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Devolution is the transfer of certain powers and responsibilities from national government to a particular region. Decisions made locally can better meet the needs and aspirations of the people who live and work in the area.

Greater Manchester's local councils have a history of working together. This record of co-operation, and the creation of the GMCA, helped us lead the way on city-region devolution through the 2014 Devolution Agreement. The agreement gives the region additional powers, and greater accountability through an elected mayor. The mayor leads the GMCA supported by a cabinet, and was first elected by Greater Manchester voters in May 2017.

The region built upon this innovative agreement with a £6bn health and social care devolution deal Feburary 2015, a further devolution agreement in the Summer Budget 2015, along with additional powers in the November 2015 Spending Review and Autumn Statement. A fifth devolution agreement was agreed in the March 2016 Budget, and a sixth devolution deal was agreed in 2017.

New powers

Through these devolution agreements, the region has more powers and control over budgets, including: 

  • more control of local transport, with a long-term government budget to help us plan a more modern, better-connected network
  • new planning powers to encourage regeneration and development
  • a new £300m fund for housing: enough for an extra 15,000 new homes over ten years
  • extra funding to get up to 50,000 people back into work
  • incentives to skills-providers to develop more work-related training
  • the role of the Police and Crime Commissioner being merged with the elected mayor
  • control of investment through a new 'earn back' funding arrangement which gives us extra money for the region's infrastructure if we reach certain levels of economic growth

The elected mayor is responsible for the fire service, and has more control of planning through a new Greater Manchester Land Commission.

Health devolution

Greater Manchester now controls long-term health and social care spending, ready for the full devolution of a budget of around £6 billion in 2016/17.

Justice devolution

Building on previous Greater Manchester devolution deals, the government has agreed to give further freedom and flexibility to Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and the Mayor/Police and Crime Commissioner around criminal justice and offender management.