‘Trailblazer’ regions win greater powers in devolution deals
GREATER Manchester and the West Midlands will benefit from ‘deeper devolution’ deals confirmed in the Budget.
The regions, controlled by highprofile mayors, will receive more control over spending.
They will be handed funding settlements lasting several years to provide more certainty and help plan major housing, transport and regeneration projects.
And they will also be allowed to keep all of the business rates raised in their regions rather than hand them to the Treasury.
These same powers will eventually be expanded beyond the two ‘trailblazers’ to cover all areas of England which have directly elected mayors.
Both Labour’s Manchester mayor Andy Burnham and the Conservatives’ West Midlands mayor Andy Street welcomed their new packages.
Greater Manchester said its deal would create the first ‘integrated technical education city-region’, provide £150million of brownfield funding and be another step towards a London-style public transport system.
Mr Burnham said: ‘Ittakes devolution further and faster than ever.’ The West Midlands said it was getting a ‘landmark housing deal’ worth up to £500million along with ‘six levelling-up zones’ worth the same amount.
Mr Street said it provides ‘guaranteed devolved funding to spend how we choose’.