Liverpool’s Opposition Leaders Unite in call for a Constitutional Convention for City Region


Earlier today I wrote to all the other 3 Party Leaders in Liverpool asking them, in effect, to establish a Constitutional Convention for the Liverpool City Region. I am pleased that Cllr Joyn Coyne, (Green Leader) and Cllr Steve Radford (Liberal Leader) have both written to to support the idea. I believe that when dealing with important issues like this it is important that politicans give up their tribal loyalties and work together. The ‘Better Together’ campaign in Scotland shows that it can be done. We need people from all Parties and of none to bring forward their ideas to create for the Liverpool City Region a structure that will enable decisions to be taken within the region which reflect what is really needed and solutions created which will really hit home because they are based on local knowledge. I am writing again to Mayor Anderson to request his involvement with his Labour colleagues in this work

Below I append my earlier rpess release and my original letter to the other 3 Party Leaders.

“Act Now to maximise devolution opportunities for Liverpool City Region”.
Liverpool’s Lib Dem Leader, Cllr Richard Kemp, has urged the three other Group Leaders on Liverpool City Council to establish a joint campaign with other political leaders in the city region to campaign for the maximum devolution of powers to the region.
Cllr Kemp said, “With all three national leaders promising devolution within England we should seize the moment and be absolutely clear about what we believe should be the preferred outcomes for Liverpool. Scotland has shown us that politicians can set aside their tribal differences when there are major constitutional issues at stake and that is what I am hoping will happen here. “Better Together” has worked well for Scotland and we should use the same principle here!
The full text of the letter is attached below.
Cllr Kemp is available to talk about this on 07885 626913
Dear Joe, John and Steve,
I am sure that you will agree with me that now is the time for us to be decisive and press unitedly for the devolution of powers to our City Region. I understand that the Prime Minister has committed himself to such a transfer of powers and Nick Clegg and Ed Milliband have already done so.
But we should not wait for Westminster politicians to set the agenda for what happens up here. I believe that we should now work together to make sure that what is discussed meets Liverpool’s needs. I believe that Liverpool should convene a meeting of the Leaders of all political groups on the 6 councils in the City region with a view to establishing a joint campaign on the lines of the one that was so successful in Scotland but underwritten with a cohesive argument and narrative backed by our Universities; businesses and communities.
My preference is for a Liverpool City Region with real powers. Our population is the same as that of Northern Ireland and our GDP is greater. We could make all the decisions we need in the fields of structure planning, transport; economic development; tourism, culture, police, fire, inward investment; education up to 18; and primary health card. Our councils would still deliver what they do today. This is not a suggestion that would take power from them but power from Whitehall and Westminster.
It would be governed by a ‘Parliament’ chosen on a proportional basis by direct elections from the people of the area. Manifestos would force a debate on what the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of our area. Just as in Scotland people would decide for themselves their own future but would do so recognising that Liverpool City Region is part of a bigger whole. Yes we would for some things need to work with Cheshire or Manchester or Flintshire. Yes the Westminster Government would control some big functions although we might be able to influence them more in our areas.
But these are my ideas you might have others and the people of Liverpool might have even more!
Whatever we do I believe we should do together. Scotland has shown that tribal Party loyalties can be overcome when major constitutional issues are at stake.
I look forward to hearing from you that you either agree with this suggestion or have other ideas for cross party working.
Yours sincerely,

About richardkemp

Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Liverpool. Deputy Chair and Lib Dem Spokesperson on the LGA Community Wellbeing Board. Married to the lovely Cllr Erica Kemp CBE with three children and four grandchildren.
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6 Responses to Liverpool’s Opposition Leaders Unite in call for a Constitutional Convention for City Region

  1. Yes Richard in essence I believe this should come about, but…and it’s a big but, I don’t trust any political party to do what the people really want, and that includes your own party !! I don’t believe politics should have any say in the management of a country or region or City. We’ve had our belly full of politics, what we want now is a caring society, managed by people for the people….people who will work for the people and be answerable to the people. We want a constitution that is managed properly and taken away from the politicians….so that we will never have to hear the cries of opposition ever again.!!

  2. “Earlier today I wrote to all the other 3 Party Leaders in Liverpool asking them, in effect, to establish a Constitutional Convention for the Liverpool City Region” Would all the voters in the region be invited to this convention or would it be behind closed doors ?

    • richardkemp says:

      If you look at my suggestion carefully I proposed that the politicians needed to start it off but then that everyone who wanted should be involved and the debate should be for absolutely everyone

      • We want this to be fair Richard, as has been mentioned the majority of people in this country do not trust politicians of any party to stick to their word. So why should we wait for politicians to start it off.

        38 Degees members have already started the ball rolling and we trust them to deliver for us.

        We don’t need all the politicaleese talk, we need grassroots people who talk the language of the people.

        We need a proper democratical constitution written into law whereby the “Establishment”does not have the power to act within their own constitution.
        Committing crimes against humanity.And secret establishments within establishments, that coerce the media.

        We don’t need political parties anymore, that waste time and money getting thing’s done, and arguing amongst themselves, setting up opposition.

        We need action and we need it now !!

  3. Richard I have to say that I was one of those people who were backing The Scottish struggle for Independence and was strictly against the idea of “Together” because I believe the supposed Democracy which Westminster is supposed to be run under is outdated and flawed.

    I believe that with Independence the Scottish people could show us in England how truly a country should be run.

    I believe that in this day and age the majority of people do not trust politicians from any party to stick to their manifesto’s and there for are basically all liars.

    I believe Westminster is an establishment that continues to run under the same guidelines and flawed democracy whichever party is in power.

    The whole idea of politicians running the country is flawed and needs to be overhauled.

  4. “It would be governed by a ‘Parliament’ chosen on a proportional basis by direct elections from the people of the area.”

    This is the kind of talk that needs to be changed.

    We don’t need ” Parliaments”…and we don’t need to be governed….we need to be directed yes, assisted even.
    We need transparency and good management.
    And laws that state we can sack anybody who is not in compliance with the job description.

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