Manchester Devolution – a Beginner’s Guide to Process and Powers

At the Blog we are (obviously!) taking a lot of interest in the Devo Manc process – very exciting times for the Greater Manchester region.

At MIPIM next week we will be attending the “Devolution: Investing in Leading Cities” event at which Sir Howard will be talking abouut the Manchester experience so far and what’s coming up. We will also be at the Pro-Manchester “Great Manchester Business Conference” at the Point tomorrow morning and Devolution will be on the cards there too.

But what is “Devo Manc” as it is popularly called? How will it be achieved? What powers will be devolved?

The documment embodying Devo Manc is The Greater Manchester Agreement entered into between George Osborne and the leaders of the AGMA (Association of Greater Manchester Authorities) members on 3 November 2014, a copy of which is linked below.

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority is the governance vehicle through which devolution will be achieved and is, in simple terms, a beefed up version of AGMA  to ensure appropriate scrutiny and management capabilities.

The GMCA proposal is for an interim/ appointed Mayor to cover the period to 2017 (embracing the NHS Funding Transfer taking effect from in April 2016) with direct elections for the Greater Manchester Mayor in 2017. The Mayor will have devolved to him/her a range of powers including:

· Devolved Transport Budget with multi-year settlement to be agreed at the next Spending Review;
· Franchised bus services for integrated smart ticketing across all modes of transport;
· Discussions towards devolving rail stations across the area;
· Powers over strategic planning including statutory spatial framework for the area;
· Control of £300m Housing Investment Fund;
· Control of a broadened MCC “Earn Back” deal within the current envelope of £30m pa for 30 years;
· The role currently covered by the Police and Crime Commissioner.

The GMCA will also have further powers devolved to it (with more likely to follow in future legislation):

· Business Support including Growth Accelerator; Manufacturing Advice Service and UKTI Export Advice;
· Control of Apprenticeship Grant and Further Education provision in the area;
· Control of expanded Working Well Pilot;
· Opportunity to be joint commissioner with DWP for next phase of Work Programme;
· Following the NHS Funding Transfer collaboration with GMCCGs for integration of Health and Social Care.

We will be blogging regularly as the process of devolution gathers pace so pop back regularly…

Greater Manchester Agreement

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