Chancellor moves forward with devolution plan

News stories are free to read. Click here for full access to all the features, articles and archive from only £8.99.

Following the Conservative victory in the general election, Chancellor George Osborne has continued with plans for devolution in Manchester which would include a directly elected mayor for the region with powers on bus franchising.

The chancellor also invited other city regions in the north of England to get involved in developing their own devolution proposals and will include enabling legislation in the forthcoming Queen’s speech.

Osborne has made it clear that devolving significant powers and funding to city regions is predicated on agreement for directly-elected mayors, something which has previously been rejected by several northern cities.

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority said it would now consult locally on the proposals.

Chairman Peter Box said: “The chancellor has now made clear that greater levels of devolution in England are directly linked to a change in governance.

“We were clear in the last Parliament that in the light of people having strongly rejected elected mayors in recent referenda in Bradford, Kirklees and Wakefield, we did not believe this was the model for West Yorkshire and York.

“However, the chancellor has now made his position clear and we need to consult the local people, businesses and stakeholders of West Yorkshire and York on the governance options that could unlock extra powers and resources from Whitehall.”