The seven elected mayors, also including London Mayor, Sadiq Kahn, Greater Manchester’s Andy Burnham, want further devolution and extra spending powers. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool city region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram in joint call with his six counterparts across the country to call for greater powers.
Mr Rotheram, who was elected to the post in May, has agreed a joint statement with London Mayor, Sadiq Kahn, Greater Manchester’s Andy Burnham and the country’s four other recently elected regional mayors.
They want the Government to agree greater spending powers, and commit to further devolution. The three Labour and four Tory Mayors represent cities and regions that generate 40% of the UK’s economic growth.
In a strongly worded joint statement, the mayors describe the UK as still “one of the most centralised states in the western world,” where local political leaders have “far less control over the key economic levers and far less say over the management of public services, than their counterparts in other cities around the world”.
Mr Rotheram added: “Devolution is the single most important means of achieving a more economically balanced and prosperous UK.
“It transfers powers, resources and autonomy to the places that will be our country’s most important growth engines. It is vitally important that the Government sustains and accelerates its commitment to devolution.”
The are pressing the Government for further powers relating to skills, training and apprenticeships as a key to driving local economic growth, as well as arguing for greater fiscal autonomy and local control over existing taxes and the revenues they create.
The seven have met this week for the first time and intend to flex their collective muscles to win more clout.
Mr Rotheram added: :By working together across the party political divide we can develop and present a joint case for greater devolution and enhanced democracy.