Devolution Deal for the West of England – Have Your Say
This news article was published more than a year ago. Some of the information may no longer be accurate.
A Devolution deal has been proposed between the Government and the four local authorities in the West of England – Bristol City, North Somerset, Bath & North East Somerset and South Gloucestershire Councils.
Now that a deal has been negotiated with Government, the four authorities must decide whether or not they wish to accept it. These decisions will be taken by Councillors in each area at Council meetings in June. In South Gloucestershire, this meeting will take place on 29 June.
Before those meetings, South Gloucestershire Council are providing an opportunity for the public to find out more about the deal and to have their say. More information is available online at www.southglos.gov.uk/devolution.
The West of England is already the country’s most economically productive city region outside of London, with a number of flourishing sectors, however, it also faces growing pressure on infrastructure – particularly in areas such as transport and housing. The proposed deal could help the West of England to meet this challenge.
All four councils have worked hard to secure the best available devolution deal for the West of England area – equating to over £1billion of investment.
Council Leader, Cllr Matthew Riddle, said: “South Gloucestershire is an integral part of the West of England region, which is itself the biggest engine for growth in the UK outside of London. In order to keep growing, to deliver services for residents and a future for the next generation through new infrastructure, skills and employment, we need more investment. The West of England Devolution Deal provides an opportunity for us to share in £1billion to achieve that aim.
“The deal would bring more money, more powers and more local decision-making, to help us focus on the key priorities for the region including transport, investment, funding, skills training, business support, housing and strategic planning. All of this will benefit South Gloucestershire as these issues are bigger than any single local authority boundary, but joint decisions will reflect local priorities.
“The deal on offer is among the best negotiated across the country, but the Government have been clear it is conditional on the introduction of an elected Metro Mayor. It would put us as a group right at the top table when it comes to discussing new opportunities for future Government investment in the region in future.
“We want to hear the views of residents before we make our decision on whether to proceed with the deal, or not, as a council. I would encourage people to read the Deal document and the frequently asked questions and let us know what they think.”
The decision on whether to accept or reject the West of England Devolution Deal will be taken at the South Gloucestershire Council meeting on Wednesday 29 June. If the deal goes forward, there will be further consultation with the public during the summer and you will have the opportunity to make your views heard to local and national government.
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