B&NES Council's Conservative Cabinet has voted to go ahead with the West of England Combined Authority. The vote was taken on the same day as the two other Councils in the new authority: Bristol and South Gloucestershire. The three Councils will now go ahead with new devolution arrangements under a directly elected Metro Mayor.
Councillor Dine Romero, Leader of the Lib Dems on B&NES Council, commented:
"From the start, we have supported the principle of devolution – of both funding and powers – from central government to local councils. However, the imposition of an unwanted and unnecessary Metro Mayor, adding another layer of bureaucracy and cost to local decision making, is a big risk."
“So much will depend on one individual; he or she may have too much power over the local economy, development and transport. We are concerned that additional funding will mainly be targeted towards Bristol, where most of the Mayoral votes will be. What is more, the government has said that this Devolution Deal is just the first stage.”
“This is a momentous decision which is being taken on a slender mandate – only 0.19% of residents across the B&NES, Bristol and South Gloucestershire area replied to the consultation, suggesting that the Mayor will come into office next May with few residents even being aware of the change.”
If you would like to read more about this decision, the resolution has been published on the Council's website.
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