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'Metro mayor' to run new West of England authority

Mayor Bristol Marvin Rees has welcomed the plans Credit: PA

Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees says plans to create a new West of England authority could mark the biggest change in decision making in the region for generations.

It follows the decision by Bristol City Council, Bath & North East Somerset and South Gloucestershire councils to give final go-ahead to the devolution deal. The vote paves the way for elections next May for a new 'Metro mayor' for the region. But North Somerset Council - which opposed the plans - will not be involved.

The West of England Combined Authority will manage new powers, funding and responsibilities handed from central Government to the region as part of the deal. As a result, more decisions will be made locally rather than nationally, including about spending on regional transport, housing, adult education and skills.

The Combined Authority will be led by the new West of England Mayor and the Cabinet will be the Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council, Cllr Tim Warren, Bristol Mayor, Marvin Rees, and the Leader of South Gloucestershire Council, Cllr Matthew Riddle.

“This deal has the potential to be the biggest change in local decision-making powers in the city region for generations. It should bring over nearly £1 billion of spending, along with combined powers over transport, home building, local jobs and training, not to mention fairer chances for everyone to access them and share the benefit of our region’s economic success. This is another shift in our ambition to bring power from Westminster to city government."

– Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol

“This is the best possible deal for our area – and one that far outweighs any other devolution deal done elsewhere in the country, both in terms of the funding secured and safeguards in place to protect the absolute autonomy of Bath & North East Somerset Council."

– Cllr Tim Warren, leader, B&NES

" Our deal is among the best negotiated in the country and will bring tangible benefits to people who live and work across the region. It will mean more local decision-making on spending in key areas such as transport, housing and skills. Once the Order has received Royal Assent, the new arrangements will be in place early next year.”

– Cllr Matthew Riddle, leader, South Glos Council