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‘Overwhelming’ support for devolution in England as eight in ten want more powers for city regions

09 Apr 2021 2 minutes Read
Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham. Picture by Rwendland (CC BY-SA 4.0).

A poll has found that 83% of people living in England’s city regions want more power devolved from Westminster.

The research carried out by think tank Centre for Cities showed 85% support for more devolution in London and Greater Manchester, which already have their own elected Mayors.

The support was highest in the Conservative-held Tees Valley city region where 87% endorsed greater devolution.

Andrew Carter, Centre for Cities’ chief executive, said:  “People in England’s largest city regions overwhelmingly support shifting power out of Whitehall and down to their communities.

“As places look to recover from the pandemic, it is vital that the Government listens to demands for more devolution and gives mayors and other local leaders the powers and resources to build back better. People want Whitehall to do less, it’s time for it to listen.”

However, there was also evidence of widespread ignorance about the powers already devolved through the creation of city mayors.

A fifth of voters (20%) were unaware that their city was already led by a metro mayor, according to the poll of 3,524 residents in the eight city-regions, and only a third (33 per cent) could name them.

The Mayors of Greater London and Greater Manchester, Sadiq Khan and Andy Burnham had the highest name recognition. 60% and 63 per cent of people were able to name them.

Only 7% could name the Mayor of the West of England, the Conservative Tim Bowles, who is not running again.

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