Press release

Bringing our country together: cities, towns and counties to get stronger powers

The Devolution Bill will pave the way for cities and counties around the country to gain new wide-ranging powers.

  • the Devolution Bill will pave the way for cities and counties around the country to gain new wide-ranging powers over budgets and spending

  • combined authorities could control transport, housing, strategic planning, health, social care and skills training to boost growth

  • stronger local leadership will be accompanied by much stronger scrutiny of decision-making

A major step change in decision making across the country begins today (29 May 2015) - with the publication of the Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill - moving powers out of Whitehall so towns, cities and counties can set their own course.

The move, which will devolve new powers to local authorities, underlines the government’s one nation commitment – to bring our country together and ensure hardworking taxpayers across the country can benefit from a stronger economy and decide on the issues that affect them.

It will also give areas more freedom for local authorities to support local businesses, creating jobs and ensuring that every part of the country benefits from a stronger economy.

Communities Secretary Greg Clark said:

We’re determined to end the hoarding of power in Whitehall and rebalance our economy – unlocking local flair so our cities, towns and counties can reach their full potential and become their own economic powerhouses up and down the country.

This Bill will deliver the historic Greater Manchester devolution agreement and set the wheels in motion for other areas to follow.

Northern Powerhouse Minister James Wharton said:

The Bill provides a huge opportunity for the North of England to tap into its enormous potential to attract firms and create jobs.

Supporting businesses and giving hard-working people the skills they need to succeed is at the heart of our long-term economic plan and we are determined to ensure more businesses can thrive across our region.

The Bill, will put in place the legal framework for areas across the country to follow the lead of Greater Manchester – which is set to create a city-wide elected metro mayor who will provide strong leadership and clear vision for the area.

The new powers will give Greater Manchester the reins on decision making over important local priorities, including economic development, local transport, housing, skills and vital public services like health and social care.

It will also allow for the creation of an elected mayor for the whole of Greater Manchester’s combined authority area. The new mayor would have a range of powers and act as the police and crime commission for the area.

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