The M9 group of directly-elected regional Mayors in England met on Monday in Manchester to discuss the positive impact devolution is having across the regions they represent, and the next steps they should seek to to agree with Government to strengthen devolved powers.

The M9 welcomed the announcement made by the Chancellor about plans for a White Paper on further devolution in England, and called on the government to use this opportunity to take devolution to the next level.

Mayors discussed the need for a framework for devolution, setting out an agreed set of principles for the next phase of the devolution journey alongside agreement of new powers devolved to the places they represent.

They also called on Government to use the White Paper to transfer responsibilities, accountability and resources to deliver new powers.

Alongside a Devolution White Paper, Mayors also called on Government to take a place-based approach to the 2020 Spending Review, ensuring devolution is an underpinning principle of long-term spending plans for the country.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “We know that devolution is working. It has had a profoundly positive effect on the culture of our city-region. It has created a new energy, a sense of possibility as we take control of our future and do things our way.

“We’re changing the way Greater Manchester works and working to change our society for the better – we have ambitious plans for bus reform, improving our railways, building the affordable homes we need and cleaning up our air. And we’re working had to end the need for rough sleeping and giving people who live here, particularly the younger generation, a say in shaping what we do.

“We are determined to face tough challenges head on and, with devolution, succeed in changing the lives of our people. Working ever more closely with our partner services and agencies, Northern business, political and civic leaders are getting organised. Now is the time for the Government to ensure we have the investment and devolution we need to rebalance our economy and transform the North.”

Mayors present at the meeting were: Andy Burnham, Greater Manchester; Tim Bowles, West of England; Jamie Driscoll, North of Tyne; Sadiq Khan, London; James Palmer, Peterborough and Cambridgeshire; Steve Rotheram, Liverpool City Region; Andy Street, West Midlands.

Mayors Ben Houchen, Tees Valley and Dan Jarvis, Sheffield City Region were not at the meeting but endorsed the joint statement of the M9 group.


Article Published: 02/10/2019 11:02 AM