Devolution is the transfer of certain powers and responsibilities from national government to a particular region. Decisions made locally can better meet the needs and aspirations of the people who live and work in the area.
Greater Manchester's local councils have a history of working together. This record of co-operation, and the creation of the GMCA, helped us lead the way on city-region devolution through the 2014 Devolution Agreement.
The agreement gives the region additional powers, and greater accountability through a new elected mayor. The mayor will lead the GMCA and will be elected in a ballot of all Greater Manchester voters in 2017.
The region built upon this innovative agreement with further devolution in the Summer Budget 2015 along with additional powers in the November 2015 Spending Review and Autumn Statement. A fourth devolution agreement was then agreed in the March 2016 Budget.
The region's new powers include:
- more control of local transport, with a long-term government budget to help us plan a more modern, better-connected network
new planning powers to encourage regeneration and development
a new £300m fund for housing: enough for an extra 15,000 new homes over ten years
extra funding to get up to 50,000 people back into work
incentives to skills-providers to develop more work-related training
extra budget to support and develop local businesses
the role of the Police and Crime Commissioner being merged with the elected mayor
- control of investment through a new 'earn back' funding arrangement which gives us extra money for the region's infrastructure if we reach certain levels of economic growth.
The elected mayor will be responsible for the fire service, and have more control of planning through a new Greater Manchester Land Commission.
Greater Manchester now controls long-term health and social care spending, ready for the full devolution of a budget of around £6 billion in 2016/17.
Building on previous Greater Manchester devolution deals, the government has agreed to give further freedom and flexibility to Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and the Mayor/Police and Crime Commissioner around criminal justice and offender management.