The government wants to put power back in the hands of local people, helping communities take control of decisions which matter to them, with directly elected Mayors, accountable to the people they serve.
That is why the government is devolving power to local areas where we need strong local leaders who can speak on the world stage to represent a global Britain.
There are currently eight devolution deals in progress, with six holding elections this May for directly-elected Mayors – like the Mayor of London.
Mayors will represent their region and work with leaders of local councils and businesses to create jobs, improve skills, build homes and make it easier to travel.
These mayors are part of the government's approach to create strong regions across the country to create an economy for everyone.
Q. Why is the government devolving power to Mayors?
To boost growth, jobs and productivity in every part of the country and shift towards high wage, low tax, low welfare economy.
Its plans will help areas to transform public services to meet local needs and give the people that know the area best a greater say in shaping the places they know and love.
Q. How will new Mayors be selected?
The Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2016 paved the way for areas to put in place directly elected Mayors across Combined Authority areas.
This Act gives local people a voice in picking a Mayor who knows the area best and can use their insight to create more jobs, growth and a better quality of life for those living in their communities.
Q. What powers will the Mayors have?
The new Mayors powers will vary from place to place. Mayors will take the lead on strategic planning responsibilities to coordinate a statutory spatial plan for their whole area, so that housing, workspace and infrastructure can be delivered in the right places for local people’s needs.
The Mayor will also have control of devolved transport budgets and specific transport responsibilities including bus franchising, key route networks of roads and smart and integrated ticketing.
Q. Mayors will act as Chairs of Combined Authorities, formed from local councils, what will this mean?
Mayors will drive economic development in their areas, including directing and influencing devolved budgets in areas like business and enterprise support.
They will also be responsible for improving public services, potentially including support for long-term unemployment and integrating health and social care.
Q. Outside their formal responsibilities what is expected of Mayors?
Mayors have the opportunity to lead, shape and stand up for the places they know and love.
Outside their formal role, Mayors will act as ambassadors to secure investment and to promote their area with government and other regions at home and abroad.
The Mayor will also look to the future and identify upcoming challenges and opportunities for the local areas and lead local action to address them.
Q. By devolving power to local areas are you really just devolving cuts?
The government is determined to devolve power and resources previously held in Whitehall to local people who know their area best.
It has listened to local authorities and by the end of this parliament they will be able to keep all of the revenue from business rates. Councils will have the power to cut rates and make their area more attractive to businesses and boost local growth.
Elected mayors will be able to raise rates to fund specific infrastructure projects supported by local businesses. The amount raised in business rates is in total much greater than the amount the government gives to local councils through the local government grant, so councils will be well placed to spend more on the services local people need.
Contact James Palmer
07933 251 545