If 12 months is a long time in politics, it can sometimes feel like a lifetime in Merseyside.
Picking a Metro Mayor for the city region was a hard fought battle: not between rival political parties but between rivals within the Labour Party. Thankfully, as we look back over the year, we can see the rebuilding of relationships has taken place.
MIPIM Cannes saw the two Mayors – Joe from Liverpool and Steve from Liverpool City Region – present a united face to the multitude of investors looking to do business here. We saw both Mayors get behind the bid for Channel Four to get out of London and move in with its ‘soulmate’ by the Mersey. Most importantly, we have seen progress made on providing a sustainable staffing and resource plan for the City Region.
Unlike Manchester where a fully functioning City Region was in place to welcome Andy Burnham, Mayor Rotheram and his closest aide were the only ones in the office 12 months ago, having to borrow and loan key staff from the combined authority members.
Year one perhaps can be classified as getting the basics in place – staff, processes and relationships. We look forward to the delivery of some key projects in years two and three – before we are back to the process of choosing and electing a Metro Mayor all over again.