Autumn Statement: Fresh powers for elected mayors

Former Shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham is favourite to win May's mayoral election in Greater Manchester
Former Shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham is favourite to win May's mayoral election in Greater Manchester
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YORKSHIRE WAS offered a fresh incentive to end its devolution deadlock as the Chancellor offered a raft of powers to elected metro-mayors.

Freedom to borrow to spend on infrastructure, control where homes are built and over adult skills were among the powers for mayors set out as part of the Autumn Statement.

Yorkshire has struggled to agree devolution deals which see council areas come together to take on new powers in return for creating an elected metro-mayor.

A draft deal has been signed with South Yorkshire councils which should see an election take place in May but there are significant doubts over whether it will go ahead.

Efforts are underway to draft a deal which creates a Yorkshire mayor but that idea too faces significant opposition.

The Liverpool City Region, Greater Manchester, Tees Valley and the West Midlands will all hold mayoral elections next year.

Concerns are growing that Yorkshire could fall behind if the region’s councils and MPs cannot end the deadlock and the Government continues to hand powers to areas with metro mayors.

The Autumn Statement included proposals to “give mayoral combined authorities powers to borrow for their new functions, which will allow them to invest in economically productive infrastructure”.

From 2018, elected mayors will also have the control of the adult skills budget for their areas. Work is underway looking at how they could wield planning powers.