Mayors visit Downing Street for devolution talks

England‘s regional mayors are meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Angela Rayner and Prime Minister Keir Starmer to discuss “a major programme of devolution”, the government said. Ms Rayner, who is also communities secretary, said “for too long” Westminster has “tightly gripped control” and “held back opportunities for towns, cities and villages across the UK”.

She said the meeting at 10 Downing Street would discuss “shifting power out of Westminster” towards the regions. Local mayors will be asked to identify local specialisms which could contribute to a “national industrial strategy”. Labour has made growing the economy one of its five “missions” for government. As part of this, it says local leaders will be required to draw up Local Growth Plans, which “identify growth sectors and the infrastructure they need to thrive”.

Twelve areas of England, including Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and Tees Valley, currently have devolution deals giving powers over areas such as transport, housing and employment. Tees Valley’s Conservative mayor Ben Houchen, who was re-elected for a third consecutive term in May, is currently the only metro mayor who is not a Labour politician.

Jim McMahon, communities minister, told BBC Breakfast that access to funds had previously been “fragmented”, but local authorities would now be able to use “a single pot of money that trusts our metro mayors to get on to do the job they’ve been elected to do”.

Source: BBC

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Yvette Cooper

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