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Autumn Statement: London to get devolved powers over adult education

Greater London is set to receive new powers under devolution including responsibility for the Work and Health programme and its adult education budget, the chancellor Phillip Hammond announced in his Autumn Statement.

Hammond confirmed that the government will be transferring to London its own budget for employment support services such as the Work and Health programme, subject to the area meeting certain conditions on co-funding.  An adult education budget will also be devolved to London from 2019-20, subject to certain conditions.

The government will also look to transfer this responsibility for employment support services to Greater Manchester’s new combined authority if it also meets the required conditions.

The chancellor, who also announced that there would be greater borrowing powers for mayoral combined authorities, said: “And while we continue discussions with London and the West Midlands on possible devolution of further powers. I can announce today that London will receive £3.15bn as its share of national affordable housing funding to deliver over 90,000 homes.

“And that we are devolving to London the adult education budget, and giving London greater control over the delivery of employment support services for the hardest to help.”

The government noted that the Greater London Authority (GLA) will receive £3.15bn to deliver over 90,000 homes by 2020-21 as its share of the affordable housing settlement.

Meanwhile, £492m was awarded to Local Enterprise Partnerships across London and the south east as part of the government’s overall award of £1.8bn to LEPs across England in its third round of growth deals. It also noted that £556m will be allocated to the north of England, £392m to the Midlands and £151m to the East of England.

Earlier this month, the London Assembly backed a motion to seek devolved powers in order to improve standards of private rented accommodation.

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, earlier this year called on the government to “move fast” on greater devolution for the capital, following the EU referendum result.  He also commissioned Professor Tony Travers from the London School of Economics to reconvene the London Finance Commission – a group of political and business leaders which outlined the first set of devolution proposals for the capital in 2013.

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