Liverpool City Region CA mayor Steve Rotheram (Lab) has announced he will not seek to impose a mayoral precept in 2018-19, after a funding deal was agreed with combined authority members.
In a statement issued today Mr Rotheram said he and the six member councils believe it would be wrong to place further financial pressure on taxpayers in disadvantaged areas. He said the government is asking those residents to “pay the price” for cuts to council and police budgets.
Legislation allows five of the six mayoral combined authority mayors to raise a precept to help fund their functions. Only the West of England CA mayor does not have these powers as local leaders prevented such a clause from being included in the region’s devolution deal agreement with the government.
Mr Rotherham’s decision comes after Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen (Con) also refused to implement a precept.
Mr Rotheram said: “Thanks to investment from the six local councils in the city region, the combined authority will be able to support its core expenditure for 12 months without a precept.
“Over the next year further work will be done to identify a sustainable funding model for the long term.”
He added devolution is “delivering a massive net financial gain” to the region and said a precept would not be applied “as long as there is no need”.
The combined authority budget is due to be considered by members on 2 February. The budget report is yet to be published.
Earlier this month West Midlands CA mayor Andy Street was the first to announce a mayoral precept, with plans to add the equivalent of an extra £12 a year on a Band D property to raise £7.5m. However, members of the combined authority refused to back the proposal although Mr Street has a chance to bring forward revised proposals before the budget is signed off next month.