Visit by Metro Mayor, Mr Steve Rotheram

On Friday 8th June 2018 the College welcomed Mr Steve Rotheram, Liverpool City Region’s first Metro Mayor. He spoke about his new responsibilities and his vision for the future to our own Year 12 students and to pupils from West Kirby Grammar School. His informative talk demonstrated his affection for the people of the region, as well as his desire to improve the lives of ordinary people. His short-term priority is to deliver the devolution plans outlined in the legislation of 2015. Such a settlement will allow important decisions to be made closer to the people, rather than by “a Whitehall mandarin who could not point to Bootle or Kirby on the map”. The discussion helped restore the student’s confidence in local government.

Elected to his post in May 2017, Mr Rotheram called on the newly-combined authority to “punch above its weight” and “address the North-South divide”.  Mr Rotheram anticipated that the students present would have an important role in advancing “the fourth Industrial Revolution”. The Metro Mayor, a former brick layer and tireless supporter of the Hillsborough Campaign, explained plans to promote vocational jobs and attract private investment to Merseyside. He hopes to deliver clean, reliable renewable energy through a project harnessing the power of the River Mersey. He also unveiled an ambitious scheme for a new fibre optic network that will cover everywhere from Southport to the Wirral, providing ultrafast internet connection across the region.

The Mayor highlighted the region’s long-standing maritime history, but, as well as an illustrious past, Mr Rotheram envisages a prosperous future for the Port of Liverpool. Standing in the docks, for instance, are the UK’s only cranes capable of unloading containers from the new generation of colossal cargo ships. The former MP for Walton also laid out his vision for attracting further shipping trade. The key, he claims, lies in the expansion of our railway system, which is necessary to secure the region’s long-term economic security. Mr Rotheram also alluded to his close friendship with the Greater Manchester Metro Mayor, Andy Burnham, who is undertaking similar projects in his jurisdiction. He defiantly declared that “if the current government fails in its policy to create a so-called ‘Northern Powerhouse’, then we [the Metro Mayors] will create our own North West Powerhouse”.

Thanks go to Peter Shield, Secretary of Wirral Young Labour, for organising this event and, of course, Mr Rotheram and his staff.

A. Kearney (Year 12)