William Eichler 15 February 2017

Warrington Council approves Cheshire devolution deal

Warrington Borough Council’s executive board yesterday approved plans for a devolution deal with Cheshire.

The plans, which will be put to a public consultation this summer, propose a sub-regional partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council, and Cheshire East Council.

The proposed combined authority will be chaired by a directly elected mayor, which the Government sees as vital to ensure accountability.

The borough council last year was courting the Liverpool city region with an eye on joining its devolution deal.

Warrington BC’s leader, Cllr Terry O’Neill, welcomed the deal and said the devolved powers would enable the council to play a ‘key role’ in the Northern Powerhouse.

‘Warrington is a growing and vibrant borough and it’s vital that we do everything in our power to maximise this potential,’ he said.

‘We are in agreement that the model of devolved powers from Whitehall would place us in the strongest position to realise our ambitions.’

‘As public finances become increasingly challenging, having local decision-making powers over significant areas of national government spend on local services, would be hugely beneficial for Warrington,’ Cllr O’Neill continued.

‘It would also leave us well placed to play a key role in the proposed ‘Northern Powerhouse’.’

A final decision will be made by the full council at its meeting in July 2017.

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