Candidates face off in Granada Reports' Liverpool City Region mayoral debate

  • Debate hosted by ITV Granada's Political Correspondent Hannah Miller

The candidates hoping to become the next Liverpool City Region Mayor have faced off in a debate hosted by Granada Reports.

All four of the candidates were invited and had confirmed their attendance - but 24 hours before the debate, both the Conservative’s Jade Marsden and Liberal Democrat David Newman have pulled out for personal reasons.

Steve Rotheram (Lab), and Gary Cargill (Green) were quizzed on local jobs and skills, transport and the environment.

People across Liverpool, Halton, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens, and Wirral will go to the polls on 6 May to select the candidate they want to see running key services.

Jobs and employment

In the past year the pandemic has hit jobs across the country - as the region tries to recover, part of the mayor’s role will be to work out how best to spend a £53 million budget for adult education.

While unemployment remains a problem here, before Covid there had been some positive signs.

"We believe strongly that at any point people should have that opportunity to turn round, look at their lives and say, well actually 'there's more to me than this'.

"We're going to help people into education, up-skill them for the future industries to come."

"We've already created 9,000 jobs, 5,500 apprenticeships, and one of the things I want to guarantee for young people is that there will be something for them.

"If somebody needs to go to training, or an apprenticeship, or to find full time employment we will guarantee they will get something because for far too many people they've been left with nothing."

Environment and transport

Getting people out of their cars is one key way of helping to clean up the air. While Merseyrail has the most impressive punctuality stats in the country - there is still room for improvement elsewhere.

"I dumped my car a couple of years ago and I use public transport all the time and it's really, really good in the city region.

"But can it be better? Yes."

"I need my car. The public transport in my area is appalling. Often our bus routes are designed so you have to go into the city and out again.

"We'd like our buses to be free in the Liverpool City Region - they are free in major European cities and if we're going to encourage people out of their cars we need clear accessible reasons."

The candidates running to be Mayor of the Liverpool City Region