Local Government Reform: Greater London — [Stewart Hosie in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:13 am on 17th October 2018.

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Photo of Jake Berry Jake Berry Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government) 10:13 am, 17th October 2018

I assume the shadow Minister is talking about the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the transfer of power up from local authorities to the Mayor across the country. In areas of devolution, it has been done by consensus; he was a leader of one of those local authorities that are now part of the combined authorities, so I guess he would support that.

This debate is very important when looked at in the wider context of English devolution. The Government will shortly publicise their devolution framework, in which we will talk about what devolution should look like in the rest of England and give a clear roadmap for devolution across England, in compliance with a Conservative party manifesto commitment.

In London, there is an opportunity to talk about how we might improve the scrutiny and accountability of the Mayor of London and of Mayors in general. For inspiration, my hon. Friend could look to the mayoral model put in place by our Government in Manchester, where rather than having an additional tier of GLA governance, it is a combined authority, with representatives—the leaders of those borough councils—working with the Mayor in a collaborative partnership, but with a strong voice for their borough in that relationship. London should look at new solutions like that, on the proviso that they are always ground-up and locally supported.