60% of England now covered by historic devolution deals

Thanks to yet another historic deal signed with councils the number of places in England covered by a devolution deal has risen to 60%.

Around two years ago the government published their major levelling up plan, which included goals to transfer more powers to local authorities from central government. This is otherwise known as devolution.

When the plan was first introduced, 41% of the country was covered by the devolution agreement, now this has risen to 60% as a result of another historic deal being signed with Devon County Council and Torbay Council.

As a result, the new deal means an additional 10 million people will benefit from new powers handed from Westminster to their local leaders – covering a total of almost 34 million people across England. 

Commenting on the news, levelling up secretary, Michael Gove said: ‘This historic devolution milestone shows our commitment to spreading opportunity more equally across the country – empowering local leaders to take control on matters that mean most to their communities and improving local people’s lives.

‘And to support their plans we’re providing billions of pounds in new funding for the long term, helping people to feel the benefits of these changes for years to come.’

As well as the new devolution deal being signed by two councils situated in the South of England, in the Midlands, the percentage of people covered by a devolution deal has more than doubled in the past two years – up from 26% to 55%, covering almost six million people.

In addition, the government have previously secured devolution deals for nine of England’s 10 largest cities including, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Liverpool, Newcastle, Sheffield, and Nottingham.

These deals are helping to provide areas with over £15bn of new, long-term funding from the government, which as costs are continuing to climb, are widely accepted.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities aims to secure devolution deals by 2030 for every part of England that wants one. This is one of 12 levelling up goals set by the department in its flagship Levelling Up White Paper in February 2022.

Image: Jordhan Madec

More on this topic:

Devolution deal dropped by Cornwall Council

North East set to get metro mayor under 1.4bn devolution deal


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