Tomorrow, my Cabinet will agree a number of important decisions which will help shape our city’s future.
They will mean exciting new investment, making it easier to walk, cycle and even drive around our City Centre, and new futures for key public areas such as Lime St and St Georges Plateau to reflect the increasing importance of these spaces which help people experience our city. Whether it’s to see the giants or just walking around, enjoying Liverpool is going to be easier than ever before, enhancing the centre for generations to come.
This long term view is important, because our economy is growing – by 3.4% in 2013/14, the last figures on record. We need a better idea where to build our houses, our businesses and which areas we want to protect. The Local Plan, for instance, protects each and every one of our city’s parks. At the moment we have more money going out than we have coming in so It won’t be easy to do all we would want to and by 2020 we will have lost 100% of our Local Government funding through the Rate Support Grant, but my commitment as Mayor is to make our City sustainable in every sense. We need to grow our business base and create more housing, only by doing this will we be able to look after our City and all those who live within it.
A report will be agreed which moves a new cruise liner terminal significantly forward and will signify Liverpool’s ambition to be a city connected to and celebrated by visitors from around the world. The three reports are testament to our vision for our City and its future.
In May when I was re-elected to serve another 4 year term I made some simple pledges in my manifesto because I believe in making promises and doing everything I can to keep them – I’m proud of the successes of my first term, the new homes and schools, more green space than ever, more jobs and a real confidence and buzz about the place. I want my next term to be just as successful and I know it will. I am very grateful to the people of Liverpool for the large mandate they have given me to deliver on my manifesto promises in what is, as I have often said, the greatest job in the world.
So too, will Liverpool continue to play a leading role in the future of the city region, driving its economy forward and working with other boroughs on important projects. That’s why the Combined Authority and the work we have already done and will continue to do is so important. The project of regional government and devolution is one I championed more than anyone else, because our future undeniably depends on working more closely with our neighbours, not moving apart. I thought long and hard about putting myself forward for the job of Metro Mayor because although I am deeply passionate about being Mayor of Liverpool, I believed I had a lot to contribute to what is the delicate early days of the new combined authority. That’s not to be, instead I will continue putting my heart and soul into promoting and protecting our city.
Tomorrow’s Cabinet meeting is just the first step in the next four years of exciting developments for our city. Only in Liverpool, does “business as usual” mean building a cultural, vibrant and business-friendly city which will be the envy of everyone who visits. When Labour took control in 2010 my promise was to make us once again a global City today I can confidently say we are a global city, I am excited about the opportunities that we have today and tomorrow we aim to make the most of them for everyone.