Public backs more city devolution

By Laura Sharman | 09 April 2021

More than eight in ten people support more devolution to England’s largest cities, a new poll has revealed.

The research by Centre for Cities shows 83% of people in city-regions going to the polls on 6 May back some form of greater devolution.

More than half of people (51%) want the provision of affordable housing to be devolved to local politicians, while 47% want supporting businesses to be devolved.

The polling also revealed awareness of mayors varies greatly from city-to-city. While around six in ten people in Greater Manchester and Greater London could name their current mayor, only 7% of people in the West of England could name their mayor unprompted.

Centre for Cities’ chief executive, Andrew Carter, said: ‘People in England’s largest city regions overwhelmingly support shifting power out of Whitehall and down to their communities. Devolving more responsibility for providing affordable housing, supporting businesses and running adult education schemes are all popular with the public.

’At the 2019 election, the Government backed the principle of more devolution in England yet, more than a year later, we are still waiting to see what its plans are.’

The think tank is calling on the Government to publish its delayed white paper on devolution and reform the way England is governed.

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