Is Rich Liverpool City Region Begging For Housing In West Lancashire?

When you are considering how to react to the WLBC Local Plan Review that will provide housing for the Liverpool City Region  (LCR) you should be aware of how the LCR rich family will be taking from the poor WLBC relations.

LCR states on its website “From local, national and global organisations to internationally renowned sporting, leisure and tourism attractions based here, the Liverpool City Region is also a great place to live. Across the Liverpool City Region, you’ll find a fantastic variety of housing choices from luxury apartments, large family homes and historic buildings, to suit all requirements. Plus, there’s also a great choice of locations too, from city centre living to smaller towns and villages, as well as rural and coastal settings”.

While West Lancashire Borough Council is apparently struggling to provide statutory services, the ease with which the Liverpool City Region receives funding seems obscene by comparison. “In November 2015, the LCR secured a Devolution Agreement  with Government, securing £900m of funding leading to £3billion, along with the devolution of powers and responsibilities from Whitehall in London. Devolution is an important opportunity for our City Region to take control over our own future and prioritise the things that matter most to our area. This Agreement was further developed in March 2016, securing more powers and responsibilities for transport, piloting 100% business rates retention, as well as working with the Government to progress further devolution in areas including children’s services, health, housing and justice. The Devolution Agreement provides us with more resources, freedoms and flexibilities to deliver our strategic priorities around economic development, transport, strategic housing and employment and skills”.

Transforming Cities Funding

The Liverpool City Region has secured £134 million in capital grant from the Transforming Cities Fund for local transport investment over a 4-year period. The aim of the fund is to help transform sustainable transport connectivity in key commuter routes in major city regions. The funding forms part of the wider Strategic Investment Fund. The Combined Authority has agreed that the commissioning process, via Merseytravel, is commenced, focusing on the first year’s funding allocation only. This is to seek to commit and wherever possible, spend the £10 million of funding that is available in 2018/19.

Single Investment Fund

The SIF (Single Investment Fund) is the key funding tool for the Liverpool City Region, and will address the City Region’s strategic priorities. Just over £458 million is being invested in the City Region through to March 2021 as part of the City Region’s Devolution Agreement with the Government: this is made up from a number of sources including Local Growth Fund and the funding secured through the devolution agreement.

Enhancement of the Key Route Network. Merseytravel. The introduction of the Halton Curve is to provide direct rail services between North Wales/Chester and Liverpool. The scheme has been identified by Liverpool City Region in conjunction with the Welsh Government as one of the key projects within the region which is required to help revitalise the local and regional economy. £16,070,000.

The Sustainable Transport Enhancements Package (STEP) is an integrated programme of investment in sustainable transport in the Liverpool City Region. The programme has been designed to support the economic growth of the region and maximise the benefits for residents, visitors and businesses. £13,800,000.

The Windle Island improvements scheme seeks to address current severe congestion, safety and network resilience issue. The junction is a significant link in the Liverpool City Region road network given its central location and proximity to the M57, M58, M6 and M62 motorways. £3,850,000.

Knowsley Industrial Park has been identified as a key driver and catalyst for the renaissance of the Liverpool City Region economy. The scheme proposes a package of enhancements focusing on six individual intervention areas across thePark. Intervention at each area addresses a specific issue identified, collectively providing a stepchange in the accessibility and connectivity of the Park and kick-starting its redevelopment into an attractive location to work and invest. £5,600,000.

Our Big Brother LCR is a £billionaire+ enterprise. WLBC is a poor minnow that shows in its accounts for 2018-19 “we propose to spend a total of £84,206,000 on providing day to day services for the local community. This spending will be funded by £77,328,000 of income raised through grants, rents, interest, fees, charges and other sources resulting in a council tax requirement of £6.878,000”.

On being asked “Are the proposals meeting housing needs from Merseyside” WLBC states “As we look at development needs beyond 2027, it is clear that parts of the Liverpool City Region will start to struggle to meet all of their own development needs, in particular housing needs from the north of Sefton which has no more room for new development (being sandwiched between West Lancashire and the Irish Sea)”. If this goes ahead the LCR will add West Lancashire to its “fantastic variety of housing choices from luxury apartments, large family homes and historic buildings”.

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