Northern cities to get 'Home Rule' like London

Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield willl be given opportunity

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George Osborne has agreed to give cities in northern England the chance of self-rule.

Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield will be handed “London-style” powers to run more of their own affairs, including schools, trains, roads and potentially housing.

The Chancellor is expected to announce details of the move towards devolution in his Autumn Statement next month.

The arrangement would form part of a major drive by all three parties to offer English regions more devolution in the wake of the Scottish independence referendum and ahead of next year’s general election.

A summit will be held on Thursday in Leeds at which 300 experts and business leaders from the North will try to generate new plans for devolution. The delegates will discuss and vote on ideas for the future of the north, which Mr Osborne hopes to transform into a “powerhouse” of investment.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who is backing the summit, said: “The great cities of the North have been ignored for far too long. It is time to give these cities London-style powers. What is good enough for London is good enough for the similarly great cities of the North.”

The Liberal Democrat leader added: “To show that the Coalition is serious, we will be setting out how we intend to devolve power in the coming weeks. It will start with a package for Greater Manchester... and will soon be followed by powers handed to the Leeds and Sheffield city regions.”