Governance

New York from Jersey CityThe view from the Jersey shoreline that unlocked billions in new investment

The ambition pill: has your local authority taken it?

Ambition, focus and a credible plan can excite developers and investors and get them in step behind a local authority to deliver on its economic growth agenda.  But relatively few authorities are in the right place culturally, suggests Merrion MD Dougal Paver. The backdrop fitted the aspiration as councillor Phil Davies, leader of Wirral Council, stood up yesterday morning to address […]

MIPIM review: who can fathom those crazy French?This is what a water taxi looks like at MIPIM

MIPIM review: who can fathom those crazy French?

Tens of thousands of high-spending property folk descended on Cannes this week for the MIPIM real estate shin-dig and Merrion managing director Dougal Paver braved the warm Mediterranean sunshine and endless champagne and canapes to bring readers the inside track.  His conclusion?  The French are bonkers. Convention cities the world over would give their eye teeth to host a conference like […]

Ditching diesel cars: where does your city stand?In need of a hydrogen engine. Quick

Ditching diesel cars: where does your city stand?

Diesel cars look like becoming the new pantomime villains, but controlling or even banning them from cities poses logistical as well as political challenges.  Merrion managing director Dougal Paver casts his eye over the issue. At the biggest private sector employer in Liverpool a shiny new car rolls off the production line every 80 seconds – and the vast majority are diesel. Liverpool council, […]

Ten Streets LiverpoolStanding room only at the Ten Streets launch - unless you got a seat, of course.

You can’t beat a dose of benign autocracy

In an age of sophistry and double-speak, the public craves plain talking politicians.  Liverpool’s Mayor Anderson showed ’em how its done the other day, explains Merrion Strategy MD Dougal Paver. Liverpool’s Ten Streets regeneration programme is another step forward in the city’s relentless regeneration, the gist of which is to take ten parallel streets running at right angles from the dock […]

Manchester and Liverpool axis takes a step forwardLook, Steve, if your lot can just beat Arsenal for us...

Manchester and Liverpool axis takes a step forward

‘Best mates’ Steve Rotherham and Andy Burnham have landed the plum nominations as Labour candidates for the Liverpool and Manchester metro mayors, respectively.  Does this mean a new axis between the old rivals, asks Merrion Strategy MD, Dougal Paver. ‘Manchester men and Liverpool gentlemen’ is an old saying first noted in the early eighteenth century.   It stuck for a few […]

Today's the dayLook, George, we need to work with the Tories, so don't kick off in the meeting, okay?

Today’s the day

It’s crunch time for Liverpool as leaders of its six local authorities seek endorsement of its devolution deal from their fellow members.  As a betting man, Merrion managing director Dougal Paver believes it’ll get over the line. The cameras flashed, the politicians’ grins were as wide as the Mersey and the back-slapping was heartfelt: in spite of the nay-sayers, Liverpool’s six […]

Please be upstanding for the Prime Minister of Yorkshire...Seconds out, round two

Please be upstanding for the Prime Minister of Yorkshire…

An outsider with an inside track reveals to Merrion MD Dougal Paver that Liverpool’s devolution negotiations are going well.  In Yorkshire, by contrast, a bare knuckle scrap is reported to have broken out. News reaches Merrion Towers that the latest round of discussions between Liverpool and Whitehall over the city region’s devolution bid are going well.  The second phase document was […]

Chicago shows Britain the downside of spendthrift governmentNot waving, but drowning: wealthy Chicago risks following Detroit into civic oblivion

Chicago shows Britain the downside of spendthrift government

To paraphrase Maggie somewhat, ‘the problem with certain governments is that they run out of other people’s money.’  And you don’t have to be an economic basket case to do so, either, as spendthrift Chicago demonstrates. It’s a long while since I’ve been to Chicago and, whilst it was pretty darned impressive back in the nineties, I hear tell that […]

What price a Dublin metro?Heavy traffic is the curse of modern Dublin

What price a Dublin metro?

Ireland’s politicians have kicked the can down the road once again with news that the Dublin metro is to be shelved.  The city’s creaking public transport system can barely cope and with the population surging it won’t end well, predicts Dougal Paver. I’ve blogged before about Dublin’s unsatisfactory patchwork of public transport provision.  For a city of its wealth and size the absence of […]