Whatever happens there will be at least 3 Metro Mayors elected in May 2017.
In case you missed the headlines; Labour selected its Mayoral candidates in Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool. Sion Simon former MP and MEP won convincingly in Birmingham (71%). Andy Burnham MP the former Health Secretary and Labour leadership contender topped the poll in Manchester (51%) ousting favourite Tony Lloyd and Steve Rotherham MP, PPS to Jeremy Corbyn, squeezed out Joe Anderson and Luciana Berger in Liverpool (60%).
These are all serious players who will have a real shot at power and control. They will also need to be pioneers, ambassadors and ambitious leaders for their teams. This s probably the only good news for Labour. It is clear that the Osborne era of devolution is now in twilight and a new May controlled dawn is on the horizon. This doesn’t mean it’s game over for the Northern Powerhouse, Midlands Engine and other Devo Deal areas. More that we have new players on the team, a different approach and still everything to play for. I think we will see more and a different style devolution emerging. Ms May has a lot in her basket and we haven’t even kicked off on Brexit. It is time to lobby hard and help set the Devo agenda and the shape of things to come.
I think Ms May knows that devolution provides solutions and a route forward. I also think she is w keen supporter of the principle of greater devolution. It is vital that Britain attracts serious growth, investment and maintains a strong economic performance as we extricate ourselves from Europe. The need to rebalance the economy outside London is even more pertinent in the context of Brexit. Therefore there should be no slowing of pace rather a real push by civic leaders and champions across the North and elsewhere to lobby for more control and power to realise their true economic potential and get it right!
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