Cheshire devolution deal approved by Warrington

Warrington Borough Council’s executive board has approved plans for a devolution deal with Cheshire, with a final decision due in July.

It is proposed that the Combined Authority would be chaired by a directly elected mayor, similar to the majority of devolution deals being considered by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The Mayoral Combined Authority would see Warrington form a sub-regional partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council, and alongside Cheshire East Council, the authority would make joint decisions on growth and public service reform.

It is proposed that, subject to the outcome of the governance review, the Mayor would be elected in May 2018.

Terry O’Neill, council leader, said: “Warrington is a growing and vibrant borough and it’s vital that we do everything in our power to maximise this potential. We are in agreement that the model of devolved powers from Whitehall would place us in the strongest position to realise our ambitions. Devolution would support Warrington’s ‘New City’ programme, fuelling investment and growth in the borough.

“As public finances become increasingly challenging, having local decision-making powers over significant areas of national government spend on local services, would be hugely beneficial for Warrington. It would also leave us well placed to play a key role in the proposed Northern Powerhouse.”