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Warrington devo deal moves forward as final plans are approved

A devolution deal between Warrington and Cheshire took a step forward today as plans were approved by Warrington Borough Council’s executive board.

The proposed plans would create a sub-regional partnership between the borough council, Cheshire West and Chester Council and Cheshire East Council.

Following the approval, formal public consultation will take place on the deal and governance arrangements will begin in summer.

Should a devolution deal come to fruition, the combined authority for the area would be chaired by a directly-elected mayor, which leaders perceived to be an important factor to ensure visible leadership and accountability for new powers.

Devolving powers into a mayoral combined authority would allow the three councils to make decisions on growth and public service reform, as well as providing a legal mechanism for the borough to receive new powers and responsibilities from Whitehall.

Warrington Borough Council leader, Terry O’Neill, said: “Warrington is a growing and vibrant borough and it’s vital we do everything in our power to maximise this potential.

“We are in agreement that the model of devolved powers from Whitehall would place us in the strongest position to realise our ambitions.”

The councillor went on to argue that devolution would support Warrington’s ‘New City’ programme, designed to fuel growth and investment within the borough.

“As public finances become increasingly challenging, having local decision-making powers over significant areas of national government spend on local services, would be hugely beneficial for Warrington,” added Cllr O’Neill.

He concluded by remarking that a devolution agreement would also put Warrington in a good position to play a role in the Northern Powerhouse proposals.

A final decision will be made by the full council at a meeting in July this year.

The proposed plans closely follow news of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority asking communities secretary Sajid Javid for clarity on a proposed devolution deal for the Leeds City Region.

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Cllr David Sheard   16/02/2017 at 12:23

What is it that allows Warrington to have a deal whilst we are denied?

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