HALTON Council’s leader has welcomed the newly created Liverpool City Region Combined Authority which meets for the first time on April 1.

The body, which aims to promote economic growth and major strategic projects, is made up of council leaders from Halton, Knowsley, St Helens, Sefton and Wirral, the elected mayor of Liverpool and the chairman of the Local Enterprise Partnership.

It was approved by the Lords in Westminster on Monday.

Halton Council leader Clr Rob Polhill reassured residents that they will not lose their identity.

He said: “Halton is still Halton and our post codes won’t change.

“This gives us a bigger, stronger voice and formalises an arrangement we have had for some time.

“It gives us the opportunity to bid collectively for larger sums of money. It benefits us all.

“This formalises an arrangement we had before.

“It will only concern economic development and transportation. Everything else will stay the same.

“It will give us a bigger purchasing power.”