Manchester City Council

Statement on Devolution for Greater Manchester

Greater Manchester Combined Authority responds to the Prime Minister's reference to greater devolution for England's largest cities

Lord Peter Smith, chair of Greater Manchester Combined Authority, said: "We welcome the Prime Minister's words about the need to empower our great cities and look forward to discussions with central government about how we achieve this as soon as possible. Greater Manchester has the experience and capability to move quickly.

"The referendum process has highlighted the compelling case for greater devolution for English city regions.

"Greater Manchester has a bigger economy than Wales or Northern Ireland, and a population of almost three million, yet we have considerably less freedom over our funding and spending priorities. As more and more powers and flexibilities are devolved to other parts of the union, the position of major English economic powerhouses such as Greater Manchester becomes ever more untenable.

"We believe that our record of joint working, and the maturity of our institutions such as Greater Manchester Combined Authority, make this area uniquely well-placed to demonstrate the benefits of greater freedom to make the decisions and funding allocations which will help the region realise its full potential - maximising economic growth and job creation and reforming public services to improve results at the same times as reducing spending. But to achieve that, we need the freedom to make decisions on funding and priorities based on the area's needs, not 'one size fits all' approaches handed down from Westminster and Whitehall."

ISSUED ON BEHALF OF THE GREATER MANCHESTER COMBINED AUTHORITY

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