Leaders from the West of England region have announced their intentions for a Strategic Review of Governance, a further step towards securing more local powers from the Government. But – despite reassurances – could this ultimately lead to a pooling of resources and the creation of a regional ‘super power’ by combining shared interests.
At a meeting of the region’s Strategic Leaders’ Board on Friday 10 July, the Mayor of Bristol and Leaders of Bath and North East Somerset Council, North Somerset Council and South Gloucestershire Council agreed that the review should be the next step as the partners look together at developing a detailed local case for devolved powers.
Cllr Nigel Ashton, Leader of North Somerset Council; George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol; Cllr John Goddard, Deputy Leader of South Gloucestershire Council; and Cllr Tim Warren, Leader of BANES said:
“We agree today to undertake a review of governance on how we strengthen our joint working as four unitary authorities, with a view to obtaining devolved powers from the government for the benefit of all our residents.”
A Strategic Review of Governance is a formal process looking at the governance structures that would best fit the devolution of certain functions to the four authorities. It is not a review of governance arrangements of the four local authorities.
The review is expected to take between nine and 18 months.