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Council moves forward with next step for West of England devolution deal

Published: 29/06/2016

South Gloucestershire Council has chosen to put forward the proposed £1 billion West of England devolution deal, following a decision at tonight’s meeting of full Council.

On Wednesday 29 June, councillors considered all aspects of the complex deal before deciding that the proposal presented the best available deal for the people of South Gloucestershire, and agreed to put it forward for wider public consultation. After the consultation, the results then go back to back to the Secretary of State – who is obliged by law to take account of the outcome. And finally, it then comes back to the Council who will have the final decision on whether to consent to the parliamentary order.

Tonight’s decision means that residents will have the opportunity to have their say on the scheme and the Government’s proposal for a West of England Combined Authority Mayor to oversee the devolved arrangements. The deal offers more money to the West of England – with greater control regionally over how that money is spent, and the opportunity to deliver key infrastructure projects quicker with greater opportunities to improve transport and encourage new investment, economic growth and jobs.

Cllr Matthew Riddle, Leader of South Gloucestershire Council, said: “I am delighted to announce that the devolution deal proposed by the Government has been agreed by South Gloucestershire Council. The deal will unlock £1 billion of investment for the West of England, and provide a welcome boost to the local economy for people living in South Gloucestershire.

“I am also encouraged by the positive commitments from the Government in respect of the proposed new M4 motorway junction, 18A, as well as a funding commitment to investigate a link road from the M4 to the A4174 Ring Road. Through the negotiation phase of this deal we have already opened up new opportunities for the Science Park in Emersons Green, and I welcome the support for maximising the potential of this world-class facility where science and technology businesses can accelerate their growth and success.”

Both Bath & North East Somerset Council and Bristol City Council have also agreed to put forward the scheme for public consultation, which will be undertaken jointly by the three authorities.

The public consultation will start on Monday 4 July, in accordance with the timetable set by the Government. People will be given the opportunity to express their views on the proposed deal online. Questionnaires will also be available in local libraries and one stop shops. Further details of the consultation process will be issued in due course.

Further information about devolution at: www.southglos.gov.uk/devolution


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