William Eichler 24 April 2019

Whitehall warned not to ‘roll-back’ on devolution agenda

Cornwall council has urged the Government not to ‘roll-back’ from the promise of greater devolution after Brexit.

The local authority, which was the first rural authority to secure a devolution deal, warned Whitehall that any reversal in the devolution agenda would put local economies ‘at significant risk’.

Cornwall Council’s leader, Adam Paynter, said that the £568m in funding secured by the authority for local control has enabled it to make a big impact on transport, housing, emerging energy, technology projects and business start-ups, stimulating the economy and delivering local jobs.

He argued that these improvements could be put at risk by the Government’s current ‘wait and see’ approach to a new funding solution.

‘Government clearly told us that Brexit would enable local people to take back control,’ he said.

‘It says a lot that so many different and diverse communities have joined together across the UK in order to remind Government of this promise. Especially as these regions account for about 47% of England’s gross value added, and 42% of England’s population.’

Cornwall’s position was also supported by councils in Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield, London and Tees Valley.

‘Cornwall is proud of the progress that has been delivered in transport, housing, energy and tackling fuel poverty for the most vulnerable residents,’ Cllr Paynter added.

‘This has all been delivered in the last two years, a direct result of the first devolution deal.’

For more devolution news visit The MJ (£).

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