In 2017, the West of England enters into an exciting phase of devolution which will see the region gain greater local control over the way it is governed and resourced.
Bristol, South Gloucestershire and Bath & North East Somerset will establish a new West of England Combined Authority (WECA) to be chaired by a directly-elected West of England Mayor, with elections held on 4th May 2017.
As part of the deal, WECA will receive new devolved powers from central government over housing, transport, skills and strategic planning, as well as an additional £900m over 30 years as a single investment fund for infrastructure and public services.
Given the wide range of opportunities that devolution has the potential to bring to the region, we want to see this deal taken to its full potential. This is a chance for the people of the West of England to shape their region’s future.
We will be running a campaign through to the elections in May to raise awareness of the devolution process and kickstart the debate on what we would like to see from a West of England Mayor.
It will set out the business agenda for devolution and aim to lead the debate, ensuring that business’ concerns are raised with the various candidates – this will include publishing a Business Manifesto to challenge the candidates for West of England Mayor, as well as producing a variety of think pieces and articles to drive the discussion.