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Metro Mayors questioned on future of English governance

13 July 2021

The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee continues canvassing the views of Metro Mayors for its inquiry on governance in England


Thursday 15 July 2021

At 10.30am

  • Ben Houchen, Mayor of Tees Valley Combined Authority
  • Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire Combined Authority

Reform of governance in England has been touted for decades only to see proposals gunned down or diluted amidst fierce opposition, or only implemented partially. Current arrangements have been branded as ‘weak and incoherent’ by a previous witness to the inquiry as there is wide variation in the form and powers given to local authorities, combined authorities and mayors in England.

In June, the Government restated its intention to abolish English Votes for English Laws procedures that had been intended to bring parity to votes for laws relevant only in England at which MPs from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – each with their own legislatures – could vote.

Houchen is one of two Conservative Metro Mayors while Brabin is the first and only female mayor in the new mayoral system of devolved powers to English regions and cities. Last week, the Committee heard from Andy Burnham and Jamie Driscoll, the Labour Mayors of Manchester and North of Tyne respectively, as well as representatives of local and district councils.

The Mayors are likely to be questioned on;

  • the effectiveness of the current system of English governance;
  • Whitehall’s ability to work with mayors and concerns over centralisation in London;
  • the appropriateness and extent of the powers given to combined authorities and why they remain so limited compared to other UK nations;
  • what should be the future of governance in England.

Further information

Image: Parliamentary copyright