William Eichler 29 July 2019

Drop ‘metro mayor’ devolution requirement, PM told

Drop ‘metro mayor’ devolution requirement, PM told image

County council leaders have called on Boris Johnson to ensure there is no mayoral requirement for a ‘full’ devolution deal.

Cllr Martin Hill, County Councils Network spokesman for devolution, welcomed the new PM’s ‘renewed drive for devolution’ and said it was welcome after the agenda ‘fell by the wayside’ under Theresa May’s premiership.

However, Cllr Hill urged Mr Johnson to abandon the requirement for a metro mayor to be included in any future devolution deals, a requirement which he said was not suitable for county areas.

‘The major sticking point for many counties under the previous government was the requirement for a metro mayor in return for a full suite of devolved powers,’ he said.

‘Whilst this model can work in large cities and urban areas, there is little evidence it is suitable for large and diverse county areas, with rural residents showing little appetite for county mayors.

‘We would encourage this new government to take this on board and ensure there is no mayoral requirement for a ‘full’ devolution deal.’

Cllr Hill also called for the publication the Common Devolution Framework, so that ‘local authorities know what is required to secure a devolution deal for their areas.’

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