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City Devolution Bill promised in next week’s Queens Speech

by on May 21, 2015

A City Devolution Bill will be one of the highlights of next week’s Queen’s Speech, chancellor George Osborne has confirmed.

However, he has made it clear that what the government is calling “a radical new model of city government” will depend on the metropolitan areas involved agreeing to an elected mayor.

Osborne said the legislation would “pave the way for Greater Manchester – and, importantly, other cities as well, to take greater control and responsibility over all the key things that make a city work, from transport and housing to skills, and key public services like health and social care”.

Osborne told councils: “We will hand power from the centre to cities to give you greater control over your local transport, housing, skills and healthcare. And we’ll give the levers you need to grow your local economy and make sure local people keep the rewards.

“But it’s right people have a single point of accountability: someone they elect, who takes the decisions and carries the can.

“So with these new powers for cities must come new city-wide elected mayors who work with local councils. I will not impose this model on anyone. But nor will I settle for less.”

The chancellor pointed out that London had a mayor and that Greater Manchester had agreed to have a mayor as part of the Northern Powerhouse initiative.

In the speech Osborne also promised the new administration would extend a form of the City Deals programme to cover counties and towns. In addition he invited bids for the creation of more Enterprise Zones.

View the full speech on GOV.UK

Roger Milne

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