Conservatives urge devolved power for Birmingham

Posted on 7 Apr 2015 by Victoria Fitzgerald

Birmingham may receive devolved powers from central government it was announced by Lord Hesteltine.

The transference of power is dependent on the re-election of a conservative government and would allow the Greater Birmingham area, a centre for manufacturing productivity, to enjoy better freedoms in business rates, transport and planning.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Hestletine reportedly said: “Birmingham is next, that’s been agreed.”

Last November Chancellor George Osborne revealed Greater Manchester would receive its own elected mayor. Then in this year’s Budget he said Manchester and Cambridge would be able to retain 100% of the growth in business rates in their areas.

Council leaders in Birmingham and the Black Country have agreed to create a combined authority in the region, which is essential for receiving devolved powers.

The plans are part of a wider decision to provide more control for councils, removing the need to ask permission from Whitehall to access billions of pounds of public funds.