The GM Devolution Agreement: A Comprehensive Guide
In 2014, the Devolution Agreement for Greater Manchester (GM) was signed, marking a new era of local governance and decision-making in the region. This historic agreement granted sweeping powers and responsibilities to the GM Combined Authority, giving local leaders greater control over essential services such as transport, housing, and health. Here`s a closer look at what the GM Devolution Agreement entails, and what it means for the people of Greater Manchester.
What is the GM Devolution Agreement?
The GM Devolution Agreement is a legal document that outlines the powers and responsibilities granted to the GM Combined Authority. It was signed on November 3, 2014, by the then-Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, and the leaders of the ten local councils that make up Greater Manchester.
The agreement was part of a wider plan to devolve powers and responsibilities from central government to local authorities across the UK. The aim was to give local leaders greater control over issues affecting their communities, and to bring decision-making closer to the people.
What powers and responsibilities does the agreement grant?
Under the GM Devolution Agreement, the Combined Authority has been granted a range of powers and responsibilities, including:
– Control over a £300 million housing investment fund, which is expected to provide affordable homes for over 15,000 people in the region.
– Responsibility for the £6 billion NHS budget for GM, with the aim of integrating health and social care services more closely.
– Control over the £1.2 billion Greater Manchester Transport Fund, which is being used to improve transport links across the region, including the expansion of the Metrolink tram network.
– The ability to retain 100% of the additional growth in business rates, which will give the region greater control over its own finances.
Overall, the aim of the Devolution Agreement is to create a more integrated and sustainable approach to local governance, with local leaders working together to deliver better outcomes for the people of Greater Manchester.
What has been the impact of the agreement so far?
Since the Devolution Agreement was signed in 2014, there have been a number of positive developments in Greater Manchester that can be attributed to the new powers and responsibilities granted to the Combined Authority. For example:
– The region has seen significant investment in transport infrastructure, with new tramlines, bus routes, and cycling and walking schemes being rolled out across the region.
– The number of people in employment in GM has grown by 8.3%, compared to the national average of 6.6%.
– The GM Combined Authority has been able to invest in social housing and regeneration schemes, with over 3,000 new social homes built since 2014.
– The Combined Authority has worked closely with the NHS to improve health and social care services, with initiatives such as the introduction of a new care model for people with long-term conditions.
Overall, the GM Devolution Agreement has allowed local leaders to work more closely together to deliver positive outcomes for the region. It has also given Greater Manchester a greater voice on the national stage, with local leaders able to advocate for the needs of their communities more effectively.
In conclusion, the GM Devolution Agreement represents a significant shift towards greater local control and decision-making in Greater Manchester. It has given local leaders the power to shape the future of the region and to deliver better outcomes for the people who live there. As the agreement continues to evolve, it is likely that we will see more positive developments that will benefit the region as a whole.