New ‘Super Council’ for Manchester
A new ‘super council’ is coming to Greater Manchester – the first of its kind in the country – giving local authorities new powers over the future of the city.
Whitehall green-lighted plans to give the region’s local authorities legal clout in areas including transport, regeneration, economic development, post-16 education, housing and climate change.
Taking effect from 1 April this year, the new body, known as Greater Manchester Combined Authority, will have significant law-making powers that the current Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) does not have.
Lord Peter Smith, chair of AGMA, said: “The creation of the new Greater Manchester Combined Authority means that we will have more control locally over issues that affect us all including transport, housing, economic development, skills and job creation.”
Speaking about the economic climate, Lord Smith explains that the new body will help the region speak “with one voice” when bidding against other regions for central investment.
He said: “The Combined Authority will also give us the robust governance arrangements which are needed to drive private sector growth. We will also be empowered to plan in a coordinated way to deliver that growth.
The announcement also keeps Greater Manchester at the forefront of change, which is important if we are to rebalance the economy and ensure that not just the Manchester City Region, but the entire North of England achieves its full potential.”
The Combined Authority will be made up of one member from each of the region’s 10 local authorities, most likely the councils’ leaders. Under the arrangements, GMCA will need the support of at least 7 of its members to approve decisions.
The new Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) will also be established to create laws over the region’s transport, with its committee replacing the current Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority (GMITA).