George Osborne pledges 'radical devolution' for English cities in return for elected mayors

The Chancellor will urge more cities to follow Greater Manchester's lead

Nigel Morris
Thursday 14 May 2015 06:37
Cities will need 'a single point of accountability,' the Chancellor will say
Cities will need 'a single point of accountability,' the Chancellor will say

Large English cities will be promised wide-ranging power over transport, housing, planning and police budgets in return for introducing directly elected mayors.

Chancellor George Osborne will urge them to follow the lead of Greater Manchester, which will gain “radical devolution” of control over local services following the election of its first mayor in 2017.

This month’s Queen’s Speech will contain a Bill to hand extra powers to the region after ten councils agreed to the introduction of a “metro-mayor” in the Manchester metropolitan area. Local politicians will gain far greater authority over how billions of pounds of public money is spent across the region.

Mr Osborne will also confirm the Government’s planned spending review will confirm moves to build a “northern powerhouse” by investing in transport, industry and science.

Speaking in Manchester, he will say: “The old model of trying to run everything in our country from the centre of London is broken.”

He will say: “We will go much further and deliver radical devolution to the great cities of England. I say to these cities: it is time for you to take control of your own affairs.”

But the Chancellor will say the cities will need “a single point of accountability” as London does now and Manchester soon will.

“My door now is open to any other major city who‎ wants to take this bold step into the future. This is a revolution in the way we govern England,” he will say.

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