Local devolution legislation makes the statute book
Ministers have promised further devolution deals in addition to the seven already agreed across the country as the Government’s flagship Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill received the Royal Assent.
The Northern Powerhouse has been leading the way following the trailblazing Greater Manchester deal, and subsequent deals in Liverpool City Region, Tees Valley, the North East and Sheffield City Region.
Local leaders in five northern areas will now see new powers handed to them from Westminster, alongside their counterparts in the West Midlands and Cornwall.
The Act will:
- Pave the way for elected mayors to cover and chair a combined authority area
- Allow the radical devolution of functions, including transport, health, skills, planning and job support
- Enable the creation of sub-national transport bodies which will advise the government on strategic schemes and investment priorities in their own area.
The Government has also announced a separate Aberdeen city region deal. It involves a fund of up to £250m and will again see equal funding committed by the UK and Scottish governments.
In a related move the Scottish Government said it would invest, over the same five to 10-year time span as the City Region deal, an additional £254m for north-east Scotland’s infrastructure.
This will target the delivery of improved transport links and digital connectivity as well as aiding local housing programmes by unlocking development sites at the request of local authorities and supporting the provision of affordable housing.