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Andy Street calls for more devolution powers from Sunak’s Government
As the new PM gets his feet under the desk, the West Midlands Metro Mayor is calling for greater devolution to deliver 'Levelling Up'.
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has called on Rishi Sunak’s new government for more powers to enact his vision of levelling up in the West Midlands.
Street has complained that the government is too London centralised forcing him to rely on civil servants in London to get approval for his ambitious projects.
Other regional mayors including Andy Burnham have also complained about the London-centric nature of our politics. Andy Street said that ‘we are the most centralised country outside of North Korea’. With many people living outside of London sharing the view that our governance system is dominated by the capital, Andy Street’s calls will be welcomed.
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Andy Street had previously endorsed Liz Truss for Prime Minister but says he is fully committed to working with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to maximise the opportunities of devolution and to secure levelling up bids for the region.
the levelling up agenda has been described as essential for the West Midlands, a region whose economy was particularly hard hit during the pandemic.
Andy Street’s levelling up aims span further expansion of the Metro, opening up new train stations, building many new homes and delivering skills and employment training across the region.
Devolution was meant to give power to regional combined authorities to enable regions to decide on how they invest taxpayers’ money. The model is set to be expanded with a number of new regions forming Combined Authorities in the coming years.
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Rishi Sunak has made it clear that he will honour the Conservative Party’s 2019 manifesto which made levelling up a core priority.
Written by Jack Dixon