In response to the Chancellor George Osborne’s announcement today of new devolution deals for Merseyside and the West Midlands, Alexandra Jones, Chief Executive of the think tank Centre for Cities said:
“These ambitious deals are a great step forward for Merseyside and the West Midlands, and will give local leaders more of the powers they need to improve transport and housing, boost skills, and support more businesses and jobs – all of which will make a big difference to the lives of people in these regions.
“Crucially, the investment included in this deals, will help local leaders to undertake ambitious infrastructure projects, such as developing the new deep water port in Liverpool, or extending metro connections in Birmingham. Having a Mayor will also ensure that these regions are well placed to acquire more powers and funding from the Government in the future.
“However, these deals will only go ahead if the Government’s Cities and Local Government Bill is successfully passed through Parliament in the next few months. It’s now vital that MPs from all parties constructively engage with the Bill – if it isn’t passed, the West Midlands and Merseyside, as well as other places across the country, will miss out on the benefits and opportunities that devolution offers.”
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