The leader of South Gloucestershire’s Labour councillors is set to ask the Council’s Conservative leader how he is reconciling the government’s growing insistence on a Metro Mayor with the council’s stated policy of opposition to the creation of this post.
Back in July, Councillor Pat Rooney won cross-party backing on South Gloucestershire Council for a policy statement in favour of devolution to the West of England area but specifically opposing the imposition of a Metro Mayor. She continues to argue that one individual should not have power across such a diverse region, and that the four councils can work together effectively without a Metro Mayor that is not wanted by the district’s residents.
Since that vote was agreed, Conservative Government Ministers have made it increasingly clear that they will insist on a Metro Mayor for any devolution deals with revenue raising powers. Councillor Rooney is therefore asking the Leader of the Conservative-controlled Council how he is reconciling these two conflicting positions when the council meets on 9 December.
Councillor Rooney says:
“Labour Group has always been positive about devolution, but we understood that to mean the delegation of resources and greater powers and freedoms to local areas. It increasingly appears that the government is dictating all the rules, which is a far cry from freeing local areas to make their own decisions.”