All regional Mayors in England will come together to begin the process of shifting power out of Westminster through a major programme of devolution.

All regional Mayors in England will come together in 10 Downing Street this morning (Tuesday 9 July) to begin the process of shifting power out of Westminster through a major programme of devolution that will power up all corners of the country.

In their first roundtable, the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister will continue putting into practice the commitment for a reset in relationships between central and regional governments, focusing on public service, respect and collaboration.

Leaders will come together to discuss a new partnership approach and agree early actions needed to scale up devolution and empower regions to deliver change for their communities, helping to unlock economic growth and tackle regional inequality.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Angela Rayner will also use the meeting to mark the beginning of the process of establishing Local Growth Plans across the country. She will call on mayors to identify local specialisms, and contribute to work on a national industrial strategy.

Rayner will also say that the government’s door is open to those areas who want to take on devolution for the first time, with the government committed to widening devolution to more areas, encouraging more local authorities to come together and take on new powers.

Prime Minister Keir Starmer said:

My fundamental belief is that those with skin in the game are the ones who know best what they need. That’s why, for many years I have been in constant dialogue with metro mayors across the country about what works for their areas, and I will continue that now as Prime Minister.  

It’s also why I’ve made it a priority to meet with all metro mayors in my first week as Prime Minister. By resetting these crucial relationships and putting more power in the hands of local leaders, I’m determined to make sure they have the support they need to play their part in delivering economic growth in every part of the country.

The Deputy Prime Minister will tell mayors that local growth plans are a whole-government priority, and begin work to ensure that local leaders are involved in policy making across government.

This follows the Chancellor’s speech yesterday in which she announced immediate action to fix the foundations of the economy, rebuild Britain and make every part of the country​ better off. This included a pledge to leaders of some of the UK’s pioneering industries to building growth on strong and secure foundations built on stability, investment and reform, and forged through a new partnership with the private sector.

Deputy Prime Minister Angela Rayner said:

For too long a Westminster government has tightly gripped control and held back opportunities and potential for towns, cities and villages across the UK.

That’s meant misguided decisions devastating the lives of working people, while our elected local leaders are forced to beg for scraps at the whim of Whitehall.

It’s time to take back control, and this new government is focused on setting that potential free, with a full reset of our relationship with local government.

All of this starts with proper, grown up conversations with our regional Mayors, to make changes that help them deliver local economic growth with better housing, education and jobs for local people.

Work will now continue at pace to deliver on manifesto commitments to transfer power out of Whitehall, and into our communities, with upcoming devolution legislation to take back control.

Published 9 July 2024