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Local Government: Devolution

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 22nd March 2018.

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Photo of Lord Kennedy of Southwark Lord Kennedy of Southwark Opposition Whip (Lords), Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government), Shadow Spokesperson (Housing)

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have plans to devolve further powers to metro mayors and combined authorities; and if so, what is the process.

Photo of Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

The Government is clear that devolution should be an on-going process, not a one-off opportunity. In addition to commitments involving the immediate transfer of budgets and functions, deals negotiated to date include a wide range of commitments to further joint working between local partners and Government, including the development of business cases and Memoranda of Understanding on particular themes. Mayors and combined authorities are fully expected to seek to build on these opportunities, as well as to come forward with additional ideas where they have the capacity and vision to drive further growth and reform in their areas.

Accordingly, the Government is working with areas where devolution agreements have already been reached to understand any additional proposals for further devolution. For example, at the Autumn Budget 2017, the Chancellor announced packages for further devolution to the West Midlands and Greater Manchester mayoral combined authorities. The Chancellor also announced the Government’s intention to explore the scope for further devolution with the Tees Valley and Liverpool City Region mayoral combined authorities, and discussions are in progress.

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