Council leader slams RDA

The Liberal Democrat leader of Liverpool City Council has dismissed the North West Development Agency as another ?money-wasting bureaucracy?.

Speaking at a fringe meeting at the party’s Bournemouth conference, Warren Bradley backed party plans to axe all regional development agencies to save œ2.3 billion a year.

He said: ?The amount of money wasted on bureaucracy and through having tiers of governance is phenomenal.

?The Northwest Development Agency has done lots of good for Liverpool, Manchester, Cumbria and the whole of the North West.

?But, if we want to be like private-sector businesses – and we are always being told to run our cities like businesses – we have got to cut out the middle-man.

?We are told that we have got to slash public spending. One way to do that is for the RDAs to go and to deliver this funding directly to local authorities.?

He pointed to the lesson of Scotland, arguing that councils there felt ?spoiled like kids in a sweet shop? by having control of development funds.

And he dismissed fears that town halls would spend the money on pet projects, or on expensive services such as social care, arguing: ?We have got to trust city leaders.?

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