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13 August 2013
Proposals for the creation of a merged local authority for the Merseyside area have been revealed.
The region's six councils have published a report that examines the benefits of merging the Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens, Sefton and Wirral authorities into a single Liverpool City Region body.
Under the plans, each council would be represented by its leader or elected mayor, with these six individuals forming the key membership of the combined body.
Among the benefits listed in the report, the authorities claimed a merger would help the Merseyside area reach the national average for economic activity, which would generate an extra £8.2 billion of output annually.
Calls for the creation of combined local authorities are becoming common across the UK, with plans to merge nine councils in the South Yorkshire area recently being announced.
Local government minister Brandon Lewis welcomed the plans. "By encouraging joint working by local authorities across South Yorkshire and more widely, and having all local authority leaders in a room together at one time, decisions can be made quickly," he stated.