Labour is to make handing new economic, taxation and law-making powers to metro mayors like the West of England’s Dan Norris a key part of its reforms to the UK political system.
In a major speech this morning, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer vowed to deliver “the biggest ever transfer of power from Westminster to the British people” and set up a “creative media” cluster in the West of England as one of 300 economic powerhouses, with the aim of doubling economic growth across the UK.
The proposals are included in the Commission On The UK’s Future report, which former prime minister Gordon Brown has produced for the party, and which includes over 40 recommendations.
Published today the report proposes handing over new powers to metro mayors as well as devolved governments including:
- New powers over transport and infrastructure.
- New powers to stimulate growth, with longer funding settlements.
- Powers over economic development and job creation.
- Powers to link training and skills to local employment through the devolution of colleges.
Responding to the report, Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “This is a bold set of proposals from Labour. Across the West of England, and the country, people are hungry for change and to see decisions made in their areas. I welcome the steps towards further devolution in this timely report. The West of England is my home and I’m absolutely determined for it to be the best it can be. Already as Metro Mayor I have some significant responsibilities for transport and skills. I will continue to call for London-style devolution to ensure I have the powers to go alongside that to accelerate delivery and make our region even better. It’s time for a government that cares about the working people of the West of England. It’s time for a fairer, greener future with Labour.”