Government’s city devolution deals enacted in law

28 Jan 16

The government has said that further devolution deals are likely in England following the passage of the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act, which received Royal Assent today.

The legislation sets the framework for further devolution deals to combined authorities and puts the existing deals reached in areas including Greater Manchester, Sheffield, Birmingham and Liverpool, and the North East and Tees Valley on a statutory footing.
Under the act, city combined authorities will create the post of directly elected metro mayors, who will be responsible for some devolved powers including transport, planning and skills. Some areas, including Cornwall, will also take on additional powers to integrate health and social care.

Welcoming the passage of the bill, chancellor George Osborne said the government’s “devolution revolution” represented the most fundamental shake up of the way the country is governed in a generation. The new laws are a clear signal of our commitment to end the old model of running everything out of London, he added.

“Fixing the current broken system of financing local government will be a huge boost to local growth, help attract business and create jobs. It's the most concerted effort to change the geographical imbalance that has bedeviled the British economy for half a century.

“Civic leaders are seizing this opportunity, with seven historic deals already agreed across the country. Local people will get the power to make decisions locally on the issues that affect them.”

The Department for Communities and Local Government said that talks are currently underway with other local areas right across the country about what powers might be devolved to them.

Local government secretary Greg Clark added that as well as underpinning deals already in place, it opens the door for others to come forward with their own proposals.

“Today’s new laws pave the way to devolve powers from the heart of Westminster to local areas and local people across the country,” he added.

The legislation received Royal Assent on the day Clark and prime minister David Cameron signed a city deal for Aberdeen. The agreement, reached with the Scottish Government and local authorities, will provide the city with support to boost innovation and economic diversification in the oil and gas industry. The city’s economy has been hit by the global fall in the oil price, which has led to some job losses.

The legislation sets the framework for further devolution deals to combined authorities and puts the existing deals reached in areas including Greater Manchester, Sheffield, Birmingham and Liverpool, and the North East and Tees Valley on a statutory footing.
Under the act, city combined authorities will create the post of directly elected metro mayors, who will be responsible for some devolved powers including transport, planning and skills. Some areas, including Cornwall, will also take on additional powers to integrate health and social care.

Welcoming the passage of the bill, chancellor George Osborne said the government’s “devolution revolution” represented the most fundamental shake up of the way the country is governed in a generation. The new laws are a clear signal of our commitment to end the old model of running everything out of London, he added.

“Fixing the current broken system of financing local government will be a huge boost to local growth, help attract business and create jobs. It's the most concerted effort to change the geographical imbalance that has bedeviled the British economy for half a century.

“Civic leaders are seizing this opportunity, with seven historic deals already agreed across the country. Local people will get the power to make decisions locally on the issues that affect them.”

The Department for Communities and Local Government said that talks are currently underway with other local areas right across the country about what powers might be devolved to them.

Local government secretary Greg Clark added that as well as underpinning deals already in place, it opens the door for others to come forward with their own proposals.

“Today’s new laws pave the way to devolve powers from the heart of Westminster to local areas and local people across the country,” he added.

The legislation received Royal Assent on the day Clark and prime minister David Cameron signed a city deal for Aberdeen. The agreement, reached with the Scottish Government and local authorities, will provide the city with support to boost innovation and economic diversification in the oil and gas industry. The city’s economy has been hit by the global fall in the oil price, which has led to some job losses.

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