart for the good of St Helens. Don't worry about identity you have that thing in the field to be identified by.
The question must be asked "What were the councillors in these asset-stripped areas doing to oppose the asset stripping?" We can predict the response
[quote][p][bold]chrisw148[/bold] wrote: Well isn't it sad to hear about St Helens bleating about a "loss of Identity" Why don't you go along to Newton-le-willows, Rainhill, Haydock where all of those places had their own identity. That was until St Helens came along and asset stripped just about every old building to sell the land under it, so all of these outer towns could be made into residential suburbs of st helens. We will not be crying ourselves to sleep out here in the nether regions about Liverpool having a say over St Helens, we Welcome it! Maybe we will get a say in the future for our own towns that have been torn apart for the good of St Helens. Don't worry about identity you have that thing in the field to be identified by.[/p][/quote]The question must be asked "What were the councillors in these asset-stripped areas doing to oppose the asset stripping?" We can predict the response mikeperry109

7:23pm Thu 27 Feb 14

Radman2014 says...

What could a handful of Councillors in the areas annexed by St. Helens in 1974 realistically do to keep the council involved in their towns.

The only Council building in Newton now is the Library. The Newton town hall was a branch office for the council where the public could engage with the Council, pay their bills, meet their Councillors, get help filling in forms etc etc. The Council closed it and moved the 300 jobs to St. Helens.

St. Helens College took over Newton College and then proceeded to close it and sell off the land to fund the redevelopment of the college in St. Helens.

Where does the entirety of the Council's events budget get spent (over £100,000 a year), that's right St. Helens, even though Earlestown is a retail centre too.

The Council policy is to centralise everything, pretend that there is only one town in the borough of St. Helens and treat every other area as a convenient spot to build more and more houses in.

Because St. Helens Council has had large Labour majorities for most of its existence a handful of Councillors in any one ward are impotent against the leadership even if they were prepared to sacrifice their careers opposing the party whip.

So even though I don't agree with the combined authority taking decisions even further away from local accountability (I've seen what happened to Newton) part of me agrees with Chrisw148 that St. Helens will get a taste of its own medicine now.
What could a handful of Councillors in the areas annexed by St. Helens in 1974 realistically do to keep the council involved in their towns. The only Council building in Newton now is the Library. The Newton town hall was a branch office for the council where the public could engage with the Council, pay their bills, meet their Councillors, get help filling in forms etc etc. The Council closed it and moved the 300 jobs to St. Helens. St. Helens College took over Newton College and then proceeded to close it and sell off the land to fund the redevelopment of the college in St. Helens. Where does the entirety of the Council's events budget get spent (over £100,000 a year), that's right St. Helens, even though Earlestown is a retail centre too. The Council policy is to centralise everything, pretend that there is only one town in the borough of St. Helens and treat every other area as a convenient spot to build more and more houses in. Because St. Helens Council has had large Labour majorities for most of its existence a handful of Councillors in any one ward are impotent against the leadership even if they were prepared to sacrifice their careers opposing the party whip. So even though I don't agree with the combined authority taking decisions even further away from local accountability (I've seen what happened to Newton) part of me agrees with Chrisw148 that St. Helens will get a taste of its own medicine now. Radman2014

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