Mersey Maritime congratulates our new Prime Minister and calls for an emphasis on coastal communities

Following the news that the Rt Hon Liz Truss MP has been elected as the next Leader of the Conservative Party and consequently Prime Minister, Chief Executive of Mersey Maritime, Chris Shirling-Rooke, has offered his congratulations. Mr Shirling-Rooke also called on the new Prime Minister to ensure the interests and economic prosperity of coastal communities are front and centre of the new Government’s plans and agenda in the coming months.

Mr Shirling-Rooke said:

“Mersey Maritime offers its congratulations to our new Prime Minister as she prepares to take office formally today. After several tumultuous years, the forthcoming months will remain challenging for the new Government with the myriad of issues that face our country from the acute energy crisis, uncertainty in the economy and a possible recession and the impact of a severe and ongoing military conflict on European soil in Ukraine. We wish her well, in the interests of the whole of the United Kingdom, as these massive and difficult problems are addressed; it is in all our interests that progress is made.

“Mersey Maritime represents many of the businesses that make up the Liverpool City Region’s £5bn maritime industry which supports nearly 50,000 jobs locally and is a major driver of economic activity which so many. That’s why I’m calling today for the importance of coastal communities to be fully recognised in Government and to be at the heart of the next programme of policy. Some of the mood music of the recent campaign has been positive from the new Prime Minister, such as her ambition for ‘turbo-charged’ Freeports – we eagerly await the substance to this sort of statement.

“Our coastal communities have been amongst the hardest hit by the pandemic and will be hit further by the rising cost of living. Without urgent intervention they stand to fall even further behind. But as an island nation, we cannot afford to let this happen, as our country relies so much on the sea for all that we rely on each and every day. Our coast continues to be the largest gateway for trade with the world, with 95% of goods entering or leaving the UK via the sea. Here in Liverpool we have the UK’s largest west coast facing port which has been transformed in recent years and has a major role in the region’s economy. Our coast is also vital for realising the UK’s drive towards net zero by delivering the push towards expanded renewable energy provision and the decarbonisation of the industry which is the only way we can collectively expect to deliver a greener, cleaner country by 2050.

“We look to our new Prime Minister to support and drive an economic plan that targets coastal communities; areas that without intervention are likely to lose 49 per cent of their young people to other areas in the years ahead. We cannot allow this to happen! Last year we were part of the launch of a policy agenda for coastal communities with the publication of a targeted and realistic manifesto. I urge Ms Truss and her team to consider these recommendations and help our industry grow well-paid jobs in a thriving industry in our coastal powerhouse.”

Read the Coastal Powerhouse Manifesto here: https://www.maritimeuk.org/media-centre/news/news-maritime-uk-and-lga-launch-coastal-powerhouse-manifesto/

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