James Durie on the West of England devolution deal
Commenting on the devolution deal for the West of England, James Durie, Head of Bristol, Bath and South Gloucestershire Chambers of Commerce & Initiative at Business West said:
“The business community across the city region very much welcomes the fact that the three councils of Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset and South Gloucestershire gave their formal go ahead on the £1bn devolution deal yesterday (14 November 2016), allowing for new decision-making powers locally, on issues that were previously decided upon in Westminster.
“This is a good deal for our city region that enables local decision makers to formally work closer together to attract new funding from central government and take action over priority areas including transport, housing and strategic planning. It strengthens local governance over the natural economic and travel to work area, and will give us much more visibility, leverage and place leadership when lobbying central government to meet our shared challenges on transport, building more homes, and of course education and skills.
“The focus between now and next May is to continue to help deliver stronger, healthier futures and inclusive growth for everyone who lives and works here. And we see this is as the first of many shifts in the balance of power between local and national government, as more and more power becomes concentrated in the hands of local people.”