Published: Thursday, 4th June 2015
The cities and local government devolution bill has been introduced in the Lords and will have its second reading next week (8 June).
The legislation will pave the way for cities and counties around the country to gain new wide-ranging powers an let combined authorities control transport, housing, strategic planning, health, social care and skills training to boost growth.
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.
He added: “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 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.”
Responsibility for cities policy has transferred from the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, the administration told Parliament on Monday.
There has already been devolution in the form of City Deals, Growth Deals and the more recent devolution agreements between the government and Greater Manchester, Leeds City Region and Sheffield City Region.