To date, eight devolution deals have been agreed across the country. Chomping at the bit, as you might expect was Manchester. Greater Manchester’s civic leaders, were the first to propose and sign off their deal, which to date has been the most ambitious.
Today, consultancy EY launched their report on the issue of devolution in Manchester and other English ‘regional’ cities known as ‘From Whitehall to Townhall: Preparing for Devolution to England’s City Regions‘.
The Cities and Local Government Devolution Act, which became law in January, will provide an “enabling framework” for other areas to negotiate their own devolution deals at their own pace. The Act allows for the removal of the current statutory limitation on the functions of local authorities, this means that the sky is potentially the limit for the transfer of powers to local bodies. However, its considerations are rather catch-all and generic, allowing for variations across local areas.
The EY report recommends that “to maximise the chances of success, councils need to take the time to build a shared vision for the local area, develop a plan based on robust analysis, put politicians in the lead when negotiating with ministers, build relationships and trust, and put the plan, skills and capacity in place to make it all happen”.