UK Government passes Devolution Bill
The UK Government has passed the Devolution Bill, which will allow cities, towns and councils to gain more control over local budgets and spending.
A statement released by the government states that this move will take powers away from Westminster and give councils the freedom to support local business and create more jobs, ensuring a strong economy for the entire country.
Calls for devolution have been growing in recent years and were brought to the forefront during the Scottish Referendum campaigns. Greater Manchester is the first area to be affected by the bill and it is believed that other areas of the country will soon follow.
Communites Secretary, Greg Clark, said: “We’re determined to end the hoarding of power in Whitehall and rebalance our economy, unlocking local flair so our cities, towns and counties can reach their full potential and become their own economic powerhouses up and the down and country.”
The bill puts in place the legal framework for areas across the UK to set their own course, with Greater Manchester now able to elect a city-wide metro Mayer who will make key decisions for the future of the area.
Northern Powerhouse Minister, James Wharton, said: “The Bill provides a huge opportunity for the North of England to tap into its enormous potential to attract firms and create jobs. Supporting businesses and giving hard-working people the skills they need to succeed is at the heart of our long-term economic plan and we are determind to ensure more businesses can thrive across our region.”
Following the Scottish Referendum last year there have been widespread calls for increased devolution across the UK, the plans for which the Conservative government set out in their election manifesto.