RUNCORN and Widnes residents have snubbed Merseyside in a row over the controversial  Metro Mayor Tax.

Self-described 'wools' are demanding to be taken out of the Liverpool City Region in a petition against paying a precept for Metro Mayor Steve Rotherham’s office.

They could face an extra 32p a week, on average, on their council tax bills from April to pay for the office.

While Widnes and Runcorn, as Halton, are part of the Liverpool City Region, both towns geographically lie within Cheshire and not Merseyside.

In the comments section of a petition against the Metro Mayor Tax, residents arte proudly describing themselves as 'Cheshire' and 'wools'.

Stating reasons for signing the petition, one person said: “We in Halton were not consulted. #Cheshire.”

Another said: “I didn’t vote nor did i get the chance to vote for this undemocratic “regional city idea!  I am “Cheshire” Always Was Always Will Be!!!”

A third person fumed: “We pay enough council tax to our own local authority, we should not be paying a single penny towards Merseyside!!”

A fourth said: “I am part of Cheshire and don't want my money funding Liverpool. Us wools want out!!”

Others complained of not getting a vote on whether to become part of the city region, which was decided by central government in 2009, and not getting the same benefits of the Merseyside boroughs, such as MerseyTravel passes.

One resident said: “I did not have a vote on becoming part of the region and don’t believe in a mayor.”

And another complained: “Halton residents do not get the benefit of Merseytravel bus passes, all the other boroughs do. If we are part of Mersey Region then treat us the same.”

The Liverpool City Region’s combined authority board will be voting today on whether to pass Metro Mayor Steve Rotherham’s plans.

The region’s top politician wants to charge all residents in Liverpool, Wirral, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens and Halton an extra payment on what they already pay in council tax, in order to raise an added £7.6m each year.

Rotherham says the precept is needed to cover the running costs of his office.

He said the cash boost will mainly go towards allowing the combined authority to ‘develop and deliver’ its initiatives around jobs, skills, transport, housing, economic development and super-fast digital connectivity across the city region.

Mr Rotheram said he had 'no option' but to impose the charge after his office had 'repeatedly lobbied' without success for more central government funding.

He said: “We know that this is an added burden and so have kept that contribution as low as possible. For 95 per cent of residents, it will be no more than 32p per week.

“In the face of continuing austerity we cannot expect our six local authorities to carry on funding the combined authority.

“The devolution deal is the only way we can secure the funds we need to transform our city region. We recognise this is an additional cost but it will pay dividends.”