Prove success of devo deals before asking for more, warns chief executive

By Hiba Mahamadi | 30 November 2017

Local government should be careful of asking for too many devolution deals before they have proved the success of the one’s they’ve already got, the chief executive of Halton BC has warned.

Speaking at The MJ Future Forum North today, David Parr, who is also lead officer governance at the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, said that if councils don’t show how successfully they’ve used the deals they have been given, it will stop them from getting additional powers.

Mr Parr said: ‘We need to be careful about chasing new devolution deals.’

Speaking at the same event, the chief executive of Newcastle City Council, Pat Richie, said that she is hopeful for another devolution deal that focuses on housing for the North of Tyne.

Ms Richie said that she was ‘delighted’ with the devolution deal which was announced for the region in the Budget last week.

She added that this is only the beginning of the process of their negotiation with the Government.

Ms Richie said: ‘We were disappointed that we didn’t do a housing deal as part of the devolution deal.

‘We see this deal as the first of many iterations.’

Simon Nokes, the director of policy and strategy at the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, added that while combined authorities are still developing a method of working, it is vital that they maintain strong links with individual local authorities in their areas.

Mr Nokes said: ‘There is a danger that combined authority staff get disconnected from local authorities.’

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