South Gloucestershire residents invited to have their say on the creation of a West of England Mayoral Combined Authority
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Public consultation on the creation of a new West of England Mayoral Combined Authority (MCA) – including how this combined authority would work and what it means – is now open. This follows the decision of Bristol City Council, along with Bath & North East Somerset (B&NES) and South Gloucestershire councils, to move forward with a £1 billion devolution deal from Government.
The MCA would manage new powers, funding and responsibilities that would be handed from central Government to the region as part of the deal. As a result, more decisions could be made locally, rather than nationally, about spending on regional transport, housing, adult education and skills, for example.
The consultation will run from Monday 4 July 2016 until 15 August 2016 and is being run jointly by Bristol, B&NES and South Gloucestershire councils – meaning residents from all three geographic areas will be invited to take part.
The results will be considered by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government who will take account of the views of the public when deciding whether the West of England devolution deal should go ahead. The deal will then be subject to final endorsement at a local level.
If it is agreed that the MCA should go ahead, it would be established in the first part of 2017, with elections for the position of West of England Mayor to take place across all three local government areas – Bristol, B&NES and South Gloucestershire – in May 2017.
Residents across the three areas are being asked to provide feedback on four key areas of the proposed devolution deal: Decision making, Place (transport and housing), People (adult education and skills), and Business.
How to have your say:
- Online: www.westofenglanddevolution.co.uk
- Paper copies of the survey will be available from local libraries, customer service points and one stop shops from 14 July
- Paper copies or other formats are also available by calling 0117 922 2848
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 would like to encourage everyone to participate in this process. The deal on offer is complex and I hope the process of consultation is an opportunity for people to get a better understanding of what is on offer and to let us know your views on how it would work.
“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.
“This deal recognises that our issues, as well as the potential solutions to them, cross local authority boundaries. With increased investment from Government and even closer working ties between us, we can continue to manage the growth we need for our futures.”
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