Metro Mayors and Devolution Explained

What is a Metro Mayor?

In 2015, the Conservative Government passed the 2016 Cities and Local Government Devolution Act, which gave greater powers to Combined Authorities.  The Metro Mayor role was a condition of granting these powers, by adding a level of political accountability.  The Devolution Deal is split into three phases, and ‘Devolution One’ is currently being implemented in the West of England Combined Authority, which includes Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

The new Metro Mayor will effectively be the Chair of the Combined Authority region.  They will work collaboratively with the leaders of the local authority leaders on improving the economy in the region, by applying a common strategy for housing, transport and employment. The Metro Mayor will not be in charge of local public services such as street cleaning or schools as these will still be run by local councils.

How will the Metro Mayor work?

The Metro Mayor works together with the leaders of the local authorities, and must appoint a deputy from these leaders.  The Metro Mayor, the Deputy, and the other leaders form the Combined Authority Cabinet.  The Metro Mayor can delegate certain powers and responsibilities to members of the cabinet.  The cabinet also acts as a check on the Metro Mayor, with the ability to vote against strategy or amend budgets.  In addition, an Overview and Scrutiny Committee will be appointed, with one member from each local authority.

What is the Metro Mayor responsible for?

The Metro Mayor will have responsibility for:

  • Transport
  • Investment
  • Funding
  • Skills training and adult education
  • Business support
  • Housing
  • Strategic planning
    • Joint responsibility with Westminster for a National Work and Health programme to help the long term unemployed who have health and disability issues

Read the West of England Devolution Agreement

Centre for Cities report on the West of England



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