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The appointment appears even more bizarre First-class choice for one of region's crucial roles.

NO Professor Tom Cannon, of Ideopolis International

I 'D JUST given the keynote address to the World Congress of the International Association of Science Parks in Barcelona, when I heard the name of the new chief executive of The Mersey Partnership.

As Barcelona was a centre of surrealism, I wasn't completely unprepared. After all, surrealism means giving reality strange forms.

The talk before the appointment was of a chief executive with an international reputation, an outstanding communicator, deep understanding of the economics of regeneration and a record of achievement.

As usual, the phrase "world-class" tripped off everyone's tongue. Lorraine Rogers has many qualities, but they are scarcely those listed above unless "over the water" equals international and her insights into regeneration are those learned during her brief tenure at the Business Link for Greater Merseyside.

My surprise at Lorraine's appointment is not a criticism of her - more those civic leaders who confound reality and their own hyperbole with every such appointment.

Global searches seldom extend far beyond Wigan, or at MSIF, Lancaster and now Wirral, and when they do they can be disastrous.

Lorraine's appointment appears even more bizarre with the announcement that it is parttime.

She will still be in charge at Tranmere Rovers.

I don't know who should be more distressed - Tranmere supporters questioning her ability to achieve more success on a parttime basis than as a full-timer, or those who doubt that the key, strategic, development and inward investment agency for the City-Region can be run by a parttimer.

There may be an explanation.

The Business Link had only a brief existence under Lorraine, but if closing the Partnership is on the agenda can we know? This is crucial as virtually every key economic agency - Liverpool Vision, Business Liverpool, the LSC, etc - is in flux. In the run-up to 2008, the city region needs strategy, delivery and outstanding leadership especially from the Partnership.

Watching these "goings-on" from Barcelona, where Cervantes wrote much of Don Quixote, I wonder if I am like Don Quixote - tilting at windmills - hoping that I can overcome our dragons, who seem unable to get these things right. Or amI more like Sancho Panza? Trying desperately to save my beloved master (our great city) from some, at least, of its follies.

My talk? It was about attracting global talent to ambitious cities ...

YES Roy Morris, Chair, The Mersey Partnership

L ORRAINE ROGERS has the experience and potential to become a first-class chief executive for The Mersey Partnership (TMP).

As chair of both TMP and the panel of board members given the task of recruiting a new chief executive, I have absolutely no doubt she will demonstrate her considerable skills very soon after she takes up her post next month.

I believe we are fortunate that somebody with her qualifications as a lawyer, investment banker and business person is willing to contribute her time and energy to one of the most important roles in our region.

Attracting major and significant new investment to this region is critical if we are to maintain our economic growth, and I am certain Lorraine has the qualities we require for this role Lorraine has advised companies on corporate investments and experienced first-hand how the boards of major quoted companies and their advisors assess investment decisions.

She also knows how these companies perceive the strengths and weaknesses of investment locations, including the Liverpool city region. This experience will be invaluable to TMP and its members and partners.

The selection of a new chief executive has been a lengthy and extensive process involving a group of the company's stakeholders.

We are delighted to secure Lorraine's services. Her wide knowledge and experience in the world of national and international business as well as sport, the arts and local business will be an enormous asset for TMP and the city region.

Warren Bradley, the leader of Liverpool city council, has told TMP he agrees Lorraine has an excellent track record in business and is a fantastic ambassador for the city region.

And Steve Broomhead, chief executive of the Northwest Regional Development Agency, told TMP he supports the appointment, too.

I amabsolutely confident that Lorraine will be able to do this role justice, while honouring her existing commitments. I know she will do a brilliant job in driving forward tourismand investment, and making the most of the opportunities presented by Capital of Culture.

She is not the type of person to take on a role without knowing she can succeed, and she will be assisted by an excellent teamat the Mersey Partnership and its stakeholders across the region.

And those seeking to question these arrangements should remember that Lorraine will be leading a very committed and accomplished teamcurrently in place within TMP.


St George's Hall basking in light and banners for a Mersey Partnership event
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jul 10, 2007
Previous Article:FEED BACK; THE DEBATE.
Next Article:Can running TMP be a part-time position? Is it possible to hold two major roles in a demanding world?, asks Jessica Shaughnessy.

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