Metro Mayors call for further devolution across the country

The M9 group of directly-elected regional Mayors in England met yesterday in Manchester to discuss the positive impact devolution is having across the regions they represent, and the next steps they should seek to agree with Government to strengthen devolved powers.

The M9 welcomed the announcement made by the Chancellor about plans for a White Paper on further devolution in England, and called on the Government to use this opportunity to take devolution to the next level.

Mayors discussed the need for a framework for devolution, setting out an agreed set of principles for the next phase of the devolution journey alongside agreement of new powers devolved to the places they represent.

They also called on Government to use the White Paper to transfer responsibilities, accountability and resources to deliver new powers.

Alongside a Devolution White Paper, Mayors also called on Government to take a place-based approach to the 2020 Spending Review, ensuring devolution is an underpinning principle of long-term spending plans for the country.

The Mayor of the West of England, Tim Bowles, said: “Greater devolution powers will help us support communities across our towns and cities. Local people who live and work in the region are best placed to understand and respond to the challenges and opportunities that we face. We have ambitious plans for the West of England as set out in our Local Industrial Strategy, which we launched with Government earlier this year.

“I welcome the Prime Minister’s commitment to levelling-up devolved powers across the country to help us deliver on these ambitions. We also need a discussion on the funding needed to help us drive the clean and inclusive economic growth across our region that we are focused on delivering.”