Liverpool news Steve Rotheram hits back after bruising week under Tier 3 MetiNews.Com

MetiNews.Com - Political Editor Liam Thorp chatted to the Metro Mayor about the bruising week that was, the deal he secured and when he hopes things could improve

Liverpool news Steve Rotheram hits back after bruising week under Tier 3 MetiNews.Com

MetiNews.Com - Political Editor Liam Thorp chatted to the Metro Mayor about the bruising week that was, the deal he secured and when he hopes things could improve

Liverpool news  Steve Rotheram hits back after bruising week under Tier 3 MetiNews.Com
18 October 2020 - 13:30

Breaking News ! The last thing the leader of the Liverpool City Region wants to hear is a Conservative Prime Minister praising him for his co-operation with government. It was pretty clear from the multiple name-checks Boris Johnson afforded Steve Rotheram at Monday’s Downing Street press conference what he was trying to achieve. He wanted to give the impression that Mayor Rotheram and other leaders of the region had fallen in line and that other local leaders facing new coronavirus restrictions should do the same. Of course, the reality was quite different – with our local leaders battling all week to secure a total package of £50 million that this government did not want to provide. But optics count for a lot in politics, and for some people, the sight of a Tory leader praising a Labour Mayor was enough to convince them that they had been let down by their local representative. Catching up with Steve Rotheram after a dramatic week, he admits it’s been a bruising and difficult period. He added: “For some people, they believe that local Labour leaders should never talk to a Tory government, but if we are really serious about having an impact on coronavirus in our area, we are going to have to continue these talks for the months ahead. (Image: PA) “It was clear what Johnson was trying to do, but some people fell into the trap of divide and conquer, the question they should be asking is why would he do that? What was his aim? “For those people who put on their twitter feed ‘never believe a Tory’ and then are first out of the traps to believe Boris Johnson when he says something like that, I think they need to realise this was about divide and conquer and trying to disrupt what we are trying to do in this region and across the north.” The main target of the Prime Minister’s rhetoric was Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, a close personal friend and ally of our regional mayor who this week set his very public stall out about the government’s plans for the region he represents. Read More Related Articles Gyms 'could reopen soon' if government fails to provide evidence says Steve Rotheram Mayor Rotheram added: “They have been trying to put a wedge between me and Andy Burnham and anyone who knows us knows we might have different football allegiances but other than that we are absolutely solid and it’s not going to work. “What Andy has done is stand up for the people of Greater Manchester and what we have done is stand up for the people of the Liverpool City Region.” It has been frustrating for the Metro Mayor to see people comparing the two regions and asking why he didn’t take the same approach. He explained: “It’s not comparing apples with apples; our figures were much worse than anywhere else in the country including Greater Manchester – and not just infection rates but when you dig below that at what’s happening in our region’s hospitals it does become scary. Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Image: getty) “In Greater Manchester, their hospital capacity is not likely to be overwhelmed for a considerable period, I’m told they’ve got 40% of ICU beds filled, we’ve got more like 90% and are in danger of reaching full capacity today or tomorrow. He added: “We knew we had to do something, because the numbers and the demography of the spread in Greater Manchester was less, they were arguing between Tier 2 and Tier 3, we knew we had to do something here and we wanted to ensure that when Tier 3 was imposed here, we could get the best possible package to support businesses and livelihoods here.” A former bricklayer and trade unionist, the Metro Mayor strongly hit back at those accusing him and the other leaders of ‘rolling over’ as soon as the government applied pressure. He said: “Most of the people saying that are trolls or have never met me, the messages of support from friends and colleagues and other people I’ve met has been unbelievable. “Those people know that I’d never roll over, they know I’ve always been a fighter since I was 16 and joined a union and they should know that the very thought that myself or Joe Anderson would kowtow to a Tory government on this or any other issue is just so farcical. “I think anybody believing that needs to question themselves – all we and the other leaders have ever done is try to fight for the 1.6 million in our region and that’s what we will keep doing, that’s our priority.” The financial package secured includes a new £30 million entirely to support the businesses and workers impacted by these restrictions, with £14 million to be used supporting local track and trace measures. Sign up for an Echo newsletter It's never been more important to stay in touch with the news, so subscribe now to the Liverpool Echo newsletter. Twice a day, seven days a week, we'll deliver the biggest stories straight to your inbox. We'll also send special breaking news emails too for the latest stories that matter. You won't miss a thing. How do I sign up? It's free, easy and takes no time at all. First just click on this link to our newsletter sign-up centre. Once you're there, put your email address where it says at the top, then click on the News button. There are other newsletters available too if you want them as well.

