by Iain Roberts on 3 November, 2014
I was proud this morning to sign up to the Devo Manc proposals on behalf of Stockport’s Leader Cllr Sue Derbyshire. Ten local authorities run by all three parties have agreed to the biggest devolution of powers from Westminster seen for many years – if this goes ahead, Greater Manchester will have more powers than London.
As part of the deal, Greater Manchester will get an elected mayor from 2017, but it won’t be a London-style mayor. In London there’s a separate layer of bureaucracy (the GLA) with the Mayor making the decisions and arguing with the local councils.
That’s not what we wanted, and it’s not what we’ve got. Instead, the Mayor of Greater Manchester will sit round the table with a cabinet made up of the ten leaders of the local authorities, and the new powers will be exercised jointly by the Mayor and the leaders. No new layer of bureaucracy or governance, but an extension of the existing Combined Authority that’s worked very well for the last few years.
The benefit’s are taking control of over a billion pounds of public spending currently run from Westminster. A London-style regulated bus service. £300 million to tackle the need for more housing. Ensuring local people are trained up in the skills they need to get jobs in our area. Joined up support for businesses. A joined up approach to planning. More powers to tackle complex dependency and help the 50,000 people who have struggled to find work and get jobs and integrated health and social care and more.
Put together, these new powers will give us the power to make a real and positive difference to the lives of the people of Greater Manchester.
The next steps are for the ten councils to look at the proposals, followed by a public consultation. If it all goes ahead, there should be an appointed Mayor of Greater Manchester in place before the General Election, working with the ten councils to deliver these benefits, with a directly-elected mayor in 2017.14 Comments