Mayor submits £230m green deal to government

MAYOR of Liverpool Joe Anderson has submitted a bid to new Prime Minister Boris Johnson for a £230 million ‘Green City Deal’ to tackle climate change and boost the economy post-Brexit.

The proposal would provide new skills and housing which would transform the city through new powers and funding, creating 10,000 new jobs, supporting 35,000 people into work and training 4,000 apprentices.

The ‘Green City Deal’ – which it is estimated would provide a £5 billion economic boost over five years – is focused on helping make the city carbon neutral, while also delivering jobs, clean air, better health, smarter travel, green spaces and warm and cheap-to-heat homes.

It would support the Government’s Clean Growth Strategy and address issues highlighted in February by the independent Committee on Climate Change, and also builds on Liverpool City Council’s declaration of a climate change emergency at a special council meeting earlier this month.

The initiative would be linked to developing a local supply chain with businesses and their workforce able to design, install and maintain the technology used in carbon neutral homes, as well as capitalise on commercial opportunities it offers.

Mayor for Liverpool, Joe Anderson said: “We need to be bold, radical and ambitious if we are to meet our target of becoming a net zero carbon city by 2030.

“There are huge opportunities for us to improve the lives of all residents across the city, whatever their age or background, with better and more energy efficient housing, use of smart technology and making sure our young people have the right skills to take advantage of the jobs in these growth sectors.

“This proposed City Deal centres on positioning Liverpool as the go-to place for clean technology investment, training and job creation through an inclusive and sustainable growth strategy.

“This is the right moment for us to be working up a serious bid to Government, as the new Prime Minister will be looking closely at how best to support the country’s economy following Brexit, which he is clear will be at the end of October.

“We know the Treasury has set aside fiscal headroom to deal with the impact of leaving the EU, and we need to be ready to take advantage of this with a clear plan for our economy.

“Through targeted and long term investments in the city’s infrastructure and skills development, we can become a global destination for inward investment focussed on the new clean growth industry.

“We are working in close partnership with trade union partners, residents, industry, government, investors, and universities on the best ideas and solutions, as well as adopting radical new approaches to address climate change.

“For too long we have not inspired our young people to aspire to become engineers and construction workers despite a desperate need for skilled workers. Vocational training needs to be modernised and fit for students and the needs of businesses. Working with the unions we are exploring the potential of working together to deliver better outcomes for our young people.”

The council is working with UNITE the Union, the GMB, TUC and local employers to work up a proposal for an innovative clean growth vocational training hub which would be used to equip people with the skills required by employers in key sectors, whole also promoting fair employment practices.

Len McCluskey, General Secretary, from UNITE the Union, which is working with the city on the education and skills element of the bid, said: “UNITE the union regards the Liverpool City Deal as a series of wonderful opportunities to bring investment into Liverpool with a practical skills agenda, house building programme and a Green Agenda for our members.

“The City Deal can position UNITE in a modern setting working with the Mayor and other trade unions to deliver jobs, future investment, training and skills development.”

It also includes a proposal to make the £1 billion Paddington Village development one of the country’s greenest new developments as an exemplar for air quality with the best carbon neutral infrastructure and transport, including the possible use of driverless vehicles to link it to the city centre.

Lord Deben, Chair of the UK’s independent Committee on Climate Change, said: “I welcome this innovative approach from Liverpool to tackle some of the ingrained challenges behind making an inclusive and sustainable green economy for the city. 

“It is only these permanent changes to the way we live and work that will allow us to deliver the necessary and urgent response we need to Climate Change.”