. The city’s councils had already worked together to find £40 million to help businesses locally, with that fund now up and running. But will it be enough? Mayor Rotheram says it’s impossible to tell, but it should offer some immediate support to those in danger of going out of business. Crucially, he adds, the current Tier 3 restrictions will be reviewed on a monthly basis, meaning there will be the opportunity to renegotiate the measures – but only if the virus numbers are coming down. He added: “Obviously we don’t know how long coronavirus is going to last, but we do know that we have four weeks in which we are in Tier 3, and that will be reviewed again in eight weeks, so we can look again at the restrictions and whether they have made an impact. “This is where the people of our region can really help us, if we start to see those numbers fall considerable, we just might be able to come out of Tier 3 into 2 for Christmas. That’s a tall order, but that’s the prize. “So, we could potentially have something closer to a normal Christmas if we bring those numbers down, while other areas may be going into that higher tier. “It’s about everyone pulling in the same direction, showing that solidarity we are famous for and seeing if we can achieve this very difficult ask.” Keep up to date with coronavirus cases in your area by adding your postcode below: One of the most contentious issues to arise from the new measures is the enforced closure of gyms across the city region. Many have questioned why these facilities were included in the restrictions and suggested the harm that the closures could do to people’s physical and mental health could be devastating. The anger on this issue intensified when the government decided that Lancashire’s Tier 3 restrictions would not include gym closures – and provided no explanation for the disparity. On the Andrew Marr show this morning, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove claimed that the Liverpool City Region specifically asked for the gym closures to be part of the deal – something all the local leaders angrily deny. Mayor Rotheram said: “I’ve met Michael Gove, if he tells me his name is Michael Gove I’d want to see his passport to prove it. A man on a bus wears a Covid-19 protective face mask on October 12, 2020 in Liverpool, England (Image: Getty Images) “The problem is that when government use this divide and conquer tactic, people who should know better are believing it and then retweeting it and then you get that furore and the bandwagon that others jump on. “I think most sensible people know that we had a suite of restrictions imposed on us, we were told that this was going to be what happens in Tier 3 – there was no legislation at the time. “There’s not a chance that any of us ever requested or suggested that gyms should be part of the package, we were told these were the restrictions for our area, no ifs or buts, this was tier 3. “So, Michael Gove needs to retract that, he wasn’t at those talks, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about – I can confirm 100% that no one here asked for gyms to be closed.” Mayor Rotheram provided some hope for those desperate to see gyms reopening, adding: “I’ve said to them now that if they can’t provide the science for us, in the next three weeks, then we will take a decision after the first review period and if they can’t provide the evidence then it will be for local discretion and we will decide whether to reopen the gyms.” After a turbulent week, its clearly a relief for the Metro Mayor to be able to announce a significant financial package from government, but he says the fight doesn’t stop there. Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram has completely refuted claims that the closure of gyms was up for negotiation (Image: Victoria Tetley / VJT Photography) He added: “This is only part of what we are trying to do, there will be further announcements, we are trying to work on bringing forward some capital projects and funding for those too. “We want some further packages of support to bring forward major projects that will then create jobs in the region and stimulate the economy. “We will get the best deal for our region but we’ve also got an agreement that means we will get parity with anyone else who subsequently gets deals.” Speaking about the week just gone, ha added: “We knew we had to stand our ground and get the best possible deal, it was a tough three days, this wasn’t a couple of chats – they were very detailed meetings and believe me this wasn’t the first, second, third or fourth package they put to us, we had to fight hard for this deal.” Coronavirus latest Major coronavirus drug breakthrough Neighbourhood with highest death rate Care worker mum separated from daughter 24h hours on and the city has changed The severity and reality of the virus was brought home this week with the sudden death of Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson’s brother, who died shortly after being rushed into the Royal Liverpool Hospital having contracted covid-19. Mayor Rotheram said the response to the tragic news has highlighted what the region is up against but also how people here will stick together in the toughest times. He said: “We know from the tragic news about Joe’s brother just how serious this is and we all send our thoughts and wishes to him and his family. “But when you see the support he has received from people; it shows just how powerful our region can be when it comes together. “It’s what we are famous for, solidarity in adversity – and we are going to need lots of that going forward.”

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Liverpool news Steve Rotheram hits back after bruising week under Tier 3 MetiNews.Com


Liverpool news Steve Rotheram hits back after bruising week under Tier 3 MetiNews.Com


Liverpool news Steve Rotheram hits back after bruising week under Tier 3 MetiNews.Com


Liverpool news Steve Rotheram hits back after bruising week under Tier 3 MetiNews.Com

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