Liverpool

Liverpool City Region mayoral election: Candidates spell out key policies

Liverpool Image copyright Edmund Sumner
Image caption The new mayor will be elected as figurehead of the Liverpool City Region in May

Those hoping to become the first mayor of the Liverpool City Region have less than a month remaining in which to secure your vote.

Liverpool City Region, in case you were wondering, includes Merseyside's five councils (Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens, and Wirral) as well as Halton in Cheshire.

Who are the eight candidates desperate for your support on 4 May, though, and what are their priorities?

BBC Radio Merseyside's political reporter Claire Hamilton has produced a potted biography for each of them.

We're also asking all of them for a "minute manifesto" video.

Candidates are listed below in alphabetical order

Roger Bannister, Trade Union & Socialist Coalition

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Media captionMr Bannister stood for Liverpool city mayor last year

Veteran trade unionist Roger Bannister believes the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority should never have approved the contract for a fleet of new driver-only Merseyrail trains. He says he would seek to reverse this decision. He also believes local authorities have passed harmful austerity budgets on people struggling to make ends meet. He stood for Liverpool city mayor in 2016, coming fourth with 5% of the vote.

Paul Breen, Get the Coppers off the Jury

Paul Breen is a resident of Norris Green, Liverpool and became the last candidate to be nominated. He is listed as treasurer of the party on the Electoral Commission's website, with Patricia Breen listed as deputy treasurer. He has not yet released any material detailing his manifesto but told the BBC the title of his campaign speaks for itself. He simply does not believe that police officers should be allowed to serve on juries.

Mr Breen declined to provide a "minute manifesto"

Tony Caldeira, Conservative

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Media captionMr Caldeira wants better transport for the region

Born in Liverpool and educated in St Helens, Tony Caldeira started out working on a stall selling cushions made by his mother at Liverpool's Great Homer Street market. His business expanded and now operates in Kirkby, distributing world-wide. Mr Caldeira has stood for Liverpool mayor twice, coming sixth in 2016 with just under 4% of the vote. He has pledged to improve the area's transport network, speed up the planning process and build homes and workplaces on brownfield sites rather than green spaces.

Carl Cashman, Liberal Democrats

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Media captionMr Cashman is the youngest of the candidates, aged 25

Born in Whiston, Knowsley, Carl Cashman is leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Knowsley Council. He and his two Lib Dem council colleagues were elected in 2016, breaking a four-year period when Labour was the only party represented. Aged 25, he's the youngest of the candidates. Mr Cashman believes maintaining strong ties with Europe and the region will be key, and has pledged to open a Liverpool City Region embassy in Brussels. He also wants to better integrate ticketing across public transport and make the current Walrus card more similar to the Oyster card used by Londoners.

Tom Crone, Green Party

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Media captionMr Crone wants to prioritise new routes for cyclists and pedestrians

Tom Crone is leader of the Green group on Liverpool City Council. He won 10% of the vote in the mayoral elections in Liverpool in 2016 and came third. Originally from Norwich, he has lived in Liverpool since 2000 after arriving as a student. Mr Crone is keen to see a shift away from traditional heavy industry in the city region towards greener "tech" industries. He's also passionate about making public transport more affordable and environmentally friendly. He says he'll look to prioritise new routes for cyclists and pedestrians.

Tabitha Morton, Women's Equality Party

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Media captionMs Morton wants more equality for working women

Tabitha Morton was born in Netherton, Sefton. She left school with no formal qualifications, and started work at 16 at a local market, and later in cleaning. She was taken on for NVQ training by a company in Liverpool, and stayed on to train others. She now works for a global manufacturer, in what she describes as "a male-dominated industry". She says she would prioritise grants for employers offering equal apprenticeships for young women and men and ring-fence funds for training women in sectors in which they're underrepresented.

Steve Rotheram, Labour

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Media captionMr Rotheram has pledged to improve education

Born in Kirkby, former bricklayer Steve Rotheram was a city councillor in Liverpool and also Lord Mayor during the city's European Capital of Culture year in 2008. He was also elected MP for Liverpool Walton in 2010, and re-elected to the seat in 2015. Mr Rotheram is pledging to cut the cost of the fast tag for motorists driving through the Mersey tunnels. He wants to improve education and offer better careers advice for young people, and also wants to make brownfield sites more attractive to developers.

Paula Walters, UKIP

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Media captionMs Walters is chairman of UKIP in Wirral

Wallasey-born Paula Walters is chairman of UKIP in Wirral and lives in New Brighton with her family. She has campaigned to scrap tunnel tolls for several years. She says her local UKIP branch is one of the most thriving in the North West. A civil servant, she studied English and biomolecular science at degree-level. She has also lived in South Africa where she attended the University of Pretoria. She believes Liverpool city centre has attracted money at the expense of outlying areas, one of the things she wants to tackle.

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