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Three steps towards unwanted devolution

1 15 September 2014. Plan announced to give Greater Manchester greater control of its finances and an elected mayor:

•  Total Manchester public spending brought under the control of Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), under a new local governance structure.

•  GMCA given legal powers to enact local joined-up government, encouraging multi-agency initiatives.

•  Power over property taxes, moving on to income taxes.

•  Powers to reinvest savings and proceeds locally, while a percentage of overheads remains with Whitehall.

•  Creation of a new “democratic” system with an elected Assembly led by the Mayor of Manchester. Provisional mayor appointed.


2 3 November 2014. Devolution agreement between Chancellor of the Exchequer and leaders of the GMCA.

A new, directly elected mayor would have powers including:

•  Responsibility for a devolved and consolidated transport budget.

•  Strategic planning, including creation of a statutory spatial framework.

•  Control of a new £300 million Housing Investment Fund.

•  Control of a reformed earn-back deal, within the current envelope of £30 million a year for 30 years.

•  Taking over the current responsibilities of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

GMCA powers to include:

•  Opportunity to be a joint commissioner with Department for Work and Pensions.

•  An invitation, along with Greater Manchester Clinical Commissioning Groups, to develop a plan to integrate health and social care across Greater Manchester, based on control of existing health and social care budgets.


3 27 February 2015. Memorandum of Understanding between NHS England and Greater Manchester.

• Announced a shared plan for £6 billion health and social care funding.


• Companion article: The DevoManc debacle