Metro Mayors call for further devolution

The country’s directly-elected regional Mayors have met in Manchester to discuss the positive impact of devolution and the next steps they should seek to agree with government to strengthen devolved powers.

The M9 group, including Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, West Midlands Mayor Andy Street and Jamie Driscoll, North of Tyne Mayor, welcomed the announcement made by Chancellor Said Javid 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.

However, they stressed 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.

The group of leaders also called on the 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.

Street said: “The value of devolution is there for all to see. In the West Midlands we are seeing record economic growth, record house building, record investment in our public transport, and record numbers in work. I truly believe that none of this would have been possible without the creation of the region’s Combined Authority and its devolved powers.

“But devolution to date has been fragmented and partial, and there is so much more we as mayors can achieve with greater powers at our disposal. Our cities and regions offer huge opportunities for the UK, but we need to be allowed to unleash our full potential. We cannot do this without further devolution and I, alongside the other mayors, will continue lobbying government for a place-based approach to next year’s Spending Review.”