For far too long, too many decisions about our future have been taken too far away by people who do not understand – and often do not care about – our area. As a former Member of Parliament, I saw up close the London-centric approach that has seen places like ours starved of investment and deprived of opportunity.
Devolution is our chance to change that.
Rather than decisions being taken by civil servants and politicians based in Whitehall and Westminster, who wouldn’t know the difference between Kirkby and West Kirby, let alone understand their needs. Instead, we are charting our own course, taking more decisions about our future at a local level, with the needs and priorities of our people front-and-centre.
In just a few years, we are already starting to see this bear fruit. From our £460m fleet of brand new, publicly owned trains, to the thousands of jobs and apprenticeships we have delivered in every part of our region, we are feeling the benefits of devolution.
But I know that I don’t hold the monopoly on good ideas. That is why we are changing the we way that we engage with local people. That is why I launched LCR Listens last summer.
Our biggest-ever public engagement exercise, LCR Listens was a way of bringing devolution to life, by going out into our communities to hear about your ambitions and priorities for your local area.