Combined authorities are legal bodies made up of two or more councils working together across council boundaries. In most cases a combined authority is headed by a mayor who is elected by residents of the area, and the authority takes on certain powers which are devolved from government. This is a promise to “continue to support” the adoption of elected mayors for authorities based around big cities, so we’re looking at whether there are more elected mayors, and for any support from central government.
There have been two mayors added since the 2017 election – one in Sheffield City Region in May 2018, and one in North of Tyne in May 2019. There are now eight directly elected mayors, each heading a devolved local authority.
As required under the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2016, the government provided an annual report on devolution in March 2019, describing progress over the previous year. It outlines several pieces of secondary legislation implemented to transfer functions previously exercised by government ministers to mayors, evidence of ongoing support for the adoption of elected mayors.
More recent evidence of support came in a speech by Prime Minister Johnson in September 2019, in which he said his government would “maximise the power of the north with more mayors”.
The government has upheld its promise to “continue to support” the adoption of elected mayors. Each year since 2017, another directly-elected mayor has been added, and there is evidence of ongoing support and planning for devolution deals. This policy is ‘done’.
Want to find out more?
- Devolution and mayors: what does it mean?– Gov.uk
- Devolution support – Local Government Association
- Directly elected mayors – Local Government Association
- Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2016 – Gov.uk
- Secretary of State’s Annual Report on Devolution 2017-18 – Gov.uk
- PM speech at Convention of the North in Rotherham – Gov.uk
- Move functions of central government out to cities
- Support authorities that wish to combine
- Support local growth through combined authorities, mayoralties and local enterprise partnerships
- Provide a common devolution framework for authorities in England
- Work closely with the devolved parliaments and authorities
- Address concerns about the fairness of local government funding
- Give local government greater control over the money they raise
- Allow partnerships and combined authorities co-ordinate their own industrial strategy
- Fund growth via combined authorities and partnerships