Mayor of London should be champion for devolution across England’s regions

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan

Sadiq Khan should become the leading champion for more devolution to England’s cities and regions according to a new initiative looking at London’s future.

At a recent event hosted by the London Chamber of Commerce the participants from across business and academia, explored  the topic of “English Metro Devolution – opportunity or Threat for London”.

All agreed that the unfolding process of devolution to metropolitan areas such as Bristol, Manchester and Sheffield was a broadly positive development that offered great opportunities for economic growth in the regions and England as a whole.

London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Chief Executive Colin Stanbridge said: “This is a fascinating and exciting time for London and the other English metro cities. Whitehall devolving responsibilities and powers to City Halls across the regions should be welcomed.

The new Metro Mayors in Manchester, Birmingham and beyond, are beginning to build their profiles and provide a strong voice for their areas, however it is still very early days yet in the whole process.

London has, in effect, a ‘head start’ of nearly two decades as a devolved area and there must be lessons and experiences that could be shared with our friends in the other Metro areas.

Getting English devolution right to foster economic growth will be critical in the post-Brexit future we are all facing into”.

Andrew Carter, Chief Executive of Centre for Cities said: “There are many areas of common cause between London and the other mayoral city regions, from addressing skills and transports challenges to ensuring that cities have a voice in Brexit negotiations.

That’s why it’s really important that Sadiq Khan and other the mayors continue to work together in sharing ideas and experiences, and making the most of their collective influence. This will be crucial in making the most of devolution in English city regions, and in pushing the Government to go further and faster on this agenda.”