Business reaction to the West of England devolution decision

Author
Mary Martin
Director of Marketing | Business West
30th June 2016

Bristol City Council, Bath and North East Somerset Council and South Gloucestershire Council have all voted to press ahead with the West of England devolution deal. 

Commenting of the news, James Durie, Chief Executive of Bristol Chamber & Initiative at Business West and West of England LEP Board member, said: 

"It is great news that Bristol, South Gloucestershire and Bath & North East Somerset Councils have all voted to go ahead with the £1 billion West of England devolution deal and form a new Mayoral Combined Authority together. It’s the best deal of any agreed across the country and will bring new powers and new money down from Whitehall and put it into the hands of our local decision makers at a time when public expenditure is only reducing.  

“We may be a successful growth area but we face significant challenges. This deal will give this area the chance to put investment into much needed transport, housing, skills and much more. Moving ahead with this deal also gives this area a priority status with government and the chance to go back and push for more powers and funding.

“The business community has backed the deal right from the start and believes it will strengthen this area for the long term and benefit everyone who lives and works here. Whilst North Somerset Council had already decided not to move ahead and be a part of this deal there will be undoubtedly need to be continued strong working together including to take forward the Joint West Of England Strategic Plan and Transport plans to 2036.

“Whatever the current uncertainties, this deal now going ahead sends out a strong signal of long term confidence and investment into this area, and it comes at a time when positive signals and action are much needed."

 

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